I’m not sure about you, but I don’t always feel motivated to work out. It’s Winter, I’m happily working, and the last thing I want to do is exert myself or get sweaty. But I know that exercise is great for my physical and mental health, and works wonders at reducing stress. And I always feel great after working out!
The key then is to get my butt out of the chair and kick it into gear. What’s the best way to do that? Here are some ways I’ve found to get the best workout motivation and start moving.
#1: Put On Your Workout Clothes Early
The key here is to avoid having one more obstacle (finding clean workout clothes, changing) between you and your workout. And if you’re already in your gym gear, the chances of actually working out are much higher!
I work from home, so I put on my gym clothes first thing in the morning. I’ll typically work for a few hours before working out, but the fact that I’m already dressed and ready to go makes the transition pretty seamless. And while my workout clothes are comfortable, they’re not nearly as cozy as sweats and a a sweater, so I’m motivated to get my workout over with early so that I can change back into something warmer.
#2: Turn On Some Beats
A high-tempo, upbeat song is a great way to give you the energy to start moving. Make a playlist with your top workout songs, or listen to a workout-themed playlist on Jango (free!), Spotify (free option!), or your favourite music app. Even if you’re feeling sluggish, put on one of your favourite songs and start moving, however slowly.
I typically start my workouts by listening to a song and doing active stretching (in other words, dancing around!) This gets my heart rate up, starts stretching out and warming up my muscles, and primes my mind to begin the workout. By the end of the song, I’m normally in a great mood and often want to put another song on to continue to dance!
Here are some of my favourites:
- This Is Me by Keala Settle
- Broken Arrows by Avicii
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
#3: Grab a Friend
If you’ve made plans with a friend to work out, you’re probably going to be hesitant to break them. And if you have the company of a workout partner, you’ll be more motivated to stick through your work out until the end.
With that in mind, go to a group class with a friend or make a gym date. Prefer working out at home? Do so with your partner! Last weekend, my fiancé heard my warm up music and came to join me for the active stretching. We danced around to This Is Me and it was hilarious. (So You Think You Can Dance, we’re waiting for our phone call!)
When he’s doing cardio by riding our exercise bike, I’ll keep him company by working or working on a jigsaw puzzle we’ve started. This probably motivates him more to work out and work out for longer since he has someone with him.
#4: Make a Commitment
This suggestion is all about accountability. How can we use commitment to motivate ourselves to work out?
Here are some ideas:
- Sign up for a gym membership or a pack of workout classes. You’ll want the money to pay off, so you’ll be less likely to skip out on going.
- Sign up for a gym class. You’ve made the commitment and will be more likely to go. Plus, many gyms penalize people who don’t show up, providing added motivation.
- Find an accountability partner. Create a shared goal with someone who also wants to work out, and hold each other accountable. It can be as simple as texting each other workout reminders or check-ins. As I talk about in my post about relationship-building activities, creating a shared goal with your partner can also bring you closer together.
#5: Make it Productive
Ask yourself whether there’s anything you need to do that can be turned into a mini-workout. For example, does your driveway or back deck need shovelling? Hello arm workout! Do you need to run some errands that you can actually walk to? Speed walk and make it cardio! By doing these things, you’re crossing things off your to do list while getting your exercise in. This helps with motivation because instead of your workout being one more thing you have to do, it’s something that kills multiple birds with one stone.
Here are some more ideas:
- Call a friend or family member while you’re doing your post-workout stretching
- Park far away from the store so that you have more walking to do
- Tidy the house and put things back where they should go (when I do this, I feel like I’m running up and down the stairs 10 times in 5 minutes!)
Looking for tips on how to make workouts more fun, once you’re actually moving? Check out my post Lazy Girl Workout Hacks: How to Make Exercise More Bearable.
So, are you feeling motivated yet? Leave me a comment letting me know how you motivate yourself to get moving!