Motivation and commitment to exercise

Motivation to exercise or move regularly can be challenging, especially if we are sore or we’re just not very good at the exercise we’ve been prescribed. We all intend to do exactly what we need to do, yet so often we “fall off the wagon” and our commitment goes with it.

We’ve all been there. We’re exercising regularly then something happens – and injury, a new job, baby, relationship…..COVID… and we stop.

Without commitment our best intentions become just that, an intention. Intentions without commitment do not result in the desired outcome and so we become frustrated and quit the exercise/activity because we can’t see the point. Then, we feel guilty or start having issues from not exercising – pain, stiffness, sluggishness. So, we join the gym, start running or walking, start pilates, return to physio and find our commitment again… until something happens again… and the cycle continues.

When we ask those who somehow manage to exercise almost continuously through significant events (like those described above), a common comment is “if you really love it…. you’ll make it work”

One of the most important factors in maintaining commitment to exercise (or anything really), is that it should make you feel better for doing it. It should “fill your bucket”. Let Physio Tory explain.


So once we know what we like to do, how we would like to move/exercise regularly, how do we get that commitment and motivate ourself to form the habits we need for long lasting change? By setting goals.


SMART goal setting is key.


What exactly do you want to do? Walk around Morialta? Run the City to Bay? Join the local trail walking group?

What is stopping you from doing that right now? List the reasons. It may be pain around a joint, cardio vascular fitness, strength issues. It may also be, time issues with the kids, or caring for an elderly parent. It may be the new job that is taking all your spare time. Once you work all of this out you can build a specific plan towards your goal. Your physio can help with this.


Activity is measurable. Being able to walk/ run/ stand/ move for a certain period of time is a clear indication of progress. It will help to motivate towards the next goal.


If you can not yet run, lets not make your short term goal a marathon. Lets start with 10-15 minutes of running and build up from there. Similarly with walking. If you can’t walk at all, then being able to walk 30 minutes continuously is a huge step. Lets start with 5-10 minutes. Regardless of your goal, you physio can help you balance your expectations and realities.


Again lets focus on what you can truly achieve. If you have sprained your ankle, you can not run a marathon the next week. It is not realistic and threatens to put you out of running and exercising for a long time.


As it sounds this is putting a time frame on your goals. You know exactly what you are working towards and when you should expect to achieve it.

Exercise classes at Vital Core


Sometimes we struggle exercising at home. Attending a class helps by providing social support and accountability, both we need when we are getting back into exercise. We all work better if we have someone else relying on us to be there. All of the classes at Vital Core are lead by our physiotherapists and can be tailored to the individual. have a look at our class timetable and then speak to us to get you started.

What you can do at Vital Core to help you reach your exercise goals?

Be consistent with your appointments.

Consistency with your appointments is crucial. It is easy to start cancelling appointments as you start feeling good. However your physio management plan to ensure you achieve your goal. Skipping appointments is a sure fire way to limit your outcome.

Record your progress

A tick on the calendar (month to a view) on the days you do your exercises, aim to get ticks on every day.

Our app based exercise system ‘Physitrack’ allows your to record each time you complete your exercises. Aim to have a ‘dot’ on every day between physio appointments.

Motivation and Accountability Poster (MAP). Available at Vital Core Reception.

Motivation and accountability poster.

Write your goals at the bottom as a constant reminder of what you are working towards. Then, place the poster in a visible location. This is a non-dated, week to week poster which you place stickers on the days you do your required exercises. It recognises that to achieve a big goals you just need consistency and commitment. Before long you will start to notice the changes in your self and be proud of your commitment.

So what are you working towards? What would you like to be able to do but can’t? What stops you?

Talk to us, we can help you get back on track.