While I’m fitness nut, there are times I really don’t want to work out, even though I should. Let’s face it, after a long day at work, sitting on the couch watching TV, or surfing the Net can sound A LOT more appealing than slaving away in a crowded gym. Working out in the mornings, while very beneficial is often not an option.
So how the heck do you get motivated after a long day at work to exercise if you’re not a fitness nut and sometimes you HATE the thought of exercising? Well that’s a good question my friend and one that I think about often.
If you seriously don’t like working out, or need a mindset shift, check out my 7 Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise. If you know you need to workout, but sometimes lack the motivation, then try putting these 5 simple tricks into action that can make a BIG difference:
1) Bring your workout clothes to work
The night before you go to work, pack a gym bag with all the clothes you need, then bring the bag with you to work (or just stuff everything in your briefcase). The effect of bringing your clothes to work is very powerful on your subconscious mind, so that you can go directly to the gym straight from work. The minute your butt hits the couch at home, it’s over!
If your gym is in your building, or home, avoid sitting down before you workout. Ideally, the minute you arrive home, change, then go for it. Create that habit. You don’t want to give yourself time to engage in a deep inner monologue about whether, or not to workout.
2) Schedule your workouts
I oftentimes put my workouts on my calendar and treat them like a business meeting. By having them on my calendar for the week, I’m thinking about them and mentally preparing for them. This also helps make working out a priority. My schedule is unpredictable and lacks structure, so this is a big help for me. Ideally, try to workout the same time and the same days to make exercising a habit, but just seeing the workouts on your calendar can be very helpful.
3) Take a class at your gym, or get a Gym Buddy
Working out with other people can help keep you motivated to exercise. When you’re alone, you really need that intrinsic motivation, but exercising with a group of people will help you push much harder. If you belong to a gym, try checking out a couple of the classes like full body strength training, or boxing if they’re offered. Another option is getting a gym partner who may be your coworker, significant other, or friend as your workout buddy. Group support is very, very powerful.
4) Create a Rule
I have a rule that no matter what craziness happens in my life, I won’t workout less than 3x in a week. This means I don’t go for more than 2 days without working out (I almost start getting the shakes!). I think the absolute bare minimum should be to exercise at least 2x per week for 30 minutes. You’re not going to “try” to workout, or say you “should” workout, you “must” workout! If you’re a working professional, you’re sitting on your butt wasting away if you don’t exercise. That’s the harsh reality. Your body is built to move, not sit in a chair staring at a computer screen all day.
5) Reward Yourself
Maybe it’s checking out a movie, buying some new gym clothes, or a massage, rewarding yourself for working out can help you stay motivated. While you certainly can reward yourself with treats without working out, the reward feels much better and more deserved after a good workout.
If any of these tips have worked for you, or if you have any other tips to share about methods, or strategies that help you stay motivated, please leave a comment!