Tips & Info

How can I stay motivated to exercise?

By Joyce B. Patterson, MPH, RDN, BC-ADM


Between work, family, the weather, and other realities of life, keeping up with physical activity can seem daunting. But inspiration can be found all around you. These 5 tips can help keep you active more often.


I can’t count how many times I have started a workout routine. Motivated, ready and eager to see results. So I start running. Or I go to the gym. Or I purchase a pack of barre exercise classes.

And I make it happen. My schedule magically cooperates, and I find a way to squeeze it into my day. I sweat. I feel good. I wonder why I ever stopped in the first place.

And then I remember why. Because it happens again. Work gets busy. The kids’ activities increase. The weather changes. Or I get bored of the same workout room, or the same running route, or the same moves. As such, motivation wanes. I skip a day. Then another. Before I know it, three months have passed, and I’m starting from the beginning. Again.

This cycle has persisted throughout my adult life. I claim I’m too busy. I work full time. I had small kids. Then I had big kids. Summer was too hot. Winter was too cold.

I know this cycle could have continued indefinitely. But something clicked. Actually, a few things clicked. Around the time I turned 40 (it’s never too late), I was able to make physical activity a regular part of my life, mostly because of the five tips linked below.


Read the five tips and the complete post at


Joyce B. Patterson, MPH, RDN, BC-ADM, is a diabetes educator in Ann Arbor, MI. She is also a health coach for The Diabetes Prevention Program. She is author of the blog