A Little Exercise Motivation

I know I'm not the only person with a thousand excuses for why I don't have time or energy to get my workouts in.  It's tough...like really tough sometimes.  I had a really busy day on Tuesday and just didn't get a chance to workout and then on Wednesday, I gave in to my excuses and convinced myself that I was too tired and decided to take a nap instead of workout.  I felt like crap after the nap and throughout the evening.  I didn't have the energy I needed to clean up and make dinner.  I kind of just slogged my way through the day. This bled over into Thursday morning.  I found myself planning my day and realizing that it was actually going to be really full, and the only way I was getting a workout was if I swam while my daughter was at her swim team practice.  I can't even describe how badly I DID NOT want to do that.  Do you know how boring swimming is?  It's really boring.  There's just a lot of back and forth and back and forth and I don't have waterproof earbuds, so there's no music or entertainment except what's happening in my head which is something along the lines of "this is so boring...how long has it been?...only 10 minutes!...ugh...this is so boring...I'm tired, I should stop and rest...this is so boring...and then a lot more back and forth and back and forth.  I know, even you're bored right now.  That's why I tried really hard to convince myself that I would be better off getting some work done during that hour - BUT, I didn't.  I forced myself into the water and swam...and yes, it was pretty boring, BUT I did it and I was so productive the rest of the day, it was kind of amazing.  I haven't gotten that much done and felt that good in quite a few weeks.  The difference between Wednesday and Thursday was night and day...and I have to think that it was mostly due to having worked out.  I KNOW that when I MAKE the time to exercise, I feel so much better...so why do I ever give in to the excuses?  Sadly, I can't answer that definitively for you today, but I do know there are a few things that help me get my behind moving - literally...and maybe these tips can help you as well...

  1. Have a workout buddy:  This one is huge.  When I know that someone is planning on meeting up with me to workout, I'm there (most of the time - there are the occasions that I have slept right through my alarm - sorry, Dianne).  For some reason, I have no problem canceling on myself, but it's NOT AN OPTION to cancel on a friend.  Think about all your friends.  Surely there is one among them who would love some added support as well.  Make a plan to do a video or go for a run together a couple of times a week.  Having someone there to share in your misery could be just what you need to go that extra mile or push yourself a little bit harder.  
  2. Plan a short workout:  A lot of times I bargain with myself.  I will tell myself that all I have to do is 10 minutes of the workout, and then if I'm not "feeling it," I can stop.  I've never yet stopped at 10 minutes.  I always get started and end up going for at least 30 minutes.  About 95% of the battle for me is getting out the front door.  Once I've conquered that, the rest is a piece of cake no problem.  :)
  3. Plan ahead and be ready for it:  I find my greatest success comes when I know before I wake up in the morning exactly what I'm going to do for exercise the next day and then I prep myself to be ready.  If I'm going for a run, I pull out my shoes, clothes and headphones and set them at the foot of my bed, so everything is ready for me first thing.  I do the same if it's a bike, swim or strength workout on the agenda.  EVERYTHING I need for the workout is ready before I go to bed...even my water bottles are full and attached to my bike or in my swim bag....everything.  Be prepared...don't let, "I can't find any clean socks" be an excuse you EVER give in to.
  4. Keep it simple:  Keep it simple at first.  Set a goal to move for 30 minutes every day, even if you don't break a sweat.  Just getting into the habit is a great start.  The sweat and intensity can come later.  Do not overcomplicate the situation.  
  5. Do what you love:  Exercise DOES NOT have to be a chore.  It can actually be FUN!  If you hate to run, but really enjoy swimming, then swim.  Just because biking is my passion, doesn't mean it has to be yours.  Whatever you love, whether it be hiking, swimming, running, dancing, cross fit, step class, taekwondo, etc., DO IT and enjoy it.  Make that time something you look forward to.

I know ALL the excuses...I've made them myself (still do, sometimes), but having a few strategies in place like those mentioned above can be really helpful towards overcoming those excuses and creating a healthy habit of exercise.  What can you do today to get yourself out the door?  How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

Week 6 Healthy Holidays Hot Topic
Week 5 Healthy Holidays Hot Topic

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October 18 2016


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