How to Motivate Yourself to Workout After Work: Tips and Tricks

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of effort and dedication, especially when it comes to working out. After a long day, it can be challenging to figure out how to motivate yourself to workout after work. However, regular exercise is crucial for our physical and mental well-being, and it’s essential to find ways to stay motivated to work out regularly.

As someone who struggled with finding the motivation to work out after work, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me stay on track. In this article, I will share some of my strategies for motivating myself to exercise after a busy day at work. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting on your fitness journey, these tips will help you stay motivated and committed to your goals.

Here’s a list of the major points to consider when rowing for exercise: Click on any link below to quickly access any of those topics.

How to Motivate Yourself to Workout After Work

Create a workout schedule and stick to it consistently. Set specific goals and track your progress. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy. Use positive affirmations and visualization techniques. Find a workout buddy or join a fitness class for social support. Reward yourself for completing workouts. Prioritize self-care and remind yourself of the benefits of exercising.

That’s the basics of workout motivation for anytime of the day, but now let’s go deeper and really find out how to make working out after work a natural part of your day.

Understanding the Importance of After-Work Workouts

As someone who works a full-time job, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to motivate yourself to workout after a long day at work. However, I also know how important it is to make physical activity a priority in order to maintain good health, maintain muscle tone, maintain a healthy weight, and continue building muscle.

Regular exercise has countless benefits for both the body and mind. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, improve your mood and mental health, and even boost your energy levels.

But why specifically focus on after-work workouts?

  • For many people, it’s the most convenient time to fit exercise into their busy schedules. Plus, it can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work and release any tension or anxiety you may be feeling.
  • Another benefit of after-work workouts is that they can help you establish a consistent routine. By making exercise a regular part of your post-work schedule, you’re more likely to stick with it and see long-term results.

Of course, it’s important to listen to your body and make sure you’re not overexerting yourself after a long day of work. But with proper planning and motivation, after-work workouts can be a great way to prioritize your health and fitness goals.

Setting Realistic Goals

When it comes to motivating yourself to workout after work, setting realistic goals is key. Goals give you something to work towards and help you measure your progress. However, it’s important to set goals that are achievable and realistic. Here are some tips for setting realistic goals:

Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals are goals that you want to achieve over a longer period of time, such as six months or a year. When setting long-term goals, it’s important to be specific and realistic. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” set a specific goal like, “I want to lose 10 pounds in six months.”

It’s also important to make sure your long-term goals are achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and disappointment. Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve in the time frame you’ve set.

Writing down your goals helps you materialize them.

It solidifies your commitment and serves as a constant reminder of what you’re working towards. Additionally, writing down your goals allows you to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments along the way. By putting your goals on paper, you are more likely to take them seriously and actively work towards achieving them. So take the time to write down your long-term goals and refer to them regularly to stay focused and motivated.

Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals are goals that you want to achieve in the near future, such as in in in a week or a month. Short-term goals can help keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment. When setting short-term goals, it’s important to be specific and measurable. For example, instead of saying “I want to exercise more,” set a specific goal like “I want to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week for the next month.”

Again, it’s important to make sure your short-term goals are achievable. Setting goals that are too difficult to achieve can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation.

In summary, setting realistic goals is key to staying motivated to workout after work. By setting specific, achievable goals, you can measure your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.

Creating a Workout Schedule

As someone who works full-time, it can be challenging to find the motivation to exercise after a long day at work. However, creating a workout schedule can help you stay on track and make exercising a regular part of your routine. Here are a few tips on how to create a workout schedule that works for you:

Using a Planner

One of the best ways to create a workout schedule is to use a planner. This can be a physical planner or a digital one, depending on your preference. Start by blocking out time in your schedule for your workouts. Treat these workouts as you would any other appointment or meeting. This will help you prioritize your exercise routine and make it a non-negotiable part of your day.

When creating your workout schedule, be realistic about the amount of time you can dedicate to exercise each day. If you know that you have a particularly busy week coming up, adjust your schedule accordingly. You can also use your planner to track your progress and hold yourself accountable.

Incorporating a Workout Buddy

Another way to stay motivated is to incorporate a workout buddy into your exercise routine. Having someone to exercise with can make the experience more enjoyable and help keep you accountable. You can schedule regular workout sessions with your buddy, or simply check in with each other to make sure you’re both staying on track.

When choosing a workout buddy, look for someone who has similar fitness goals and schedules. This will make it easier to coordinate your workouts and stay motivated together. You can also try joining a fitness class or group to meet new workout buddies.

