We all know how important it is to exercise—it reduces stress, boosts energy, and helps us sleep better at night.  However, as beneficial as exercise can be, most of us struggle to stick with it in the long run.  To help solve this dilemma, we’ve rounded up five tips to help you start a workout routine and stay motivated.

1. Have a Realistic Goal

Having a goal is like having a map: you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there.  Focus on what drives you to exercise and if your game plan is realistic.

2. Make It Fun

It’s hard to pass up an exercise that brings a smile to your face, whether it be kickboxing, jumping rope, or bicycling.  The more fun you have, the more likely you’ll stick with your workout.

3. Prepare in Advance

Getting everything ready ahead of time can make working out less of a hassle.  Leave your gym bag by the door and have a post-workout meal ready.

4. Get Help from a Personal Trainer

If you find that you still have trouble sticking with exercise, then you should see a personal trainer.  They’ll give you firsthand experience that can make a difference in reaching your goals.

5. Don’t Give Up!

It’s understandable to get frustrated when you don’t see results.  But it’s also important to remember that strength takes time to build.  You’ll get there by staying consistent with your workout.