Our 13 Most Motivating Fitness Posts of 2021

Our 13 Most Motivating Fitness Posts of 2021
Photo: Angelica Alzona

You can start a new fitness habit right now, if you want. You can come back to your favourite activities after years away. You can even turn your living room into a gym if you want to work out without leaving the house. And here, with some of our favourite fitness posts from 2021, we’re going to help you do that.

Get excited about your comeback

Photo: Picsfive, Shutterstock Photo: Picsfive, Shutterstock

Been away from the gym for a while? Not a problem. We have a guide to making a comeback that includes realistic expectations for your first day, and a path toward getting back to what you were doing before. Ultimately you will regain your strength, skill, and stamina, so what are you waiting for?

Do a workout with no weights

Photo: BigBlueStudio, Shutterstock Photo: BigBlueStudio, Shutterstock

Bodyweight workouts — that is, with no barbells or dumbbells, just your own body — are a gateway to fitness for a lot of us. No gym membership needed, just a sturdy pull-up bar, which you can probably find at a park if you aren’t ready to splurge on one at home. This Reddit-famous workout will work every muscle in your body without weights, and it has a starting point for every fitness level.

Fill out your home gym

Photo: Jason Finn, Shutterstock Photo: Jason Finn, Shutterstock

Or if bodyweight workouts aren’t your style, maybe you’d like to check out our guide to home gym essentials. If I had to start my home gym from scratch in a limited space, I’d go with the first three items from that list: some kettlebells, a pullup bar, and a spin bike. Read on for more of our recommendations.

Be inspired by the Ripped Chef

Photo: Provided by Andre Rush Photo: Provided by Andre Rush

Andre Rush does 2,222 pushups every day. Andre Rush is super jacked. And Andre Rush is a chef by profession, not a pro athlete. Read our interview with him here to learn how he juggles work, fitness, and healthy eating — and the importance of listening to your body.

Try your hand at a speed bag

Photo: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock Photo: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock

Looking for a small, simple thing you can work on to help you get better at, well, everything? The speed bag is a time-honoured boxer’s tool for developing strength, speed, and hand-eye coordination — and it’s satisfying when you finally get the hang of it.

Go for a walk, and count it as exercise

Photo: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock Photo: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

Walking is an easy intro to the world of exercise. It seems like it should be easy, and you don’t need any special equipment to get out the door. But if you can keep up a brisk pace, it absolutely counts as cardio. And who knows, you might get addicted to hiking or running as a side effect.

Stick to your workouts as the seasons change

Photo: AlexMaster, Shutterstock Photo: AlexMaster, Shutterstock

If you had an easy time staying active in the summer, but find yourself slacking off in winter, try these tips for keeping up your motivation as the seasons change. Among them: Find wintery activities you love, and consider signing yourself up for a race (or something else you’ll look forward to) in the spring.

Become one of those morning go-getters

Photo: Eak.Temwanich, Shutterstock Photo: Eak.Temwanich, Shutterstock

Look, the morning can be a time to groan and hit the snooze button, or it can be a time to get the endorphins flowing and start the day feeling like you’ve already accomplished something. Try these tips to make morning workouts enjoyable and productive, instead of a sleepy slog.

Try suspension training

Illustration: Angelica Alzona Illustration: Angelica Alzona

At-home workouts can benefit from a few simple tools. When you’re scoping out your options, don’t forget suspension trainers, the space-saving workhorse of many an apartment gym. When you hang up one of these strappy trainers, you’re still doing bodyweight workouts, but you now have dozens more options, especially for upper body exercises.

Set a running goal that isn’t a marathon

Photo: arda savasciogullari, Shutterstock Photo: arda savasciogullari, Shutterstock

Do you love running? Do you hate the idea of doing it for four hours straight? Good news: There are tons of goals you can set for your training that aren’t just chasing progressively longer distances. Try a fast mile, an odd-distance race, or just join a group that runs for fun.

Ask yourself these questions before skipping a workout

Photo: Studio Romantic, Shutterstock Photo: Studio Romantic, Shutterstock

Ever feel tempted to skip a workout? We all do. Sometimes an extra rest day is exactly what your body needs, but other times, there’s more going on. Maybe we’re bored with our routine or we’ve forgotten how exercise can make us feel good after a stressful day. Try asking yourself these questions to figure out your real motives, and to make a plan for getting back on track if needed.

Kickbox online

Photo: Rolando Otero, Shutterstock Photo: Rolando Otero, Shutterstock

Still not ready to leave your house, but want to try a martial arts class? We have the rundown on online martial arts training here, including what to look for in an instructor, and what these online options can and can’t do for you.

Watch these inspiring movies

Screenshot: Pumping Iron, Lionsgate, Fair Use Screenshot: Pumping Iron, Lionsgate, Fair Use

Still need another push to get going? Try our list of movies that will motivate you to hit the gym. From the Schwarzenegger classic Pumping Iron to the tales of Paralympic champions in Rising Phoenix, you’re guaranteed to find a film that will light a fire inside you to want to be the best you can be.

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