How to Stay Motivated to Exercise as You Age

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As we age, staying motivated to exercise can become increasingly challenging. Physical changes, busy schedules, and other life circumstances can make it difficult to prioritize fitness. However, staying active is essential for maintaining physical health, preventing chronic illness, and promoting overall well-being. So let's explore how to stay motivated to exercise as you age and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Set realistic goals  

Setting realistic goals is essential for staying motivated to exercise. Start by setting small, achievable goals that align with your fitness level and lifestyle. For example, if you're new to exercise, aim to walk for 10-15 minutes per day and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts over time. Celebrate your progress and reward yourself when you achieve your goals. 

Find activities you enjoy  

Exercise doesn't have to be a chore! Finding activities you enjoy can make staying motivated and maintaining a consistent fitness routine easier. Try different activities, such as swimming, dancing, or yoga, until you find something you enjoy. Consider hiking, gardening, or playing golf if you prefer outdoor activities. The key is to find activities you look forward to that fit your lifestyle. 

Incorporate social support  

Having social support can help you stay motivated to exercise. For example, join a group exercise class, find a workout buddy, or participate in a community fitness program. Social support can provide motivation and accountability, make exercise more enjoyable, and provide an opportunity for socialization. 


Staying motivated to exercise as you age requires setting realistic goals, finding activities you enjoy, and incorporating social support. Remember to celebrate your progress and be kind to yourself when setbacks occur. If you're struggling to stay motivated, seek support from a personal trainer, coach, or mental health professional. By prioritizing your physical health and maintaining a consistent exercise routine, you can enjoy a better quality of life and promote overall well-being. 

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Kimberly Graber joined the YMCA movement in 2019 as a part of our health and wellness team. After growing the personal training program at the Waxahachie YMCA, she became a Regional Personal Training Director overseeing three different branches and currently operates as the Association Director of Personal Training. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services, which has become a true passion for her. She finds joy in helping others realize their full potential - whether that be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.