So you know you have to work out, but you’re just not feeling it today. Maybe you just got comfy and want to chill for a bit with Netflix. Maybe you’re too busy with the rest of life. We’ve all been there. Here are some of the things women just like you do to combat these work-out woes and make sure they get their exercise.
- Go with friends.
If you can’t go for your own good, go because it helps someone else. If you have an accountability group, a partner, or even a pet, someone else is relying on you to exercise with them. You wouldn’t want to let them down would you? Of course not!
Bethany Wilson, a millennial woman, says that she finds it super helpful to go with her friends because if she’s not feeling up for it, they drag her out anyway. And of course, they expect her to do the same when they feel like skipping. She mentions that it is also good to go with people who are at about the same skill level as you. You want to be able to push yourself, so don’t necessarily make a habit of working out with someone who will allow you to slack off. On the other hand, to someone else, you might be that person who is inexperienced and slows others down. Don’t let that get you down. If you have a friend who is way more experienced than you, then you have found a great role model, just not a workout partner. Your workout buddy should be on your level, not above or below it.
- Set goals.
Along that vein, it is a great idea to have a role model or a goal. Or both! If you have something to shoot for, you won’t be able to give up until you get there. That is, so long as it is attainable. Your goal should push you. Alyssa, a college student who never used to consider herself a runner, just decided to run a half-marathon with her dad. She is currently on a rigorous training regimen and has noticed huge improvement to the point where she enjoys running. She says that her goal motivates her the most to get exercise.
- Schedule it in your planner.
Elise, an avid recreational athlete, knows that when she writes her workout times down in her planner as something to check off, it results in a bit of a change in mindset. Instead of seeing workouts as an optional thing to do when you have spare time, think of them in the same way you would a work deadline or a school assignment. Your workout is something that needs to get done, not an optional activity.
- Make it fun.
Personally, I dislike running. What I do like is games. I thrive off of competition. I find things like team sports very helpful for motivating me to work out. If you know you need more cardio in your workout, play soccer, basketball, or my personal favorite, ultimate frisbee. If you can’t find a team, make it fun on your own. Learn or choreograph a dance or zumba routine. (Speaking of dance, the video game, Just Dance can also be a very good workout.) Create a game with your friends, kids, whoever! Play hard!
- Dress for it.
This has honestly become my number-one tactic for getting myself to exercise. I find that when I dress in athletic clothes, I am a lot more prone to hit the gym. When I feel super lazy, I tell myself, “just get dressed.” If you can force yourself to at least get into workout clothes, you’ve already won half the battle.
Also, if you have stylish active wear, it gives you an excuse to wear that. You may have heard of Kate Hudson’s recently trending fashion line of workout clothes called Fabletics. I know I have a few friends who have become members and I’ve even created an account myself! If you have some cute active gear, you might just find more excuses to show it off.
- Find an app.
Bethany recommends Nike+ Run Club or Nike+ Training Club. She has used these apps to keep track of workouts and create plans for herself and friends. One of the most popular workout resources today is MyFitnessPal, but there are plenty of others to choose from, including several seven-minute daily workout apps if time is an issue for you. There’s also something for avid TV watchers. It is pretty easy to find some Netflix workouts online. My friends and I once found a Gilmore Girls workout that had us do a certain amount of push-ups every time Lorelai and her mother got in a fight.
- Multi-task, kind of.
If your biggest problem is finding the time to step away from work, there is hope. In fact, working out actually helps you to be more efficient because it gets blood pumping to your brain and helps you stay alert and focused. You can easily substitute an exercise ball for a desk chair or a yoga mat for a desk. Scientists have agreed for years that physical exercise improves your mental health and Dr. Karen Postal, certified neuropsychologist and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, summarizes the reason for this in her article Think Better: Exercise.
So get out there and get going! You can try one, a few, or all of these tried-and-true tactics to get you started. Find out which ones work best for you and begin improving your quality of life.