5 suggestions on how to get exercise when you lack get-up-and-go
Here are 5 ideas on how to carry on exercising when you don’t feel like it.
1. Renew or review your goal
If motivation is lacking, maybe you should ask yourself, “Why do I exercise?”
Your goal might have seemed clear and achievable when you first started, but maybe it’s time to redefine it.
- Do you really want to get more fresh air?
- Are you that determined to become more flexible?
- Are you sure you want to run a marathon each year or simply run a few times a week to work off stress and improve your endurance?
If your goal has not changed, break it down into smaller more workable segments. This will motivate you to persevere.
If you decide that your goal has changed, then rename it – clearly and honestly. Your inclinations, preferences and daily constraints (workload, family obligations, etc.) are all part of the picture. Maybe your situation has changed since you originally set your goal.
Don’t compare yourself to others; everyone’s situation is different.
2. Take another look at how you work out
Maybe your goal was to lose weight and you thought that jogging was the quickest way to do it. Fair enough.
But since you don’t actually enjoy running as much as you thought you would, it could be time to change activity. Choose something you can enjoy all year round, anywhere and at any time of the day.
If you enjoy a number of different sports but don’t know which to choose, do several – unless, of course, you’re aiming to represent your country in a particular discipline at the Olympics… Who said you have to restrict yourself to one type of activity?
Variety will help avoid the monotony and help you stay motivated.
3. Get in gear
It is important to have the appropriate equipment and sportswear for your particular sport; otherwise you are likely to lose interest quite fast.
If you are a keen cyclist but, after a few years, your frame no longer meets your needs, invest in a bike you will take real pleasure in riding for hours at a time.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to practise a new sport or activity: kit yourself out with the equipment and clothing that is simply appropriate for your needs.
4. Make exercising fun
Why not listen to music while you walk, jog, cycle, etc.? Put together a playlist of songs that make your feet itch to get going!
Train with a family member you enjoy chatting with. Take it in turns to suggest a topic to discuss, such as a news item or, why not, something more existential? The betting is that you end up exercising for longer, just to keep the conversation going.
Choose a sport or activity you enjoy rather than the latest fad. If it’s tap dancing you love, then go for it!
5. Listen to your body
Be prepared to strike a deal… with yourself. If you don’t feel like going out for a run, why not run less far or go for a long energetic walk?
The main thing is to get active, to instil and perpetuate the habit. If you cave in to the temptation not to bother once, then twice, then three times, it becomes harder to start exercising again regularly.
If you’ve tried these suggestions and still can’t get motivated, block out that little voice in your head telling you to head back to the couch. Get up and get going! Slowly, but surely, you will start enjoying regular exercise again, whatever form it takes.