Get other people involved. “Parents love family time, which is why that often gets priority over exercising,” Wakefield says. Combine the two and you’ll be motivated to move since you’re doing something you love -- spending time with your kids. There are a lot of physical activities that are good for all ages. Go play Frisbee in the park, play tag, go on a bike ride, or work in the garden.
If you want to do something that isn’t kid-friendly, find a friend who likes the same things you do, like running or spinning. “It provides accountability,” Wakefield says. “You won’t want to let the other person down by not showing up to exercise. Plus, chatting with a friend makes working out more enjoyable!”
Set smaller goals. “Most of the time, people don’t work out because it seems like an intimidating, daunting task,” says Erin McGill, senior director of product development for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. “But you don’t have to spend an hour at the gym to be active -- there are lots of little ways to make everyday activities and chores just a little harder. And it’s so much easier to fit 10 minutes of movement into your day every few hours than find a larger chunk of time in your schedule.”
A few ideas: Take one bag of groceries in at a time from the car, do sets of 10 squats or pushups in between loads of laundry, or take stairs two at a time to get your heart rate up.
Keep equipment front and center. Sometimes a simple thing like putting your workout gear in your living room can be key to feeling more motivated.
“Out of sight, out of mind is true, but so is the opposite,” Wakefield says. “Put things like resistance bands or an exercise ball in a visible place, and you’ll get that extra nudge to actually use them. Every time you see them, you’ll get reminded.”