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7 Ways to Motivate Yourself for Exercise When You’re Feeling Lazy

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7 Ways to Motivate Yourself for Exercise When You’re Feeling Lazy

You know how it goes: you get into the groove of a workout routine and everything’s going great. Then one day you feel a little tired, so you skip the usual workout and watch a movie instead. The next day, you remember how nice it was to be cozy on the couch and convince yourself to skip your usual run again. The following day, you can’t imagine anything less appealing than going to the gym, and before you know it, you’ve fallen out of the exercise habit and into a pit of laziness.

The longer you go without working out, the harder it is to motivate yourself to come back. Whether it’s your first or your 20th day of skipping the gym and feeling lazy, here are seven tips that can help you get back on track.

1. Update Your Playlist

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin studying the correlation between exercise and music found three main reasons that music is a good source of motivation for exercise. First, we tend to move in time – or synchronize our movements – to the beat of music. Secondly, music tends to inspire us to get up and move rather than remain static. So if you’re feeling bored, pay a visit to iTunes. Put together an exercise soundtrack featuring music you love. Think of going to the gym as something you get to do while enjoying your favorite music.

2. Get a Workout Buddy

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to get workout, start making fitness dates with a friend. Not only will you be less likely to blow it off when someone else is holding you accountable, you can also skip the boring parts of the gym and instead focus on having fun. Sure, you could go run on the treadmill by yourself for an hour – or you could meet up with your buddy to go rock climbing or play tennis or one-on-one basketball. Accompany your friend to her favorite yoga class one week and then invite her on a walk around your neighborhood the next. Exercising with a friend keeps things fun and fresh.

3. Workout in Your Pajamas

For days when your motivation is truly gone, keep it simple. Any exercise is better than none, so do some crunches and jumping jacks during TV commercial breaks. Take a walk around the block. Try this lazy workout routine. Do a gentle yoga DVD in your PJs. If you don’t have a lot of “getting ready” to do, the act of working out actually seems simpler.

4. Walk Instead of Run

You don’t need to push yourself to the maximum every single time you work out, and you don’t need to skip the workout altogether. If the thought of going for a run sounds absolutely unbearable today, go for a walk instead. It’s extremely common to be less motivated to exercise during the cold winter months, so consider adapting and taking a gentler approach this time of year. Instead of telling yourself that you’ll either go to the gym for an hour or stay home and veg out, consider going to the gym for 15 minutes and do an easier treadmill routine.

5. Sign Up for a Race

Going to the gym day in and day out without a clear goal in mind can start to feel like a drag. Having a specific goal to work toward – completing a 5K, getting a half marathon personal best time, running a few miles for a charity you believe in – can be motivating and inspiring. You don’t want to be huffing and heaving on race day, so you’ll be more likely to go out on training runs when there’s an upcoming race on your calendar.

6. Forget the Boring Stuff

If the thought of a particular exercise sounds terrible today and it sounded terrible yesterday, it will likely sound terrible tomorrow. So here’s a thought: Skip the terrible stuff. There’s no reason why any of us should ever feel like we have to do a particular form of exercise. There are so many fun ways to get fit we could be trying instead. Try something offbeat like hula hooping, pole dancing or an adult dodge ball league – anything that gets your heart pumping and makes you happy.
Exercising is about putting your body in motion. Figure out your favorite ways to do that, whether it’s through hiking, yoga, swimming or learning to walk a tightrope. Many of us feel there needs to be particular rules for exercise, but the truth is, anything goes.

7. Use a Different Machine

Forget the usual treadmill and elliptical machines. Refresh your workout by trying those machines you’ve never used before. Take the underrated rowing machine: did you know it’s comparable to running? Row on it for an hour and you’ll burn 600 calories – without doing the same old, same old treadmill routine. Look around your gym and you’re likely to find several machines that no one ever seems to use. Some of these machines are boredom-busting, motivation-renewing gems, so be sure to take a closer look.

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