I was recently talking to my friend Elizabeth Newlin on Facebook about exercising when you do not feel like it. We have all had those moments, probably a lot more than once. Elizabeth has recently started exercising on a regular basis, and she was having one of those days when she just did not want to get going.
So here are some tips for exercising when you do not feel like it. I will save my comment to Elizabeth until the end of number one on the list.
9) Just put on the clothes
There have been many days I did not feel like exercising and just sat on the couch reading my iPad. One thing I do when I know I should be working out is just go put on my shorts and sneakers. Just this small step often will make me get out the door. If I get changed I might as well get out there. I will only need to get back into my regular street clothes anyways.
8) If you do not feel like it, just go for a walk
Don’t feel like exercising? Does your body not want to go running or do a at-home workout of the week? Well this could be your body telling you that it needs a day off to recover, so listen to your body. Instead of putting in a strenuous workout, get changed into some workout clothes and sneakers and just go for a walk. A good 30 minute walk around the neighborhood may be just what the body needs.
7) Don’t exercise, play
Trying to find the motivation to exercise and you just do not feel like it? Then don’t. Instead go out and play with your kids. Play some basketball, play tag, go for a family hike. Not only will this get your body in motion you are also spending quality time with your kids and teaching them good habits too.
6) Refer to the why picture
When you make that decision to get back in shape and see your toes again, I highly recommend that you take a picture of yourself. Don’t worry, no one has to see it. This is your why picture. I would save this picture and keep it handy for a long time to come. When you need some motivation to exercise and just do not feel like it, look at this picture.
5) Have a goal to be working towards
Do you have a goal? Maybe you want to complete your first 5k, or maybe you want to set a personal record in a 10k, or maybe you want to get below a certain weight or body fat percentage. Everyone will have a different goal, but everyone should have something they are working toward. When you need a little motivation pull out this list and look at it. Is staying on the couch going to help you?
4) Wake up 30 minutes early
Here is something I started doing a few months ago that has worked wonders for me. Instead of getting up at my normal time, I started setting the alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier. I have trained myself to get up and walk across the room, shut my clock off and head straight for the bathroom. Being up 30 minutes earlier has seemed to help with my motivation. What else am I going to do do at 4:45am? Five days a week I am out of the door by 5am to exercise.
3) Try music
Most of the time when I exercise I do not listen to music. Every now and then I do get the urge and will throw on my headphones, but usually not. Just last week I had a case where I did not feel like doing a run I had scheduled, so I threw on my headphones and just started listening to music. Just getting the music going through my head helped me get some motivation to get out the door.
2) Have an accountability partner
Find a friend or family member who has the same goals as you with health and exercise. When you don’t feel like working out text them or call them and tell them you feel like taking the day off. Hopefully they will do the same for you as you would for them, and that is remind them of number one on this list.
1) Just think of this simple saying
This is a great saying to keep handy around your house. I have said it to myself enough times that I no longer need it written down. For me when I need to get motivated to exercise I just start saying this to myself. Has there every been a time you did not feel like exercising, but you did it anyways, and then later wished you had not? It almost seems the opposite. Those days you do not feel like it, but do exercise, almost always are the best workouts. So just remind yourself.
Has there ever been a time you didn’t feel like exercising, but did it anyways and you later regretted it? Compare that to – Has there ever been a time you did not feel like exercising so skipped it and later regretted it?
Now get out there and start working on making sure you can see your toes!
EDITED: So wouldn’t you know it, the day I post this it is pouring rain outside. I live in Arizona, it is hardly every raining and I never have to worry about weather. Looking at the rain I did not want to head out the door, but come on, there is no way I could post this today and not go right? Really Really wanted to just stay in though. So I got dressed and just started walking. Two minutes later I started running and sure enough one mile later I felt better than I have felt running in a long, long time and I completed my five miles as planned. Once again #1 on this list showed its wisdom.