The benefits of staying active are endless – from aging gracefully to managing chronic pain. According to the Center for Disease Control, exercising regularly can improve brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to perform daily activities. Yes, all of that. 

But the key here is regular exercise, so you’ll have to work a bit for all of those perks. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you stay motivated through your exercise journey. 

Grab a friend

Accountability is key when it comes to keeping your body active. Getting up and moving can be extremely hard – especially when it’s been a long day. Having a friend, a family member or a significant other to workout with you can give you the boost you need to get off the couch and get moving. 

Carrot, meet stick

Remember when you were kids and your parents would only give you dessert if you ate all your vegetables, so you did? Well, we haven’t exactly grown out of that. And while having a sugary dessert after each workout isn’t really a habit we want to build, there are plenty of other ways to set up a reward system for staying active. 

After each workout, do something you love. Give yourself an extra 30 minutes to read your favorite book. Go window shopping (or actually shop) at your favorite store. And you can do the same thing with your fitness goals. If you hit a certain time on your 5K, reward yourself with a nice dinner or a new workout fit. 

You’re going to slip up

Not to quote Hannah Montana, but nobody’s perfect. Even if you love exercising and have found your favorite routine so far, there is going to come a time when you just won’t be feeling it. Missing a workout here and there is totally normal, and even if you fall out of your routine completely – it’s ok.  

In the words of another pop star, shake it off. Find a way to jump back into your routine, like mixing it up with a fun workout class or finding a new hiking spot to try. Just make sure you get back into moving, even if it’s starting with small steps. 

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