The hardest part of a workout happens before the exercising begins — and that’s getting out of your door. Whenever or wherever you do your workouts, the important thing is to just do them.
Related: Find Your Weight Loss Motivation
Here are a few tips to overcome the challenge of getting out the door for your workouts:
- Get support.
- Identify your “biological primetime” and work with it, not against it.
- Fuel your body.
- Be in a beautiful place.
- Set a specific goal and log your workouts.
Your fellow exercisers can give you the push you need. You can join a running (or cycling or swimming or yoga) group or find just one workout buddy. The effect is the same: other people not only hold you accountable for your fitness goals but also provide pep talks and comradery when you just don’t feel like moving. Being part of a group can even provide motivation on days when you choose a solo workout instead…’cause you know your group is working out with or without you! (Find sports organizations near you on Active.com.)
Many people find that morning workouts are the best way to fit exercise into their schedule. I totally get that and recommend that approach to many of my uber-busy clients; but remember that not everyone performs at their best early in the morning. I do better in the afternoons, so that’s when I run. Respect your body’s natural rhythms and do what works for you. You’re far more likely to stick with your workout program if you feel great when you workout.
Chances are, if you lack motivation to get your butt out the door for a workout, you could benefit from a little food-induced energy boost. Contrary to popular belief, eating before a workout – 1.5 to 2 hours before, to be exact – is a good idea and doesn’t inhibit your body’s ability to burn fat (if weight loss is one of your goals).
A corollary of #3, but worth mentioning on its own. If you’re feeling sluggish, you may be dehydrated. Have a glass of water to wake up your body and prep it for some sweatin’!
Whether you workout in a gym or outdoors, try to find physical surroundings that increase your energy instead of sap it. If you like the way you feel when you’re there, you may actually go there.
Signing up for a race and tracking your training is a great motivator for pushing you out the door on days when you feel less than inspired. I put my training log on my refrigerator and fill it in after each workout. It stares me in the face every morning when I reach for my breakfast and reminds me of my commitment to myself. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?
Related: Running Tips From a Marathon Veteran