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5 Ways To Stay Motivated To Exercise

3rd May 2023

3rd May 2023

By Beth Shelper

Struggling to get into the swing of exercising? Need some workout motivation tips, or some guidance on how to stay motivated at the gym? Say no more. The Innermost Team have got you covered.

Why do we work out?

When you workout, generally, you are doing it out of choice. We workout because we are aware of the benefits this has on our physical and mental health: it is not because you have to. We all have our individual fitness goals, whether that is to get more toned, lose weight, have more energy... the list goes on. You decided to sweat lots, strain your muscles and raise your heart rate. Some of us even pay for the privilege of doing this.

There are many reasons why we choose to workout. These range from wanting to look better, all the way to wanting to live longer. Some of us workout because it allows us to sit down all day at work and not feel guilty about eating pie for dinner – a great reason, in our opinion.

Although, despite working out being our choice, and despite having goals and reasons for it, we often think that we would rather be somewhere else when we are exercising. Therefore, we need help. We need to be able to distract ourselves from the pain in our muscles and the sweat in our eyes. So what can we do?

Grab some company

Working out can be lonely- especially if you are just getting started. Facing a run at the crack of dawn with nothing but aching legs to keep us company is not easy.

But getting fit should not be like this. It can be fun. As the old saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and as a result, group exercise can be great for many of us who struggle to work out on our own. Group exercise provides support, structure and accountability, and seeing others working hard will push us to work beyond our perceived limitations.

If you’ve got no one to go with – how about joining an exercise class at your local gym? There are plenty of sports and options to choose from and you never know, you may just meet someone there that can become your dedicated gym partner.

Mix up your routine

Do not fall into the rut of doing the same workouts all the time. Naturally, you will get bored and the prospect of that specific workout will pretty much fill you with dread. If you can’t face another second on the exercise bike, try the treadmill or cross trainer instead.

If there is a piece of equipment or exercise that you hate – don’t do it! No one is forcing you, and your fitness journey is all about you. It’s important to remember that what works for one person won’t work for another - there are plenty of other exercises out there and no rush, so take your time, do your research and find ones that you enjoy.

Reward yourself, often

No, we don’t mean by grabbing a takeaway on your way home from the gym. When you exercise, naturally our body releases endorphins – feel good hormones that give you that post-workout buzz. If that isn’t enough of an award, schedule in something exciting or relaxing after your workouts: see a friend, watch your favourite film, grab a smoothie from your favourite café or maybe buy yourself some new gym wear to get yourself excited for your next trip.

One of our favourite things to do to get us in the mood for a workout is whip up a deliciously flavoured protein shake to drink on our way to the gym. Why not try The Strong Protein and start implementing a supplement drink motivation into your routine.

It’s the little things that make a difference and can turn a once chore-like activity into a healthy, enjoyable habit.

Listen to music

No matter what your goal is, when you exercise, your environment can really make a difference to how well you train. It has been suggested that music has a real impact on how motivated you feel. It also distracts us from pain and tiredness and decreases our awareness of how we feel. Music enables us to push harder, work for longer and actually do our bodies some good.

Need some playlist inspiration? How about these…

Count Your Reps

Whether you decide to count down to the finish line or count how many reps you’ve done in total in that session, quantifying your workouts is a great way to feel productive and accomplished. Having a goal to work towards is a great way to motivate and push yourself to achieve your fitness goals.


It’s important not to feel disheartened if you’re feeling unmotivated to workout – it happens to us all, and is only natural. Try some of our recommendations on days when getting in your exercise is just that little bit harder, and we promise that you won’t regret making the effort to do so.

If you’re lacking energy as well as motivation, why not try incorporating The Energy Booster into your routine? Packed with Branched Chain Amino acids, this supplement is designed to up your energy levels and give you that all importance exercise motivation. Let's go!

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more