Although exercise has both physical and psychological benefits, most older adults do not exercise on a regular basis. Physical therapists need to explore ways to encourage sustained commitment. This article proposes that cognitive factors contribute to older adults' inactivity and that the self‐regulation of exercise maintenance model is a means of promoting exercise. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an intervention guided by the self‐regulation model, is presented as a practical way to help older adults see how thoughts guide their exercise behavior. The article concludes with a hypothetical case in which principles of CBT are used to promote exercise with older adults.