Staying Motivated to Stay Active

Time, money, and energy are common barriers to exercise. Overcome these barriers and get motivated to stay active.  Physical activity is a great way for older adults to gain substantial health benefits and maintain independence. To make physical activity a routine habit , choose activities and exercises that are fun, motivate you, and keep you interested.

Keep it going.

If you can stick with an exercise routine or physical activity for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making physical activity a regular habit. Choose activities:

  • You enjoy and believe you’ll benefit from
  • You can fit into your schedule
  • You can do safely and correctly
  • That are affordable
  • That include friends or family

Keep it positive.

Set realistic goals , regularly check your progress , and celebrate your accomplishments. These will help keep you on track.

Keep your eye on the prize.

Focus on the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity:

  • Greater ease doing daily tasks
  • More energy to do the things you enjoy most
  • Improved health
  • Better outlook on life

Keep track of your progress.

The best way to stay motivated is to measure and celebrate your successes. You can find easy-to-use progress forms on the Go4Life website. Use these forms to:

Quick Tip

You’re more likely to keep going if you include activities you enjoy. Try making a contract with a friend to become physically active. It can help you both stick with it.

Download the Tip Sheet from NIH Instittue on Aging.