Physical fitness is one of the major stepping stones to taking care of your mind and body. Getting enough exercise can help you ward off illness, achieve mental clarity, and help to boost your self-esteem. With all of these great benefits, why is it still so difficult for many of us to stick to a workout routine?

Fitness Doesn’t Come Easy — At First

The same is true: everyone has to start somewhere. But with the rise of social media, it’s hard to imagine that some of the #fitnessgoals posters you see on Instagram were ever spotted without their signature six-pack.

How does one become a morning person, let alone a person that gets up at the crack of dawn solely to exercise? The answer is surprisingly obvious.

The Secret To Sticking To It

Wonder how you can find the motivation to lose pounds and improve your motivation to workout? The answer is exercise. Sound counterintuitive? There’s a science behind it.

A study conducted in 2016 revealed that the more you exercise, the more willpower you can gain—which would encourage you to stick with your routine.

In the study, a group of participants were instructed to walk or run faster than they were comfortable with and afterward were asked questions regarding a delayed reward or instant gratification. The result was rather remarkable.

Exercise Boosts Willpower

The overwhelming trend was that the more a study participant pushed their limits in exercise, the more likely they were to choose a delayed gratification instead of instant.

“Simply showing up to the workouts was strongly correlated with improvements in self-controlled decision-making,” stated Michael Sofis, one of the study’s authors.

It turns out that showing up is really opening the door to getting physically fit. Getting into the habit is literally half the battle. The rest is up to you!