We all have days when we “can’t even” at the gym. Maybe we’re stressed from work, or there’s something going on in our personal lives that is sapping our motivation. Heck, maybe we’re just too tired from the previous day’s workout. But when it comes down to it, we HAVE to get that workout in. Our muscles, brain, hormones, digestive system, and immune system all need it. Here is a bit of advice on how to find motivation to work out:
No Less than 10 Minutes
It can be hard to get past the first 5 minutes of the workout—cardio or resistance training—because your body isn’t yet accustomed to the pace. Force yourself to keep going for at least the first 10 minutes of your training session and give it all you’ve got. If you hit the 10-minute mark and can’t keep going, give yourself permission to take a day off.
Spice it Up
Demotivation is the direct result of boredom, which can stem from doing the same thing day after day. If you’re lacking motivation, why not give something else a try? Quit the gym and start attending Yoga classes, or stop training Pilates in favor of martial arts. Mix it up when you feel yourself running out of steam. Not only will it conquer that slump, but it can push your body from a new angle!
Make it Fun
Who said your workout has to be a tough, boring time? Check out a new playlist on Spotify, turn on the TV in front of your treadmill, or listen to an audiobook while you jog or lift weights. Do anything that helps to make you happy while you sweat and work.
Get it in First Thing
Your energy levels and motivation levels are sort of like the gas tank on your car. You start the day with that tank full, and it goes depleting throughout the day until eventually you run out. A morning workout can help you start your day off right, and may keep you energized and motivated all day long. Even if not, at least you got the most important thing out of the way first.
They say not to turn your workout into a competition, but the competitive mindset can actually help you to do more. By trying to keep up with someone else, you push yourself harder and stop yourself from quitting before you’re done. Even just a self-challenge (a certain amount of X per day/week) is a good way to kick your motivation up a notch.
Fitness gadgets aren’t going to make you fit, but they can help you stay faithful with your fitness program. Something as simple as a FitBit or a fitness app on your brand new smartphone can be the key to keep going and getting into your workout. It’s a way to reward yourself for your hard work, and encourage yourself to keep up the efforts.
Take Time Off
Sometimes all you need is a few weeks away from the gym to help you realize how much you want to get back to the gym. You can still enjoy recreational and active outdoor activities—hiking, camping, walking outdoors, cycling, strolling the park, rowing on a lake or river, and the list goes on—but don’t kill yourself to hit those weights. Allow yourself a few weeks to disconnect from the gym routine and enjoy something new. When you come back to the gym after the break, it will feel like something amazing and new!