Last Tuesday night I came home from work with all sorts of excuses why I shouldn’t work out. My mind was trying to find every usable excuse. I had a tough workout planned and honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood and felt like I didn’t have the time to workout. I wasted quite a few minutes just debating whether I should workout or not. Have you ever been there before?
When I realized I was just making excuses for myself, I convinced myself that it was the better decision to get my workout in. Before I knew it I had finished the workout and was feeling so much better! Endorphins were pumping and the stress of my work day was gone! Not to mention, I stayed on track with my fitness goals. I was so thankful I didn’t let the million excuses win over and was still able to check my workout off my list.
Convincing yourself to exercise when you don’t feel like it is difficult, but these 5 strategies for finding workout motivation will help you stick to your fitness plan!
Favorite Strategies for Workout Motivation
1. Make an agreement with yourself to just do 5-10 minutes of your workout and then re-evaluate to see if you are up to finishing.
It’s amazing how well this one works for me! This is how I convinced myself to workout last Tuesday. My excuse was “I’m way too tired to workout!” While sometimes this is a valid excuse, I knew that if I gave myself 5-10 minutes I could re-evaluate and decide then if I truly was too tired or if I was making an excuse. Guess what?! I did the entire workout and almost always do when I use this method.
2. Make a list of “Why’s”
Create a list of your whys. Why do you want to exercise? Do you want to feel better chasing your kids around? Are you trying to lose weight? Do you want to be stronger? Or perhaps running a 5K, half marathon, or marathon is on your bucket list?
When all you can think of are your excuses, refer to your written list of whys and remind yourself WHY you had planned to workout in the first place. For me, my big why is the psychological benefits. I love the mental effects that come with exercising and while I know it’s good for me, the mental benefits are something I see almost immediately after starting my workout!
3. Take it one step at a time: Lace up your shoes and turn on your tunes.
Sometimes it’s easier to not even think about the workout. Take it one step at a time. Turn on your workout music or an inspirational podcast. Next, lace up your shoes. I guarantee by the time you get to this point you won’t want to take your shoes back off without finishing your workout!
Have a workout playlist ready to go full of songs that motivate and inspire you. You could also plan to listen to something beside music. Often times when I’m running I would rather listen to a podcast. In this case, have podcasts or audiobooks downloaded and ready to go.
4. Take a hike in the woods or go on a walk.
Sometimes, just changing your routine up a bit will help you with potential burnout. Taking a hike or walk outside might be the way you can convince yourself to get your blood pumping and heart rate up. You might even be surprised that walking around your block for 5-10 minutes might get you feeling good enough to go ahead and do your planned workout. But even replacing your entire workout with a walk or hike in the woods will help you get your steps in for the day and lead an active lifestyle.
5. Sometimes a rest might be truly what you need.
Sometimes, it really is best to take a step back and an extra rest day. If you are extremely sore or completely exhuasted you may need to skip a workout. It’s really important to listen to your body. You could make it an active rest day and do some yoga, stretching, or even foam rolling. If you are feeling very worn down, exhausted, or sick it might serve you well to take the night off and head to bed early. Recovery and sleep are very important elements in a workout plan that cannot be ignored.
Workout Motivation that Works for You
I generally enjoy exercise. It’s a great way for me to reduce stress and I love the release of endorphins. However, this definitely doesn’t mean I’m always excited to start my workouts. I definitely struggle at times to get myself moving. Having a few strategies in mind and your written list of whys will help you stick to your workout plan!
And it might be that you do need an extra rest day. However, I think that generally if you turn on your tunes and promise yourself to “try it” for 5 minutes, you’ll find yourself completing the entire workout. Your body will thank you both mentally and physically!