Some days, or perhaps most days, you just don’t want to exercise. You know you’ll feel better when you have – not only because of the happy-hormone endorphin rush, but also because you’ll be doing your body good in the long run – but sometimes that thought just isn’t enough to persuade you. The problem is in your head, so here are five top tips for when your mind needs to jump a hurdle just to get you to the start line.
Today doesn’t have to be the toughest session you’ve ever done. Challenges are good, but you can’t beat your best every time. Listen to your body and do what you can. Something is better than nothing. Just relax and enjoy it.
Find a friend to exercise with. It’s an oldie but a goodie – you’ll feel more motivated by encouraging each other, and it’s more fun if you can share your experiences (good and bad). If you don’t have an exercise buddy on hand then tell your friend, colleague, mum, whoever will listen, your workout plans. It will make you feel accountable so you’re more likely to follow through. If they’re impressed then that’s an added bonus. Just don’t start bragging.
Put your kit on
Getting changed into your exercise gear works in two ways: one, your mind associates these clothes with activity, and two, it’s a positive step towards actually starting to exercise. You’re not going to take them all off without doing anything now, are you?
Think of a reward
Whatever your post-workout treat may be – a chilled coconut water, a delicious dinner, a warm foamy bath – visualise it, and look forward to enjoying it once you’ve finished your session. Dangling a carrot will give you a kick up the backside.
Follow a programme
Even if you’re not training for an event, having a fitness plan will help you focus – sometimes just the effort of deciding what exercise to do can drain your willpower. Also, a programme will encourage you to build up your progress slowly, so you won’t push too hard too soon and lose enthusiasm. And if all else fails? Look in the mirror, shout “Just do it!” and give yourself a slap. Good luck! And if you have an tips to share then leave them in the comments. Image Edson Hong