The hardest part of exercising (at least for me) is just making myself do it. I tend to think about it, acknowledge it would be a good use of my time, consider all of the health benefits… and then promptly talk myself into something else. Unfortunately, that something else is almost never anything remotely close to exercise.
So what do you do when you just don’t feel like exercising? When you’re just not finding the time in your day?
My helpful friends at the FMH Wellness Center offer the following tips:
- Give it 10 Minutes Commit to a 10 minute walk every day. Can’t find 10 minutes? Look harder, or squeeze in two five-minute walks. Once you’ve laced up your sneakers and walk out the door, you’re already there. We’re willing to bet most of the time you’ll walk longer than 10 minutes and get a good workout. Even if you don’t, you’re still doing something good that adds up to more than an hour every week!
- Find an Activity You Enjoy (or a way to enjoy something you don’t!) Use an iPod while you’re on a boring piece of cardio equipment to listen to music, a book, or even learn a new language. Take your mind off the fact that you’re exercising and enjoy something else. If you have a machine at home, put in a movie. Better yet, try the fitness classes at your gym until you find one you like! If you enjoy the class and people come to expect you’ll be there, it’s harder to skip it!
- Make it Mean Something Why do you exercise? Find your own value and meaning. Does it reduce stress from a crazy day, increase your energy, give you time to yourself? Whatever motivates you, remind yourself of those points when you’re losing steam. If you know it makes you feel better, think of that feeling you get when you’re finished a workout and try to keep that in mind.
- Be Smart about Your Workout Set specific and attainable goals. Start small. Set a goal like climbing the stairs without feeling winded — you’ll enjoy your workout more if you can check off little goals on your way to a healthier you!