This article originally appeared on Motto.
One of the biggest factors in achieving your health goals is finding the motivation to work out and keep your fitness top of mind. When life gets busy, it’s easy to let fitness fall by the wayside and not make it a priority. But once you find ways to keep yourself motivated and develop healthy habits, it can become a lifestyle that will enable you to see results and improve your overall well-being. Still, even as a former professional beach volleyball player, and now a Fitbit ambassador, carving out time to exercise hasn’t always been easy. That’s why I’ve depended on these five tips to keep me motivated throughout the years.[brightcove:5315457854001 default]
1. Develop a workout structure
Scheduling out your workout helps you stick to it and leaves little room for opting out at the last minute. A flexible routine that gives too much choice will be the thing that you cut out of your schedule first. I personally like to write it down. If you treat your workout like an appointment, it will help you stay committed and develop habits over time, which will make it easier to continue building exercise into your routine. When you might feel tired or you’re not seeing dramatic results, a structure will help keep you going.
2. Figure out your favorite activities
Staying motivated is infinitely easier when you find something you love to do. Some people enjoy working out at a gym and lifting weights, while others might find more joy from running outside or practicing yoga. While it’s important to try and incorporate both strength training and cardio into your workouts, it’s equally important to determine which forms of exercise you love most, so staying active becomes less of a chore and more of a source of happiness.
3. Sport the right gear
It may seem like a minor factor, but having the right clothing and gear can work wonders when it comes to motivation. I love using a heart rate monitor — keeping an eye on my heart rate zones is a great way to maintain intensity and make real-time adjustments to ensure I’m hitting my goals. I also enjoy finding some cute tights or sneakers to help boost my mood. I think when you look good, you feel good, and will find that much more reason to get moving.
4. Find a workout buddy
Finding a partner in crime to work out with is another great way of staying accountable. Making plans with someone else adds more of an obligation and makes it harder to consider taking the day off. That’s why my husband Laird and I make it a point to exercise together.
5. Make rest and recovery a priority
To stay motivated and get your best workout, you have to give your muscles and body a chance to recover. So don’t overdo it and be sure to get enough sleep, which is just as important for your health as exercise.
Gabrielle Reece is a world-renowned athlete, New York Times bestselling author, wife and mother. She’s a former professional beach volleyball player and was Nike’s first female spokesperson. She has a passion for healthy living and fitness, which has shaped her career and makes her a popular leader in the world of health and wellness.