We all know the routine: we get motivated to get more physically active, we go two weeks of diligently going to the gym, and then we hit a plateau: we’re just too tired today, or we’re feeling under the weather, or we can’t make it to the gym tonight because we have that party to go to, and so on. The excuses pile on one after another until we realize it’s been three months and we haven’t stepped foot back in the gym and we no longer feel that motivation we did at the beginning. We’ve all been there; regressions happen, but here are some tips on how you can stop yourself from skipping your workouts and stay motivated to be active.
Try not to separate your workout time from the rest of the time you spend being active . Do you take the dog for a walk every day? Did you go to the grocery store? Did you park farther away from the office entrance? All of these physical activities can add up and help you realize that working out does not have to be a time consuming event. If your busy schedule is what’s depleting your motivation to hit the gym, try to incorporate short bursts of physical activity throughout the day, such as the ones mentioned above or see more ideas here. Then you’ll only need to add maybe another 10 or 15 minute workout into your day; much more doable then an hour-long workout session.
Keep it to one good change at a time. If you have a long list of goals to be healthier that you’re trying to achieve all at once; you are going to get burnt out fast. Try focusing on one of your health goals at a time: for example, start out with one of your goals, such as of working out for a half hour for three days a week, when it has become routine then you can move on to your next goal.
Most importantly: do something that you think is fun! Finding a physical activity that you actually enjoy, like hiking or dancing for example, will help make working out not a chore but actually something fun to do. A Portuguese study from 2011 found that, “…enjoying exercise was among the strongest predictors of whether a person continued exercising and maintained weight loss for the next three years.”
Some other triggers you can use to re-direct your mindset:
Think about your schedule . If you feel like skipping a workout try to think about your schedule for the week. If your week seems full, remind yourself that today is the only time you’ll have to fit in a sweat session.
Get a workout buddy . It can be easier to stay on track with a partner because you both will feel more responsible to help the other reach their goals and in turn, this will help drive you.
Get your groove on . If you’re feeling too tired for a workout, keep a playlist handy that has songs you know will make you move. This will help boost your energy for your workout and it’s a great pre-workout warm-up.
Health.com, “5 Research-Backed Habits of People Who Never Skip a Workout”, July 16, 2015