18 Secrets of Women Who Manage to Work Out Every Day

Updated: Feb. 14, 2023

Don’t hate them—copy them.

women at aerobic dance class
iStock/Susan Chiang

Do it to feel good

If you think that every workout you do needs to be at 110 percent, you may get discouraged when you have an off day. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to go hard every single workout, just get enough in to feel good,” says Sydney Stargatt, 27.

woman listening to music during an outdoor workout

Let it inspire you

Some people find inspiration when they are sweating. It may be one of the best ways to decompress the mind and leave room for new ideas to transpire. “I work out so I can think about other things. I write scripts in my head, produce video, plan my next photo shoot. Working out time is sometimes my most creative time of the day,” says Annmarie Bain, 50. These are the exercises you should modify if you’re over 50.

bike rider in the woods

Choose activities you enjoy

If you hate running and think that’s the only way to get a good work out in, think again! “Doing what you love versus working out just to workout is key. You won’t catch me doing SoulCycle, but I’ll be on my road bike,” says Lolita Cipriano, 37. Check out the best workout shoes for women no matter what exercise you choose to do.

woman doing sit-ups with personal trainer
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Hire some professional help

You can also leave it to the professionals to come up with a workout plan for you and keep you motivated. “Having a trainer means I feel accountable to work out. I won’t miss a workout or a class regardless of the time if I convince myself that the trainer or instructor would be devastated if I missed class,” says Hilary Rainey, 28. Here are secrets personal trainers won’t tell you.

yoga class

Schedule your workouts at the beginning of the week

When you add your workouts to your calendar, you’re less likely to bail. “I put recurring events with 10-minute pop-up reminders on my work Google calendar for Monday and Friday bootcamp and Thursday yoga. It helps me set a timeline for the week,” says Olivia Lin, 28.

cycling class
iStock/Catherine Yeulet

Choose a time when you have the most energy

If you aren’t a morning person and choose to work out then, you’ll find it harder to stay committed. Instead, choose a time that you know you’re usually alert. “The more I work out, the more I want to continue working out and the better it gets so it’s important not to break that stride. I’m a morning person, so I know that harder workouts need to happen in the morning because, after a work day, I’m usually too tired to do anything too strenuous, except yoga, which I can do anytime,” says Bibi Nunez, 36. These 13 people reveal the one thing that made them love exercise.

friends working out on the beach
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Surround yourself with people who GET it

If you’re constantly surrounded by inactive people, chances are you will follow in those same footsteps. Find workout buddies you can bond with over a sweat session and they’ll keep you motivated to move. “You have to spend time with people who are already that way. Find people who inspire you (instructors, influencers, friends) and orbit their circle. You become like the people you spend the most time with!” says Emily O’Connell, 28.

woman lacing up athletic shoe

Stay in the know in the fitness world

If you explore different avenues of fitness, you’ll find it’s easier to kick up your activity level. “I like switching up different types of exercises and classes according to favorite instructors, and working toward a new goal, such as a race,” says Silke Haassemann, 44. Before you head to a new class, just make sure you don’t make these group fitness class mistakes.

stretching before exercise class
iStock/Cathy Yeulet

Explore the options that are out there

Depending on where you live, you may find that the fitness world is thriving with lots of chances to get fit. “NYC is awesome for this as there are abundant studios and classes and clubs and free workouts! If you overslept and missed your workout, there’s a lunch option; if you couldn’t make it for lunch, there’s a night workout option,” says Bernadette Chan, 31.

woman stretching before run

Have some healthy #bodygoals

It doesn’t hurt if you have a specific aesthetic goal such as toning up your legs or losing some weight. ”I always remember the feeling of accomplishment I get after a workout. That and I keep in mind that I’m working toward getting a bigger butt!” says Kristine Santiago, 30. If you’re looking for another way to love exercise, science finally found a simple trick to look forward to your workouts.

woman doing cobra pose

Use it for an energy boost

Believe it or not, exercise can replace your morning cup of coffee if you do it right. “Exercise is my fuel. I make sure to move first thing in the morning, especially on my busiest days. It clears my mind, gives me lasting energy, and enables me to be more productive. On days where I need more rest or I’m limited in time, I make sure to simply move, whether that means squats in my apartment or a series of sun salutations. I believe that success is DRENCHED in sweat,” says Michele Gordon, 27.

woman sitting on bed putting on athletic shoes

Exercise at home—not just the gym

Don’t restrict yourself to JUST the gym to workout. You can easily get fit at home using minimal equipment. “I go to sleep in my workout clothes so I just have to roll out of bed and put on my sneakers. I work out from home five days a week for 30-minutes and go through phases of going to the gym, as well, a couple days a week,” says Katie Ervin, 29. If you have a treadmill, you can easily try out the 12-3-30 workout. Here are the best workouts for people who hate exercise.

woman jogging outside

Use it as a natural stress reliever

Life can get hectic sometimes, but all you need is alone time to sweat the stress away. “I work out to keep my sanity. Working out keeps my mind, body, and soul balanced. Working out is up to 60 minutes of just you with no outside world noise,” says Amanda Margusity, 29.

woman doing plank pose

Get addicted to the endorphins

There’s a reason people thank a “runner’s high” for a good workout. Endorphins play a big role in the way exercise makes you feel. “The rush you feel while running, and the strength you feel after accomplishing your goal for the night—there’s nothing like it,” says Rosa Guerrero, 27. Here are some other ways you can boost your endorphins naturally.

women walking on an outdoor path

Change up your scenery and head outdoors

Being outdoors is not only great for breathing fresh air, but it’s the perfect place to get your body moving and your mind in a happy, calm mindset. “I bike just about every day. First thing in the morning it clears my head and sets my mind for the day. I love to see the sunrise and of course, seeing the occasional wildlife makes me happy,” says Jill Ann Zocco, 44.

woman holding a plank pose

Set aside a few days out of the week to be active

Even if you can’t get a full hour of exercise in, it’s still important to move one way or another. “It’s gotten to the point where if I don’t work out for more than two days in a row, I need to do something like push-ups or else I’ll feel off,” says Laura Dolce, 27. If the body benefits don’t propel you to get moving, learn the ways exercise makes your brain better.

woman on exercise machine
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Don’t put pressure on yourself

If a workout feels like “work,” it’s not a bad thing to listen to your body and NOT exercise that day. “Just get there. If you’re still not happy about it within 10 minutes of beginning, give yourself permission to leave and come back another time. Chances are you’ll want to keep going. But if you don’t, never punish yourself,” says Caitlyn Seitz, 28.

kickboxing class

Form habits that stick

Sometimes it can be as simple as the monetary aspect to get you going. “Everyone has a different way of forming habits, but for me, it was about the monetary incentive—as in, signing up for a class that I am paying for versus paying for a gym membership, and forcing myself to schedule [the class] once a week,” Alex Miller, 33. Next, check out the myths you shouldn’t believe about fitness after 50.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest