We’ve all been there. Many of us go there every day.
Lift weights? Or lounge? You know that breaking a sweat is good for you, but lying on the couch is so much easier. Especially after a long day at the office, or an even longer day carting the kids around.
You can overcome this lapse of energy and willpower. Follow these simple steps for maintaining your exercise routine, no matter what your life or inner-lazy-voice throws at you.
6 Easy Steps to Find the Motivation to Exercise:
1. Do What You Like . And stop doing things you hate. If you dread going to the gym or despise running, don’t do it. Exercise can and should be fun. Find other ways to get fit, preferably ones that you actually enjoy. Join a sports league, a fitness class, or make exercise part of your day by listening to your favorite music while you walk or bike to work. This way you’ll actually look forward to your workouts.
2. Ask Why. Have you ever thought about why you exercise? Why does it matter to you? Are you trying to become a competitive athlete, lose weight, or simply lead a healthier lifestyle? Do you want to lose weight and improve your energy levels and quality life? There’s no wrong answer – the right answer for you is the one that actually matters to you right now. Turn your answer into a reminder on your phone, or write it on a piece of paper that you hang up in front of you at work or on the fridge. When your motivation starts to slide, just remind yourself why exercise matters.
3. Keep It Simple. When it comes to exercise, something is better than nothing. If you’re working with a limited amount of time or willpower, do what you can, with what you have. Stop focusing on what you can’t do or minimizing what exercise opportunities are available to you. No equipment? No problem! Use bodyweight exercises to create a go-anywhere workout. Even if you only have 10 minutes, that’s plenty of time for a quick, high intensity workout.
4. Progression, Not Perfection. Forget all of those images of bodybuilders and magazine models. Exercise isn’t about perfection, it’s about improvement. No matter your goal (lose weight, gain muscle, etc) you can’t achieve it in one day. Instead, make an effort to establish small, actionable steps that you can accomplish on your path towards becoming more fit. Every day you exercise instead of sitting on the couch, you are one step closer towards realizing your goal.
5. Take Responsibility. You have to be accountable for your health and well being. No one can do it for you. If you struggle with skipping workouts, find motivation with a training partner, personal trainer, or fitness class to keep you motivated. If you’re not into exercising with others, try downloading a fitness app to track your workouts. You could also post about progress on a blog or social network. This way, if you miss a workout, you’ll lose face and have a lot of explaining to do.
6. Change Your Lifestyle. Choosing a workout over watching television is much easier when you align your lifestyle with your personal goals. If you want to become a more active and energetic person, don’t think of exercise as a chore or burden; it’s just another appointment that you have to attend to.
From here on out, think of your workout as a part of your life. Movement is like food; your body needs it to survive. You can’t live without it. Do you know what you can live without? Sitting around on the couch. Once you begin to think about exercise as a necessity, you’ll have no option but to make it work, to fit it in your busy schedule, and prioritize your exercise habit.