It’s easy to assume that anyone with an insanely fit body must be enamored with exercise—but that’s not always the case. Even celebs like Jessica Alba and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting have admitted that heading to the gym is something they do begrudgingly. So how do we make exercise a daily priority, especially if—unlike these celebs—our careers aren’t quite as dependent on having a svelte physique?

According to Dr. Michelle Segar, Director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center (SHARP) at the University of Michigan, it helps to associate ‘immediate rewards’ with exercise, such as noting the improvement in your mood or stress level rather than monitoring weight loss or muscle tone. Also, count any and every activity that gets you moving—from taking the stairs to walking to the office water cooler—because they really do add up. By doing this, you don't feel like you failed like you might if you set up a strict exercise regimen then didn't complete it one day. And you feel more fulfilled and motivated.

On top of that, you should make sure that self-care is a priority. She writes in her book, No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness, “The more energy you give to caring for yourself, the more energy you have for everything else.” 

So try keeping track of the physical activities you do daily and find something rewarding that can come from every one of those movements, whether it’s a mental or physical benefit. This might be the way to making exercise part of your daily routine.

What are some ways you keep active daily or regain your motivation when it’s lacking? 


The New York Times: "Rethinking Exercise as a Source of Immediate Rewards"