Finding the motivation to exercise more often is a challenge for most people. While many of us rattle off excuses as to why we don’t exercise (“I have no time! I’ll do it tomorrow!”) most of the time it’s because we just don’t feel like exercising. Establishing the habit of exercising more often can seem downright impossible if you lack the willpower to get up and run even just this once. Here are ten tricks to help you feel like exercising more often.
10 Tricks to Exercise More Often:
1. Keep an extra set of gym clothes in your car, or at work:
Always be prepared to work out, and jump at all the opportunities that arise. Did you get off work early due to a fluke fire alarm? Lunch meeting was cancelled at the last minute? Final exam turned out to be way easier & shorter than expected? These are all good times to squeeze in a workout. Good thing you have your gym clothes in your car!
Are you sitting on your couch and thinking that getting up and doing a workout sounds like a superhuman feat right now? You just need a stepping stone. Move from the couch to the floor and begin stretching. Stretching will get your blood flowing, muscles feeling ready to move around, and put you in a more energetic mindset. While stretching, you will find yourself thinking “this feels really nice.” All of the sudden, being active and working out won’t seem like such a herculean task anymore.
3. Set an automatic daily reminder on your phone:
Do you always intend to work out, but then one thing leads to the next, and two episodes of Mad Men later you realize, oops, you should have gone to the gym? Set an alarm on your phone to go off automatically at a time you know you are usually free, but don’t usually remember to work out.
4. Make a health and fitness channel your new “white noise”:
News can be depressing, reruns are boring, and the Food Network is downright dangerous. If you’re one of those people that likes to have a TV on- even if you’re not really watching it- set it to a health & fitness channel, like Discovery Health. Leaving your TV on a health & fitness channel will influence your own health to be a top-of-mind thought in your brain.
5. Tell all your friends:
Once you say something out loud, and you tell someone else, there is a lot more pressure to actually do it. If you are starting a new fitness plan, or have trouble keeping yourself accountable, tell your friends and family. After announcing your fitness goal to the world, you will not want to go back on your own words, and feel the positive pressure to hold yourself accountable.
6. Listen to pump up music (and maybe have a private dance party):
Feeling blah? Does the idea of working out make you feel even more blah? Put on some pump-up music, and slowly twiddle the volume louder. First your head will start to bob… then you’ll be dancing in your chair… then you’ll get up and dance around your living room… suddenly you feel very energetic and like doing jumping jacks. Now go workout.
7. Get some really rad gym clothes:
The same way you get excited to wear a new pair of shoes immediately (“Can you cut the tag off? I want to wear these out of the store”), or watch infomercials on your new flatscreen (“Dude, those tomatoe growers look epic in HD”), you are also going to get excited when you have awesome new workout gear. And you’re not going to want to wear your super awesome new workout gear just anywhere. Wearing a “BEASTMODE” shirt to the gym is beast. Wearing a “BEASTMODE” shirt to the grocery store? …Not so beast.
8. Follow a fitness motivation social media account:
Are you constantly on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? If something is not an established habit yet then, duh, we are likely to forget. Starting a new habit and sticking with it often takes a lot of little reminders. Following a couple fitness motivation blogs or social media accounts is a good way to get fun, motivating visual reminders on your feed. Try following Cody’s Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account for daily fitness motivation.
9. Set up a rewards system:
Every time you work out, reward yourself! Possible rewards are a (healthy!) treat like chocolate-covered strawberries or frozen yogurt. Or keep a tip jar and put a dollar in it every time you work out. Save up your workout reward money to buy something awesome like new pants for when you lose weight, or a massage for when you’re are sore from gettin’ swole.
10. Visualize the next few months of progress versus no progress:
Visualization is a great mind technique for achieving your goals. Visualizing success will make you consciously aware of how you can achieve the visualized outcome you desire. You impress an idea into the subconscious part of your brain and it eventually becomes “fixed”. You automatically attract and move towards that which you desire.
If you don’t feel like working out, stop and visualize yourself as you are currently. Then visualize yourself staying where you are, eating how you have always been eating, not exercising, and promising yourself you will work out tomorrow. Visualize how you will look and feel after one year of this. Are you a tubbier? Are you happier? Do you want that to be you in one year?
Now visualize yourself standing up right now, and going to the gym. Visualize yourself having an awesome workout, getting sweaty, maybe flirting with a cute person while you’re there (just not on the hip abductor machine, please) and leaving the gym tired but triumphant. Visualize yourself one year from now, having worked out every week. How does that version of your future self look? How does that version of your future self feel?
Now, go be the future self that you want to become.