1. Turn a favorite leisure activity into your workout of choice.
2. Do a partner workout with a fitter friend.
3. Use an app like Workout Plan to schedule workouts and reminders.
Making specific plans to exercise — that is, committing to the how, when, and where — will help you stick to the commitment. Michelle Kerulis, director of sport and health psychology at Adler University in Chicago, advises people to write their workouts in a calendar and "keep that appointment as if you’re keeping a meeting for work."
Workout Plan allows you to plan exercise in advance, log progress, and make notes, and then sends you notifications about upcoming workouts.
4. Reward yourself for completing those scheduled workouts.
5. Replace long, tedious hours of cardio with short, high-intensity workouts.
Research has shown that short periods of intense exercise are just as effective — and sometimes more effective — than traditional endurance training (like cycling at moderate effort for an hour and a half or two hours).
7. Smash the scale. There are better ways to measure fitness.
8. Get inspired by Instagram and Pinterest.
9. Celebrate yourself mid-workout.
10. Rest and recover. Trying to work out while exhausted is a motivation-killer.
12. Use missed workouts as opportunities for rest or active recovery.
13. See yourself as an exerciser.
14. Don't focus on how much the very beginning of a workout sucks.
15. Run to music that matches the workout you're doing, right down to the tempo.
Research shows that listening to music while you exercise can distract you from discomfort and fatigue. It can also improve your mood, help your endurance, and make you feel like you're not working as hard.
Apps like RockMyRun and Songza allow you to create or select from pre-made playlists that provide just the right songs for the kind of workout you're doing — search by beats per minute or genre, or play songs that match your pace or cadence.