Overall, creating a workout schedule is a great way to stay motivated and make exercise a regular part of your routine. By using a planner and incorporating a workout buddy, you can stay on track and achieve your fitness goals.

Keeping a Workout Journal

Keeping a workout journal can be beneficial for tracking your progress, identifying trends, and staying motivated. It helps you record your workouts, sets, reps, weights, and any additional notes. Here is a simple template for a workout journal:

Date: [Insert Date]
Workout: [Describe the type of workout, e.g., full-body, upper body, cardio, etc.]

  1. [Exercise 1]: [Insert details, e.g., sets, reps, weight lifted]
  2. [Exercise 2]: [Insert details]
  3. [Exercise 3]: [Insert details]

Notes: [Optional – add any additional notes about the workout, how you felt, challenges, etc.]

Keeping a workout journal for motivating myself to workout after lunch
Or you can get simple like I do. And it’s worth noting that I keep this by my side at each of my workout stations.

Remember to be consistent and update your workout journal after each session. This will help you track your progress over time and make adjustments to your training plan as needed.

Choosing the Right Exercises

When it comes to working out after work, it’s important to choose the right exercises that will help you achieve your fitness goals. Whether you’re hitting the gym or practicing yoga at home, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your workout routine.

  • It’s important to consider what type of exercise you enjoy. If you hate running, then forcing yourself to hit the treadmill after work is not going to be motivating. Instead, try out different types of exercises until you find something you enjoy. This could be weightlifting, swimming, or even dance classes.
  • Consider your fitness goals. Are you looking to build muscle, lose weight, or improve your overall fitness? Different exercises will help you achieve different goals, so it’s important to choose exercises that align with your objectives.
  • Don’t forget to target different muscle groups. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of doing the same exercises every day, but this can lead to muscle imbalances and a lack of progress. Mix up your routine by targeting different muscle groups on different days.
  • Consider your schedule and time constraints. If you only have 30 minutes to work out after work, then a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout may be the best option. Alternatively, if you have more time, you could try a longer yoga or Pilates class.

By considering these factors and choosing the right exercises for your fitness goals and schedule, you’ll be more motivated to work out after a long day at work.

Maintaining Motivation

As someone who works a full-time job, it can be challenging to find the motivation to exercise after a long day at work. However, there are several strategies I use to maintain my motivation and stay on track with my fitness goals.


One of the most effective ways to stay motivated is to hold yourself accountable. I find that setting specific goals for myself and tracking my progress helps me stay on track. For example, I might set a goal to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day after work and keep a log of my workouts. This way, I can see how far I’ve come and feel motivated to keep going.

Another way to hold yourself accountable is to find a workout partner or friend who has similar fitness goals. Having someone to exercise with can make the experience more enjoyable and can help keep you motivated. You can also check in with each other regularly to make sure you’re both staying on track.


Competition can be a great motivator, especially if you’re someone who enjoys a challenge. Setting fitness goals and competing with yourself to achieve them can be a powerful motivator. For example, you might try to beat your personal best time for running a mile or lifting a certain amount of weight.

You can also compete with others by joining a fitness challenge or participating in a race or other athletic event. Having a specific goal to work towards can help keep you motivated and focused.


Finally, building a sense of community around your fitness goals can be a powerful motivator. Joining a fitness class or group can provide a sense of camaraderie and support that can help keep you motivated. You can also find online communities or social media groups focused on fitness to connect with others who share your goals.

Overall, there are several strategies you can use to maintain your motivation to exercise after work. By holding yourself accountable, competing with yourself or others, and building a sense of community, you can stay on track with your fitness goals and feel great about your progress.

Boosting Your Energy Levels

Proper Hydration

I find that staying properly hydrated throughout the day is crucial to maintaining my energy levels. When I’m dehydrated, I feel sluggish and tired, which makes it harder to motivate myself to work out after work. To prevent this, I make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I keep a water bottle at my desk and sip from it regularly, aiming for at least 8 glasses per day.


Eating a balanced diet is also important for keeping my energy levels up. I try to include plenty of vegetables and fruits in my meals, as well as lean protein sources like chicken or fish. I find that when I eat a meal that’s heavy in carbohydrates or sugar, I feel a crash in energy shortly afterward. To avoid this, I aim for a balanced meal that includes all the necessary nutrients.

In addition to my regular meals, I make sure to have a snack before my workout. I find that a small amount of protein and carbohydrates helps to fuel my body and keep my energy levels up. Some of my go-to snacks include:

  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • A handful of almonds and an apple
  • A protein bar

By staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet, I’m able to maintain my energy levels throughout the day and feel motivated to work out after work.

