It’s perfectly normal to have days when you know you should go to the gym and get your workout in, but you’re exhausted. All you probably want to do is put on your comfy clothes and watch another episode of your favorite show. There is nothing wrong with this, but you may feel guilty later for skipping your workout.
Finding the inspiration to exercise is something everyone struggles with, but you can use a few easy tips to get back on track. Read on to learn how to get motivated to work out and overcome your fatigue or guilt!
1. Get moving.
The easiest way to jumpstart your workout is to get up and get moving! Don’t let that little voice in the back of your mind discourage you by making you overthink your reps, sets, or time. Make a promise to yourself—and your body—to simply stay active for at least 20 minutes.
Whether you go for a walk, hop on a bike, lift weights, or attend a group fitness class with friends, you’re getting your heart rate up and your muscles moving! Let those fun moments of fitness inspire you to keep it up and potentially push yourself to do more.
2. Find a partner.
Some people have no issue finding the motivation to make it to the gym, but others need a little more inspiration—and that’s okay. This is a great time to grab a friend or partner who will push you to reach and exceed your fitness goals!
Hold yourself accountable and enjoy exercise even more with a partner workout. You’ll have someone to share your progress with, and you can even pay it forward by encouraging them on tough days!
3. Become an AM athlete.
Waking up early to go to the gym before work may be less tempting than catching a few extra Zs, but exercising in the morning helps you feel pumped and ready to take on your day. You just need to roll out of bed and get moving!
Even if you don’t immediately feel it, your body is ready for that early-morning sweat session. That’s because cortisol—the stress hormone—is active and prepared to keep you awake and alert. Your body has its highest level of cortisol in the morning. Don’t wait to exercise until the end of the day, when a lack of energy or a long list of evening to-dos can take priority over a workout.
4. Set small goals.
Setting a goal for yourself is a great way to kickstart your fitness journey, but you’ll need short-term steps to achieve on your long-term plan. Goals like “getting healthy” or “losing weight” are common, but with progress only showing after months of hard work, it’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results.
Try thinking smaller: running a faster mile, going to the gym more often, or getting your first pull-up. By adding a few short-term goals along the way to your overall goal—and tracking your progress in a journal or on a fitness app— you’ll be able to stay motivated and focused.
5. Change it up.
Doing the same workout week after week can get old fast. Keep your body and mind engaged by changing it up every once in a while. Switch up where and how you exercise to keep your mind and body fresh.
Trying something new will also help you avoid fitness ruts and find new activities you enjoy. Trade in your run for a swim, add a new group fitness class to your rotation, or meet with a personal trainer to push yourself past your plateau.
6. Create a workout playlist.
A playlist filled to the brim with your favorite music can really help you feel more like working out. Whether you like pop hits, hard rock, Broadway musicals, or rap, there is music out there perfect for your tastes.
Set the pace for your workout with the right beat! Find songs that are 120 to 140 beats per minute—depending on your exercise style—to keep you moving and your heart pumping. You can even start your playlist as you get dressed and stretch to get the endorphins flowing and encourage yourself.
7. Reward yourself.
While the results of regular exercise are an outstanding reward, sometimes we need a little something to keep us motivated along the way. Rewarding yourself when you complete a workout can help you actually look forward to being active again.
These rewards can be grabbing dinner, enjoying a frozen yogurt treat, watching a few episodes of your favorite TV show, or dedicating a day to self-care. Just make sure your reward keeps you inspired and healthy!
No matter how you motivate yourself to go to the gym, the results of your hard work will be worth it. Keep focused, find new ways to get moving, and get ready to make amazing progress!
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website here.