We all have our moments when we’re just not motivated, right? When the gym just seems so far away and even doing a home workout seems like too much work. I know there are definitely times when I’d rather curl up on the couch with some Vincent D’Onofrio and Law & Order: Criminal Intent than even think about getting my sweat on. But barring unforeseen circumstances and being injured or physically unable to exercise, I’m really good about staying consistent with my routine. Sure, it helps that fitness is my job and I write about it every day, but I’ve still got a few mental tricks up my sleeve that have worked for years to keep me moving during workout slumps. Hopefully they’ll help you stay moving on the regular, too!
5 Motivation Hacks That’ll Get You Pumped
1. Get dressed in workout clothes. Throw your workout clothes on in anticipation of a workout. I either work from home or am with my kids at home all day, so I can wear yoga pants daily. But when I get dressed in a sports bra, tank and workout pants first thing in the morning, it makes it MUCH easier to get moving when the opportunity presents itself and I’m way more likely to hit the gym. Plus, I feel really silly when I get to the end of the day and take off a non-sweaty sports bra. If you don’t work from home and can’t wear Spandex to the office, make this motivation hack work for you: Do it on the weekends! Or either get up and get into workout clothes first thing in the morning to fit in your sweat session before work, or pack your bag and have it ready to go when you’re done with work. You’ll feel just as silly if you go to the trouble of having a bag packed and then leave it sitting on your front seat, unused!
2. Don’t skip more than two days of working out. Everyone needs rest days and sometimes you just need a break from the gym. And if you’re sick or injured, seriously, wait until you’re better. But if you’re healthy as a hog, try not to skip more than two days of working out in a row. Staying in the habit is just as important as starting the habit, and keeping activity as part of your normal, expected routine is way easier than starting over every New Year. Cross workout days off on the calendar, and don’t let those blank days add up.
3. Just do 10 minutes. So two days have gone by and you’re not feeling that workout love? Just do something, anything, for 10 minutes. (Another reason our book, full of 10-minute fixes and workouts, is so fab!) Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, burpees during commercials, push-ups while you’re waiting for water to boil or squats while you’re brushing your teeth, you’ll feel so much better when you consciously make an effort to fit activity into your day.
4. Do what you love. Don’t torture yourself with workouts you hate. Sure, you should always push yourself and switch up your routine, but do the workouts you love rather than the ones you dread. The most effective workout for you is the one you’ll actually do, and you’re more likely to do it if you think it’s actually fun!
5. Think of your former self. This one really only works if you’ve ever lost 10 or more pounds and can compare your before and after, but think about how much better you feel at a healthier weight. I’m lucky in that my weight stays fairly stable, but three pregnancies have taught me that just about everything is easier when you’re 30 or so pounds lighter (if you have that weight to lose, obviously). Going up and down stairs, getting in and out of cars, and even getting out of bed feels better when you’re not carrying too much weight for your frame. It’s easier to head off weight gain when it’s 10 pounds than to wait until you’ve got an intimidating amount to lose, so check in with those non-yoga pants and the scale on occasion (but not too much!) to keep tabs on yourself.
Anyone else love D’Onofrio? What mental tricks do you use to stay motivated? Share them with us with #FitHack and be sure to check out all of our hacks here! —Erin