Seven ways to motivate yourself when you really don’t feel like exercising

Let’s face it: more often than not, most of us are looking for an excuse to skip a work out. Whether it’s a headache, a stomach ache, or too much work, there’s always something stopping us from getting active.

When you think about it, one hour is only 4% of your day, so you can imagine how little time it takes to run around the block a couple times to get your heart-rate up. The time it takes to think of an excuse of why not to work out could be much better spent by actually working out!

It’s way too easy to fall into the trap of excuses, excuses and more excuses. Once you allow yourself to skip a work out when you know you had the time or the energy, it’ll become your routine, which could ultimately lead to unhealthy habits and poor cardiovascular health (especially if you combine that with unhealthy eating!).

Of all people, I know how easy it can be to stay curled up on the couch in cozy pajamas watching House Hunters instead of moving your body. I’ve definitely fallen into the mindset that it’s okay to miss workouts for days on end, but no more! Let’s motivate each other to get moving and do something with our bodies, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

After many years of prOCrastination (which is watching the OC instead of doing important things, duh!) I’ve developed a few tricks I use to nudge myself into exercise mode. Read the list below to help yourself get moving despite your busy schedule!

1. Put your workout clothes on

As simple as it sounds, throwing on your workout clothes as soon as you get home really gets you in the mindset to exercise. Even if you don’t work out right away, it makes it way harder to deny the fact that you’re about to head to that spin class because you’ve already gotten changed for the act.

2. Buy cute workout clothes

In the same vein, the clothes you throw on as soon as you get home should make you feel amazing, because who wants to go for a run in public wearing something ugly?! I know I don’t have to tell you about where to find athletic gear — Lululemon is where it’s at!

3. Promise yourself you’ll only do a quick workout

This is where the old bait and switch comes in. Yes, lying is bad! But is it so bad when it’s for a good cause? Tell your brain that you’ll only do one lap around the block, and then push yourself to do a few more once you’ve done that. The easy target will make it easier to get started and then once you’ve begun, the endorphins will kick in and you’ll have no problem going a bit further!

4. Start out small

On a similar note, if you’re really not feeling up to any aerobic activity, start out with something low intensity like a bit of yoga or stretching. Once you’ve started that, you could keep working up to something more intense or if you’re really not feeling it, at least you’ve done something!

5. Grab a buddy

If you really can’t motivate yourself, get a friend to do it for you. If you make plans with your pals to workout after work, it makes it a lot harder to bail out because you’re not just bailing on yourself anymore. You can also push each other to go harder and give each other notes on form — all around, friends are just awesome!!

6. Reward yourself with something other than food

For obvious reasons, it’s not too helpful to reward yourself with your favourite ice cream sundae post-workout, but there are other things you can gift yourself with for doing a great job in the gym. Watch your favourite silly reality TV show, have a cup of herbal tea or have a long, luxurious bubble bath. It’ll keep you moving towards an end goal during your workout and help you unwind afterwards — win-win!

7. Think about all the amazing benefits you’ll reap!

Sometimes, the endorphins, muscle tone and fun that comes with a workout is enough to motivate me to grab my running shoes. Never let yourself forget how good it feels to run a 5K, do a hot yoga class or really feel the burn during weight training. There’s nothing like that rush, so never lose sight of it!

Do you guys have any tips for staying motivated to work out? Let me know in the comments!

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