As I was responding to Becca, I realized there are quite a few things I do when I’m not feelin’ the workout mojo flowing and I wanted to share them with you guys today. It is my hope that they might help you when you’re looking for ways to motivate yourself to exercise.
I’d also love to open up the comments section so you guys may chime in with tips and tricks you rely on when you find yourself needing a little somethin’ extra to commit to regular work outs. Please share your thoughts so we can all benefit!
How to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
Lean Into the Break
This one may surprise you but, more often than not, embracing a break from exercise and leaning into a longer period of rest is all I need to feel the desire to work out again. After an extended period of time away from my workouts, I typically find myself missing the endorphins, the sweat, the muscle burn… all of it! I honestly love feeling this way because it reminds me that I work out because it’s something I genuinely like to do for my body and after some time away, I often return to my workouts with renewed excitement and energy. A long break can be a good thing!
Schedule Something Fitness-Related with a Friend
This is a huge one for me! I am admittedly a bit of a people pleaser and reaching out to a friend and committing to a boot camp class, long walk or a gym date is a surefire way for me to make sure I don’t miss a workout. I’d feel too bad canceling so I know I’ll show up if I have another person counting on me! Doing something with another person always keeps me accountable and can jumpstart my workout motivation.
Look for a Program to Follow
For me personally, my excitement around working out can sometimes increase if I have a program to follow that takes any of the planning/guesswork out of my workouts. This could be ANYTHING — a strength training program, a couch-to-5k run/walk program, etc. — whatever excites you!
I purchased and followed Trainer Paige’s Postpartum Program after Rhett was born and credit her program with helping me make a safe return to fitness. Having specific workouts created for me to follow increased my motivation and also helped me feel accountable to both myself and Paige.
Only Do Workouts You Love
This is one I really leaned into after I gave birth to Rhett. Something about adding a third child into our family seemed to make finding the time and desire to work out much harder for me. I gave myself a LOT of grace and motivated myself to workout by only doing workouts I love during the small amounts of free time I have to dedicate to exercise. For me, this looks like strength training and Burn Boot Camp workouts. They’re workouts I genuinely love to do so completing them doesn’t feel like a chore but rather something good I’m doing for my body.
In case you’re looking for ideas for new workouts to try, here are a few favorites I’ve loved through the years: BodyPump, Jazzercise (I cannot recommend this enough for anyone looking for a workout that feels like a fun dance party — you do NOT have to be coordinated to do it!), spinning, TRX workouts, circuit workout classes and water aerobics. You may also check out my Workouts page for lots of workout ideas — everything from treadmill workouts to bodyweight workouts to core workouts and more!
Check Out a New Online Workout/YouTube Workout Video
YouTube is such a great resource for workouts. It seems like there are workout videos for EVERYTHING under the sun and so many of them are free! When I am finding myself feeling less-than-motivated and have zero desire to put any thought or energy into planning a workout, pulling up a workout video to follow online is very helpful to me. Some of my favorite YouTube workout channels: Caroline Girvan, Nicole Pearce, Nourish Move Love, Burn Boot Camp, Fitnessista and Jessica Valant Pilates.
Focus on Movement Above All
This is one that became crucial for me after we had our third baby. I couldn’t fit traditional workouts into my life as frequently as I did before kids. It just wasn’t possible and I refused to run myself ragged trying to add workouts into my life when I was already overwhelmed and tired. Shifting my definition of “exercise” away from traditional workouts and onto overall movement was pivotal. I began counting walks with my boys as workouts and that helped me feel a sense of accomplishment whereas years ago I never would’ve considered a long walk around our neighborhood as a workout.
My fitness mindset has shifted rather dramatically in recent years and while focusing on movement over workouts may not be the “advice” you’d expect in a post about workout motivation, I wanted to include it because sometimes shifting the way we look at what exactly we consider a workout can be helpful. Movement and walking absolutely count toward an overall healthy lifestyle and the more I’ve read and learned about fitness and overall longevity the more I fully believe walking is one of the absolute BEST forms of exercise out there. Walk and move your body! It counts!
Questions of the Day
What is something you do to motivate yourself to workout?
How do you get yourself out of a funk when you’re feeling less than motivation to exercise?
What is one workout you genuinely love to do?