Workout motivation is often tough to tap.
Maybe the days have gotten shorter and the winter chill is making you want to stay snuggled underneath a fuzzy blanket, or your work and social schedule has gotten so crazy you barely have time to slip on sneakers.
Whatever the reason, there are specific tactics that can help you continue or even start exercising when it feels impossible.
Try these 5 workout motivation boosters, now.
- Schedule it. Setting and maintaining a consistent exercise schedule turns it into part of your day. In other words, prioritize working out as if it were a doctor’s appointment, no skipping allowed. Just remember that it’s important to make a schedule that’s realistic and can be maintained. Some weeks require morning workouts, others midday. Over time, an extra day can always be added to your schedule, but don’t start out with goals you can’t reach and end up discouraged (i.e. are you really going to get up at 5:00 a.m. for spin class the morning after your weekly work happy hour?).
- Invest money. Paying for a gym membership or buying classes at a boutique fitness studio is not always cheap, and not everyone has this option. But if you do have some disposable income (hey, how many nice bottles of red wine did you pick up last week?), maybe paying for a personal trainer is what you need. Money has a way of changing your perspective because no one wants to waste it. Think of it as the best kind of investment—in your health.
- Switch things up. If you dread your sweat sessions, get creative and try something new. It could be that you just haven’t found your workout motivation sweet spot yet. Love cardio? Look into spinning or boxing. Want to tone and tighten? Try a barre class. Hot yoga might be what your body needs on a cold, winter day; lifting heavy at a CrossFit box might feel better during summer.
- Find a workout partner. Working out with a friend creates accountability—it’s harder to bail when you know you’ll be letting someone else down by not showing up. Bonus: research has shown that exercising with a partner can push you to work harder during the sweat session, and it’s bound to be way more fun, too.
- Treat yourself (post-workout). Choose something to serve as a reward after working out (no, not a gallon of ice cream). Think along the lines of a warm shower followed by a great face mask, or bigger treats for hitting specific goals. At the end of a really successful week, for example, you could buy yourself those pumps you’ve been coveting or a bold new lipstick.Think of something that really resonates with you, personally, that makes you proud of breaking a sweat and working towards those bigger health and fitness goals.
Jane Hanisch is a Nutritious Life Certified personal trainer and yoga instructor based in Charlotte, NC. She holds a degree in Exercise Science and is an exercise physiologist through ACSM. As a former professional ballet dancer, she witnessed the dangers of resorting to unhealthy diet tricks in order to maintain a certain weight. The experience showed her that food could not be the enemy, and after stepping away from the dance world, she began a career in fitness and nutrition to help other women live healthy lives. Follow Jane on Instagram @janehanisch or on her website www.corefitactive.com.