How I Stay Motivated to Exercise

We talk a lot about fashion trends and what’s in style, but the one thing that’s always guaranteed to be in style is being fit and healthy. Of course, that’s easier said than done! Who doesn’t want to be fit and healthy? It’s staying motivated to eat well and stay in shape in today’s busy world that’s the challenge.

While I’m not perfect at this, I have gotten more consistent over the years, and these are some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way.

First and foremost, you have to find an activity you truly enjoy. I love running, but maybe for you it’s biking, hiking, yoga, barre, a sport, or a combination of those activities. Try different things until you find what clicks for you.

Once you have that figured out, removing all excuses is an important component to making a fitness routine stick. If you don’t have proper workout gear for the activity or the weather, it’s too easy to put it off or skip a day. Lately, it’s been the heat and humidity that have been derailing my efforts, so I decided some new summer running gear was in order.

Fortunately, Backcountry is having their Semi-Annual Sale through the month of August, and you can get up to 50% off your favorite outdoor brands like The North Face, Arc’teryx, prAna, and more.

Also, for today and tomorrow only, you can also get an extra 20% off select apparel, footwear, and accessories (applies in cart)! Plus, you can use code JOLYNNE15 for 15% off full-priced items on your first order (exclusions apply).

I’ve always thought of Backcountry as an outdoorsy store, but they actually have a lot of performance clothing and exercise gear as well. Whether you like to run, walk, or hike, Backcountry has everything you need to beat the summer heat.

This short sleeve performance tee by Mountain Hardwear is 50% off, and it’s the perfect lightweight top for outside activities on the hottest summer days. It’s super lightweight and stretchy, with moisture wicking technology and UPF 30 sun protection. I also love the zippered pocket that’s just big enough to hold your key or a credit card.

These trail shorts (also 50% off) are also fast-drying and moisture-wicking, and I love this pretty seafoam green color for a change. They also have built-in compression briefs, reflective details for safety, and laser-cut venting for increased breathability. Plus, the rear zippered pocket holds a car key or gel pack.

I was also excited to see the On Cloud sneakers available at Backcountry. I have a pair of their trainers, so this time I ordered the running shoes, and I love them.

They definitely have a lot more support and padding than the trainers, which are designed more for stability in the gym. This Sea/Limelight color way is so fresh and fun for summer, and it coordinates perfectly with my new trail shorts. These shoes run true to size, I take the 8 in this brand.

When I run or walk on trails, I like to wear a hat for protection. This Arc’teryx cap has built-in ventilation, plus it’s weather-resistant and dries quickly when it gets wet. I also love the color choices. This light blue is a nice change from the white or black that I normally wear.

It’s super important to stay hydrated when exercising in the summer. Whether I’m at the gym or outdoors, I always bring water along. This insulated water bottle is made out of BPA-free plastic, so it’s super lightweight and also keeps your drink cold for hours.

And I picked up this handy hip pack for those longer runs or hikes when I want to bring a few extras along like a power bar or my smartphone. It has several compartments to keep things organized, as well as a fleece-lined pocket to keep your phone scratch-free.

Another one of my tips for staying motivated to exercise is to have good music and keep your playlist fresh. I use the Shazaam app on my smartphone to keep a running list of new songs I want to add to my playlist. Anytime I start to get bored, I add some new tunes, and I’m eager to get out there and enjoy them.

When I go on longer walks, I like to have a good podcast to listen to, or maybe for you, it would be a book on tape. I’m less likely to cut my walk short when I have something interesting to listen to. Did I mention I get bored easily?

All that to say, earbuds are essential! And don’t forget a good pair of sunglasses. These Electric sunglasses have polycarbonate lenses that are shatterproof, lightweight, and flexible. They look like fashion sunglasses but have the functionality of sport sunglasses.

My other big piece of advice for sticking to a fitness routine is to establish some sort of accountability. I’ve been working with a trainer for years, and that was a game changer for me. I also used to meet up with friends to run local races, and I really miss that community. I was never more consistent with exercise than when I was training for a race. I can’t wait for those opportunities to open up again. It can be your husband, a friend, or a trainer, but we’re more likely to keep our commitments when someone is depending on us to show up.

Finally, I decided a long time ago that living a fit and healthy lifestyle was a decision for the long haul. I think it was that shift in mentality that made all the difference for me. Everyone gets derailed from their fitness routine from time to time. But now, rather than looking at a temporary derailment as a failure and a reason to quit, I choose to look at it as a bump in the road and get back to it as soon as I can.

When I got injured and couldn’t run or work out for a few months, I realized how much I took my ability to exercise for granted. Now when I feel like phoning it in, I remind myself that t’s a privilege and a blessing to have a healthy body. It may not be perfect, but it’s mine, and I’m going to do my best to keep it strong and healthy.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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15 Responses

  1. Cute workout gear! Two things you said really resonated with me: have appropriate work out gear and have accountability. My favorite way to exercise is walking our dog twice a day. We walk in ALL types of weather so buying a waterproof rain jacket and rain pants made a huge difference in comfort in heavy rains. And for accountability, I know our dog is relying on me to keep her healthy. I could never be so accountable to myself on a rainy day!

  2. Thank you for posting this today. Not only do you provide a fashion sense for us you encourage us to keep ourselves healthy. I always find buying a new workout outfit or new pair of
    trainers makes me want to workout more. Have a a wonderful day.

  3. Cute gear!! I’ve been contemplating getting a personal trainer and this post has me excited to take the plunge! My fitness has sharply declined over the last several years, due to my work agency closing the building and sending us to work from home…6 years ago. As you know, working from home has many pros – and cons. I feel so tired when I clock off for the day that I do not want to get dressed and go to the gym, as I’ve done in the past. I was working out 4 to 5 days per week when Covid shut everything down. Maybe it’s time to get back to it! Have a great day!

  4. A 73 year old blogger I follow commented that she works out today for her 83 year old self. It’s not so much about “today” as for future self. That really struck a chord for me. I’m in a groove currently of walking when I wake up, followed by online yoga then a class at the gym two hours later three mornings a week. Add healthy eating to that and at this minute the future looks bright. I’m 67.

  5. I needed this post to help me stay motivated during the heat of summer. I had to have a mental shift as well that this is a life long lifestyle change. Having cute workout performance clothes helps to motivate me too. The pocket on the t-shirt is great! Will have to check out Backcountry! The belt bag (aka fanny pack) is great: so handy to be hands free or without a purse or heavy back pack.

  6. Yup working out! You can love it or hate it.,, I have things I’d often rather do then work out but at the end of the day I feel much better when I have.. I made a commitment to myself at least 4-5 times a week… although during the summer I find 5 too much with everything else going on so I’m averaging 4 times. Mixing up the routine helps too! Love all your suggestions.. I don’t think you missed a thing.

  7. You look great in this outfit! I’ve been looking for a white top like that to workout in. Did you order a small? TTS?

  8. Thank you for the great post since I’m always looking for workout gear options. How do the shorts run? There are only a few reviews on them and one said they ran small. Thanks!

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