What do you do when you lack the motivation to work out?
Motivation can be a fickle friend. Sure, it wants to be besties when you’re just starting out, have a new goal, or start a new program, but how about three or four weeks in? Suddenly it’s not so keen to hang out with you anymore.
The idea that you should or will feel motivated to work out all the time is a myth. There are, without a doubt, going to be days where you would rather stack the dishwasher or do your tax return than hit the gym. But don’t let that stop you! Sometimes all your motivation needs is a helping hand. Here are five of my top tips for getting your groove back:
- Just start
Sometimes all it takes is putting your shoes on, getting out the door, and just doing 10 minutes of exercise. If after that point you’re still not feeling it, you absolutely have permission from me to call it a day. Odds are that won’t be the case though as you’ve already overcome the inertia to even show up. Blast some music or put on your favourite podcast and keep going!
- Schedule it in
Suddenly too busy to exercise (when you could easily fit it in a few weeks ago)? Treat your workout as a meeting with yourself and put it in your schedule. You wouldn’t skip a meeting with your boss, and neither should you skip a meeting with the gym. If something legitimately comes up and you can’t make it fit – reschedule it!
- Persuade a friend
Working out with a friend is infinitely more enjoyable and motivating than exercising alone. Sweet talk your bestie/colleague/partner/mate from uni into meeting for a sweat sesh instead of a coffee or cocktail. Not only will you both be feeling great afterwards, you’ll probably work harder as well.
- Try something new
Feel like you’re stuck in a workout rut? Maybe a change is exactly what you need to kickstart your motivation. Normally a gym bunny? Try a hot yoga class. Love a spin class? How about signing up for a barre class instead. Who knows, you might find something new that you really enjoy.
- Take a rest day
If you’re really feeling unmotivated, maybe you’re overdoing it. Honouring your body with rest days is just as important as the workout itself. Your body needs rest to recover and repair after exercise. If rest days aren’t in your repertoire, it’s time to lock them in. Aim for at least two per week and watch your energy, performance, and motivation return to full capacity.
Rachel is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist based in Australia. She has worked with hundreds of clients to help them become fitter, stronger, healthier and more confident regardless of age, injury or experience level. She is the founder and director of RE.connection Project – an online program and community aiming to make health and wellness more accessible to women around the world.