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Consider these tips from empirical research on regular exercise. Patients at th​e LIFE Centre, Singapore General Hospital​ (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, have found them useful.

Tips to help you stay motivated to exercise regularly

  1. Vary your exercise routine

    Modify your exercise routine from time to time to create novelty. This helps to reignite your motivation and sustain your interest. It could be as simple as using a different treadmill at the gym. Consider changing your location or time of exercise. Or switch the order of your individual exercises.

  2. Identify inherent value in regular exercise
  3. Find an exercise that you truly enjoy for its inherent value. Runners achieve a sense of satisfaction when they complete a designated distance. Swimmers enjoy the feeling of breezing through the water. Yogis relish the peace of yoga practice. Take time to explore various types of exercise until you find one that really suits you.

  4. Recharge yourself with positivity about exercise

    Feed your mind with encouraging quotes and interesting facts about exercise. Our mind has a natural tendency to churn out excuses not to exercise. We need positive messages to counterbalance these excuses.

  5. Find exercise role models or buddies

    Surround yourself with exercise buffs who can give you emotional support. They may provide you with valuable suggestions on how to overcome obstacles and stay motivated too. In addition, to keep going, it helps to be accountable to someone. For example, the likelihood of backing out from an exercise class is lesser when your friend is expecting you there.

  6. Focus on skills development and exercise competency

    Challenge yourself to perform your exercise better. You will get a sense of achievement and satisfaction each time you exercise, and this will help refuel your motivation. However, don’t compare yourself with others or get fixated on how far you are from your ultimate goals. This may only make you feel frustrated and demoralised.

Autonomy plays a great role in whether we commit to regular exercise. Having a say on how, when, what and with whom you do exercise, is key to regular exercise. When you own the habit, then you are motivated to make exercise a regular feature of your life.

Need help adopting a better lifestyle? The LIFE Centre​ at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has a multidisciplinary team of experts who can provide you with guidance on weight management, exercise and diet.

Ref: Q15​