How to Be Motivated to Work Out Alone

Working out alone is great, at times. Sometimes it’s hard to push yourself to do the bare minimum of putting on your workout clothes because you feel lazy. Or, you simply have always worked out with friends or in classes, and now you are forced to stay inside your house.

Work Out Alone

With the right mindset and tools by your side, you will not only feel more prepared for your at-home workout but will feel more motivated to participate in it.

Whether you work out once a day or twice a week, these tips will help you feel ready to tackle beginner or intermediate level workouts.

8 Useful Ways to Stay Motivated to Work out Alone

Below are a couple of ways to push yourself to work out alone and actually do it (and enjoy it) including:

  1. Adopt the right mindset
  2. Create a scheduled time to work out weekly.
  3. Create a good workout playlist on your phone
  4. Workout with a fitness instructor (Watch fitness instructor tutorials)
  5. Create a designated workout space or gym
  6. Buy the right equipment
  7. Recall the benefits of working out
  8. Workout with friends over a video call

1. Adopt the Right Mindset

When most people think of being motivated, they typically say to themselves that they just aren’t motivated enough to complete a task. This is common in working out, as there are so many factors that go into actually doing it, such as having enough energy, time after or before work, or getting enough sleep at night.

However, that mindset may be holding you back because it’s actually the opposite of what people usually think which is: motivation, action, then results.

Right Mindset

You have to first choose to do an action, regardless of your level of motivation because if you always depended on your motivation level, you’d never get anything substantially done. This is the mindset you need to work out alone in order to meet a certain fitness goal.

Intrinsic motivation is a term that describes the direction of a person’s behavior and their level of self-determination. Self-determination how much a person values a certain task and makes their own choices based on it.

A study showed that when students experienced the core satisfaction of the activity they value, they showed intrinsically motivated behavior.
This proves that doing the action first creates the motivation after. And it’s a continuous cycle.

The results from another study showed that mindset switching has significant effects on behavioral choices in terms of indulgence, such as focusing on want behavior and thus sacrificing should behavior.

This can relate to fitness-related activity as people feel guilty if they don’t work out because they know they should do it. If you switch to a “want” mentally, meaning having a desire to work out, not an inherited need, it can lessen your resistance to working out.

As a result, it can increase your motivation by taking some pressure off of yourself and expectations for how hard you need to go.

Working out alone can be hard if you always had a buddy to motivate you. These mindset hacks can allow you to depend on yourself to get a workout in and influence you to do more.

2. Create a Scheduled Time to Work out Weekly.

In your phone reminders, lock in a realistic time where you know you’ll be free to do it. Download a To-Do list app and enable notifications to remind you to work out at a certain time.

Better yet, by crossing off the task when you’re done, it is proven to release dopamine, as brain chemicals are large motivational factors that can encourage you to want to work out again.

create workout sched

Experts argue that through the release of dopamine, it modulates both learning and motivation because you’ll want to do that one thing that made you happy again. Such as working out.

Some fitness apps such as FitOn allows you to book a time and a certain type of workout video to do weekly. Better yet, it’s free and it automatically ingrains a time in your phone’s calendar to show on your home screen’s calendar app.

Google recently launched a calendar widget, showing the day and activity to be done that day. It’s also aesthetically pleasing.

If you have to put off a day because you’re exhausted or are doing overtime at work, not to worry. You can reschedule on your apps or have a weekly schedule already set.

Try not to get in the habit of avoidance though, if you’re not busy that day and just don’t feel like it. Push yourself!

3. Create a Good Workout Playlist on Your Phone

Music is proven to make you feel good through the release of happy chemicals in your brain. But, what’s interesting about this research on music and working out is that the anticipation of listening to music can also release dopamine.

Workout Playlist

If you create a playlist that you love, it can motivate you to work out to it because you get even more dopamine released in your brain.
Also, a great way to feel increased motivation is having a full out dance party in your room, alone. If this sounds weird to you, it’s not!

Dancing is proven to make you feel happy through the study of neuroscience.

Experts argue that joy comes through dancing, and even more so with a great playlist on.

Better yet, while you blast tunes you can dance in the mirror, even if you don’t know how to – which is the sole benefit of being alone! No one will be able to judge you and you can let loose.

Having a feel-good playlist is a motivator for many people, as it’s tough to just workout to silence, or a tv in the background when you are feeling subpar.

The brain chemical benefits are standalone when it comes to motivating yourself to work out. Have fun and enjoy yourself with music, as it’s better when you are alone.

4. Workout With a Fitness Instructor

Even though you can’t physically be in the same room in a workout class, you can do it from home by following along to a virtual class.

If you have always gone to classes and are a newbie from at-home workouts, not to worry. The fitness instructor will guide you step by step.

Just make sure that you read the video description to be prepared with all the resources or tools you need during the tutorial.

Workout With a Fitness Instructor

As a bonus, you’ll feel generally more motivated during the workout to have someone yell at you from your phone or laptop screen. When you’re just working out alone with music, it can sometimes feel hard to keep going If there’s no one but you to push yourself.

There’s no shame in needing some external encouragement, especially if working out alone isn’t your thing, or if you’re just getting in the groove of it.

