I get asked how I stay motivated to work out so often, especially if I am not training for an event or taking a class at the gym. Honestly, it’s a habit now and one I miss when I don’t do it. It wasn’t always and there are days when I have to talk myself into making spin class or go out for a run.
Some days I give myself a pass and I just do something else. If I really don’t feel like running I’ll choose a dance class or break up my run with strength training. I get running intervals in but I’m not running for 3 or 4 miles straight. I’ll also make a deal with myself that I will work out for 15 minutes. If I truly still don’t want to workout I will stop. I’ve stopped about four times in 20 years, usually because I just didn’t feel well enough to keep going.
Yes, I’ve been working out pretty consistently for over 20 years. How the heck is that even possible? I didn’t start with hard exercises and I didn’t workout for long periods of time when I first started exercising again. I periodically add try new fitness trends to keep things interesting. Some I liked and some I didn’t.
Trying new to you workouts keep things fresh and can spark motivation. I had no idea that I would love belly dancing, bosu, or Pilates. I didn’t like Pilates very much when I first tried it, nor did I like spin – not one little bit. Now I do them regularly. Sometimes you have to try a few classes to see if you like it or not. An unskilled instructor could put you off something you might otherwise like.
On the other hand, if you truly dislike a workout there is no point in trying to stick with it. Fitness shouldn’t be something you dread, find something you like doing and that makes you feel good afterward.
I motivate myself for long runs by finding someone to run with. It makes it easier to get out the door knowing someone is waiting for me. Group fitness classes can also provide that accountability; my spin and Pilates instructors will ask me where I was if I miss class as do some friends I’ve made in the class. Knowing someone is waiting can be a great motivator.
Finally, get your clothes and gear ready the night before and exercise first thing in the morning. There’s less time to think about reasons as to why you can’t or won’t when you just get moving right away. Starting your day on a positive note is a great way to build a habit.
- Make a deal with yourself to workout for 15 minutes
- Choose a different workout then what you planned on
- Try new workouts
- Give a workout a few tries before deciding if you like it or not
- Do something you enjoy
- Find a workout buddy or group
- Do it first thing in the morning
Do you need help in creating healthy habits? Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, to see how I can help you create the healthier lifestyle you desire.