I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but I’ve been just been too lazy…which is ironic given the nature of the topic ;)! After a 10-hour sleep last night, I woke up this morning ready to get in some kind of work out. I wanted to take it easy as I’m still not feeling 100% back to normal. In typical maternal fashion my mom tried to convince me to ‘rest’ but I knew any kind of movement would make me feel better both mentally and physically.
As much as I ramble on about how much I love to work out and yadi yadi yada, this wasn’t always the case. It’s definitely been a gradual process but now I can’t imagine it not being a regular part of my life. It sounds cheesy but regular exercise is like a small gift of health I present to myself daily. I know there are some people who question why I would pack trainers on holiday or give up an extra hour of sleep in the morning to sweat, so I thought it would be helpful to post my tips on how to love exercise…or at least not hate it so much:
- Do what you enjoy: Ever heard the expression “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life?” The same concept absolutely applies to working out: if running really doesn’t excite you, sign up for group classes or dabble in other exercises till you find one that you genuinely want to be doing. Lord knows I wouldn’t give up sleep for just about anything!
- Find a friend: I usually prefer working out solo as it is my ‘me’ time but I also enjoy the occasional social aspect to having a workout buddy. More than that, knowing someone is waiting for me to exercise is enough motivation to show up and get it done!
- Rest days: As much as I love to exercise, I equally love Sundays where my activity levels are close to zero. Whether you’re a newbie exerciser or running marathons regularly, at least one full day for recovery per week is vital. It gives your muscles a chance to recuperate and does wonders for your motivation levels too: I always find my desire to work out is fully charged after a day off.
- Be realistic: It’s great falling into a routine of regular exercise but is it something you can uphold in the long-term? Just because your friend exercises before work 6 days a week doesn’t mean it’s the perfect formula. Even fitting in exercise 3-4 days deserves a pat on the back, and who cares what time you do it so long as you do it!
- Try new things: My aunt recently started kickboxing and I’ve never heard her be so excited about cardio or exercise in general. More than helping you find “your” exercise, it will also prevent boredom from kicking in and falling into the dreaded rut. When I do the same workout for too long, my workouts lose meaning and I lose dedication.
- Reward yourself: Set an exercise target and once you achieve it, reward yourself for your efforts. I can’t promise it will get you to love exercise but it sure will keep you motivated.
- Change your mindset: Exercise should not be a chore or something you feel you ‘have’ to do. Cliché perhaps but the minute I stopped viewing exercise as a ‘calorie burner’, I started to actually look forward to my workouts. Look at the overall benefits of exercise and whether it’s the feeling of achievement, empowering yourself, or the guaranteed endorphin rush, remind yourself of these benefits every time your motivation levels hit rock bottom.
How do you stay motivated to exercise?