Incorporating Rest and Relaxation

When it comes to working out after a long day at work, it’s essential to incorporate rest and relaxation into your routine. Here are a few ways to do that:

Mindful Breathing

One way to incorporate rest and relaxation into your workout routine is through mindful breathing. Taking deep breaths can help you relax and focus on the present moment, which can be especially helpful if you’re feeling stressed or anxious.

To practice mindful breathing, find a comfortable sitting position and take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe, focus on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath.


Another way to incorporate rest and relaxation into your workout routine is through meditation. Meditation can help you reduce stress, improve your mood, and increase your focus and concentration.

To meditate, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your eyes closed. Focus on your breath and try to clear your mind of any thoughts or distractions. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath.

Incorporating rest and relaxation into your workout routine can help you stay motivated and focused. By taking a few moments to breathe deeply and clear your mind, you can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

Leveraging Technology and Media

Workout at Home

When I’m feeling too tired to go to the gym after work, I find that working out at home is a great alternative. With the right equipment and guidance, you can get a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home.

The fact is that you can actually exercise without a gym membership at all.

Here are some tools that I use to make my home workouts more effective:

  • Resistance bands: These lightweight and portable bands can be used for a variety of exercises and are a great way to add resistance to bodyweight exercises.
  • Yoga mat: A comfortable and non-slip surface is essential for any floor exercises.
  • Dumbbells: Adjustable dumbbells can be used for a variety of exercises and are a great way to add resistance to your workouts.

There are also many online resources that offer home workout routines and guidance. YouTube is a great place to start, with many fitness channels offering free workout videos. Some popular channels include FitnessBlender, Blogilates, and POPSUGAR Fitness.

Using Entertainment

When I’m working out, I find that listening to music or watching TV shows can make the time go by faster and keep me motivated. Here are some ways that I use entertainment to enhance my workouts:

  • Playlist: Create a workout playlist with upbeat songs that motivate you to move. Spotify and Apple Music have many pre-made workout playlists that you can use as inspiration.
  • Podcast/Audiobook: If you’re not in the mood for music, listen to a podcast or audiobook while you work out. This is a great way to learn something new while getting your daily exercise.
  • Netflix/TV show: If you have access to a TV or tablet, watch your favorite TV show or movie while you work out. This is a great way to distract yourself from the physical effort and make the time go by faster.

Overall, leveraging technology and media can be a great way to motivate yourself to work out after work. By creating a comfortable and convenient workout space at home and using entertainment to keep yourself engaged, you can make exercise a regular part of your routine.

Consulting a Professional

If you’re struggling to find motivation to workout after work, consulting a personal trainer may be a good option for you. Personal trainers are experts in fitness and can provide you with tailored workout plans that cater to your specific needs and goals. They can also help keep you accountable and motivated throughout your fitness journey.

When consulting a personal trainer, it’s important to find someone who is knowledgeable and experienced. Look for trainers who have certifications and credentials from reputable organizations. You can also ask for referrals from friends or family members who have worked with personal trainers in the past.

During your initial consultation with a personal trainer, be clear about your goals and any limitations you may have. This will help them create a workout plan that is safe and effective for you. They may also provide guidance on proper form and technique to prevent injury.

Keep in mind that working with a personal trainer may come at a cost. However, some gyms offer free consultations or discounted rates for first-time clients. You can also consider group training sessions or online coaching as more affordable alternatives.

Overall, consulting a personal trainer can be a great way to stay motivated and on track with your fitness goals. With their expertise and guidance, you can achieve the results you desire in a safe and effective manner.

Building a Workout Habit

Creating a workout habit can be challenging, but it is essential for staying motivated to exercise after work. Here are some strategies that have worked for me:

  • Start small: Begin with a workout routine that is easy to maintain, such as 10 minutes of stretching or a short walk. Gradually increase the duration and intensity as your body adjusts to the routine.
  • Schedule your workouts: Set a specific time and day for your workouts and treat them as appointments that cannot be missed. Consistency is key to building a workout habit.
  • Find a workout buddy: Having a friend or coworker to exercise with can provide accountability and motivation to stick to your routine.
  • Reward yourself: After completing a workout, treat yourself to something enjoyable, such as a favorite snack or activity. This positive reinforcement can help reinforce the habit.
  • Track your progress: Keep a log of your workouts and progress to see how far you have come. This can provide motivation to continue the habit.

Building a workout habit takes time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. By starting small, scheduling workouts, finding a buddy, rewarding yourself, and tracking progress, you can create a routine that becomes a natural part of your daily life.

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