FitOn is an excellent app mentioned above that has plenty of fitness instructors for any type of workout you want. Whether it’s doing yoga, Pilates, cardio Pilates, or specific body workouts, the app has it all.

5. Create a Designated Workout Space or Gym

Working out from home is hard, especially if you don’t have a gym. This is why it’s important to make a workout space big enough to move in.

Make sure you have arm and legroom if you need to extend certain body parts for the type of workout you are participating in.

Consider leaving your desk area where you do work, and workout in another room. This will trick your brain into thinking it’s time to work out, instead of having your computer nearby, that will consciously be reminding you of your upcoming work week.

You can simply order a mat from Amazon for floor work workouts to become your designated spot.

Basements or hallways are useful and usually are spacious enough to lay down a yoga mat with a couple of workout tools beside you.

Western University created “cardio pods” for students when the recreational center was open during COVID. They simply had one machine, a mat, and weights that students could book for an hour.

At home, you could recreate a similar pod, and you’ll become motivated once you see how well you put it together.

Amazon carries the best mats for home workouts. This All Purpose Mat is thick enough to support your body weight during intense workouts, or light yoga.

HemingWeigh 1 inch Thick Yoga Mat,...
  • All purpose 70" long 23" wide mat, made with high density foam, 1" thick anti-tear premium foam material
  • Thoroughly engineered to support all types of yoga routines; Non slip feature allows you to maintain perfect balance; Prevents sprains and fractures due to falling; Anti tear allows durability for Vinsaya and other active yoga forms; Will last for a very long time
  • Travel yoga mat; Bring to the studio or stay at home; The easy strapping system and lightweight feature allows less time and effort to roll and carry with you wherever you want to go; Enjoy the serenity of indoor yoga or reconnect with nature through outdoor yoga; Ideal for any setting
  • Long enough for stretching; Wide enough for movement; Great for Ashtanga yoga and even Hatha yoga; No more yoga poses off the mat
  • Eco friendly and easy to clean; Made with soft, flexible, and non toxic NBR material to keep your health at ease; The smart choice for nature caring yogis like yourself

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Buy the Right Equipment

Working out at home alone doesn’t’ have to be a drag, especially when you have all the essential fitness gear to complete a workout.

You can focus all your energy on the workout at hand such as weights, dumbbells, resistant bands, or ankle weights (you can buy multi-purpose ones on Amazon) to work towards your fitness goals.

workout tools

Combining cardio and strength training is the ideal at-home workout since you are toning your muscles, and burning fat in the same workout period.

If you don’t have a treadmill, it is advised to at least go on a walk around the block to reap the walking benefits. A study showed that ten weeks of brisk walking improved cardio-respiratory functioning and overall quality of life in patient-reported findings.

By having this equipment by your side, you’ll likely feel more motivated to work out since you invested money into the high-quality fitness product.

Amazon sells Ankle Weights for a glute burn, or arm burn workout right in your own home.

No products found.

7. Recall the Benefits of Working Out

The number one benefit of working out is lowering stress. Studies show that engaging in physical activity is associated with decreased distress.

Experts argue that stressful life experiences can have significant effects on the brain physiologically, including the pulmonary nervous system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and the immune system.

Stress in these areas can affect other places, such as the mind-gut connection. For example, immune cells can affect the brain, altering mood and cognition, which could lead to developing depression.

If not managed with regular exercise, chronic or constant cortisol levels can result in damage to mental and physical health.

In the same study of fitness on stress reduction, it showed that participants who exercised felt greater sense of self-esteem.

So, the more you exercise, the less psychological and physical symptoms you’ll feel. Physical activity an excellent natural tool to fight or cope with mental health disorders including depression and anxiety.

Exercise also has significant benefits on your physical health, by combatting diseases or bodily illnesses. Regular physical activity can prevent developing heart disease, cancer, pulmonary diseases, or diabetes.

With these benefits in mind, you’ll likely want to be working out every day, no matter if you’re by yourself or on a zoom video with your friends.

8. Workout with Your Friends Over Zoom

Whether you like to work out alone or with friends, there’s always the option to facetime or zoom call them to work out together.

A study showed that combining social interaction with strength training enhanced their well-being, and they concluded it gave them various physical, mental, and social benefits to their mood and motivation levels.

Workout with Your Friends Over Zoom

More specifically, the self-reported findings suggested they felt increased self-efficacy, as social interaction was the common key factor underlying this feeling.

Even if you’re alone, you don’t have to be. Simply set up a time with your friends and join an app like Zoom to accommodate more than two people during a workout session.

Wrapping Up

Having the motivation to workout comes with some organizational skills and dedication to feeling better by fitting in a workout in your schedule.

By following these reminders outlined above, you’ll want to work out more since it has numerous health benefits physically and mentally.

Knowing that you don’t need to be motivated to work out alone is comforting because there is a lot of misconceptions about how to go about something you don’t feel motivated to do at all.

Remember that choosing to work out alone, or with friends will make you feel motivated and better yet, joyful that you decided to do it.

Comment if you have done any of these strategies to increase your motivation to work out. Share this article with your friends who may find value in these tips.

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.