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Most days, sitting on the couch relaxing sounds much more appealing than a workout, but there are simple ways to help you exercise when you don’t feel like exercising!
When I woke up this morning, all I wanted to do was hit the snooze button, roll back over, and go back to sleep. And for many years, I did just that. I skipped my workouts when I felt like it because, well, exercise can feel like torture sometimes. It’s something we try to do because we know it’s good for us, but it’s so easy to skip your workout when you are low on time, low on energy, and just not feeling it.
The temptation is real, beckoning us to stay in bed, sink into the couch, or just watch one more show.
But, over the years, I have built up a bag of tricks that I pull out to push the excuses aside and keep exercise as a regular habit in my life (though I do still skip the occasional workout!). Here is how I still exercise when I don’t feel like exercising.
How to Exercise When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising
Phone A Friend
When you don’t have the motivation to get yourself up and moving, getting a friend involved can give you that extra boost you need. I probably would have skipped at least a dozen runs over the last year if I didn’t have my mom expecting me to show up and run with her. Find a workout buddy you enjoy spending time with and you are much more likely to want to get up and move!
Remind Yourself of the Benefits
I’m not just talking about the general (but very important) benefits of improving your overall health. I’m talking about the more immediate benefits of giving you more energy, fighting stress, and improving your mood. Exercise is like a wonder drug and it is incredibly underutilized! It’s hard to get started, but I have never ever regretted a workout.
Try Something New
I am a creature of habit and I love routine, but sometimes routines just get boring. Do something that actually sounds fun – go rollerblading, break out your old hula hoop, play an active game on the Wii, or just throw on some of your favorite music and dance it out (I love doing this one). Get your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes and you’ll reap the benefits!
Think of A Reward
There are a million reasons why exercise is a good idea, but adding one more sure doesn’t hurt! Tell yourself that you can watch your favorite TV show after your walk or think of small incentives like a new bottle of nail polish for a week of no skipped workouts. The key is picking something that actually motivates you! The promise of new nail polish doesn’t do much for me, but the lure of a bubble bath or some reading time ssure gets me moving!
Start With The First Step
Getting up is the hardest part, whether it is dragging yourself out of bed or pulling yourself off the couch. Put your shoes on. Tell yourself you just have to walk down the block. Chances are, once you get yourself moving, you will want to go farther to make the most of your workout.
Make A Happy Playlist
Music can not only boost your mood, but it can actually benefit your body by relieving stress and giving you more energy. Put together a peppy playlist to listen to while you walk, run, elliptical, or lift weights that brings a smile to your face and adds an extra spring to your step.
Invest In Your Workout
There are a million ways you can work out for free and it’s true that many gym memberships go unused, but when you invest financially in your workouts by buying a membership or paying for classes, you are more likely to stick with it. Especially if you are frugal, having that money down is going to give you extra motivation to get out the door and make the most of your investment!
Sneak Movement Into Your Day
Maybe you can’t get yourself motivated for a full-on workout, but there are tons of little things you can do throughout your day to stay just a little bit more active. Put away the remote and stand up every time you want to change something on the TV, use a whisk instead of a mixer, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Did you know that all of those shortcuts can add up and lower your calorie burns by 800 calories a day? Craziness!
Remember Your Main Motivation
Yeah, yeah, you know that exercise is good for you, but why are you really doing it? Do you want more energy to play with your kids? Are you sick of feeling tired all the time? Do you want to walk up a flight of stairs without exhausting yourself? Think of the reasons you really want to work out past the general “it’s good for me.” Get specific and think about those things to get yourself moving.
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