The irony that I am writing this whilst procrastinating about doing a workout is not lost on me…
However, I am getting sooooooooo many questions from you lovely lot about how and where I find the motivation to exercise, and so I thought it was high time that I did a little post about just that!
I just want to start this by saying that there is no magic formula, or else it would be bottled and sold alongside Juice Plus and Younique mascara. And to be quite honest, most days I am a lazy little shit who makes up a dozen excuses rather than working out. BUT, I do do my fair share of physical activity – and it is never easy! I also want to say to people who are asking about exercise because they want to lose weight – remember that losing weight is down to eating less. Unless you run marathons every day, your workouts won’t have much effect on your size.
I am the Queen of procrastination. I will often do lesser tasks that I have been putting off before I will even begin to tackle the big task! I once cleaned my kitchen because I didn’t want to put laundry away… oh dear! And so for me personally, gearing myself up to do something that I am dreading is not easy! But here are some things that I do to try to coax myself to exercise!
When I was at the gym it was way easier. I would book myself onto classes and by the time I was there with the endorphins flowing, I would push myself to do a class and often a little extra workout before or after as well. There was a tonne of equipment, and having other people around me really encouraged me to dig deep with reps and sets. Plus, my gym buddy Lisa would make sure I got a damn good workout in! But since moving away and setting up a garage gym, my motivation has wandered off a little. I go through surges of wanting to workout and I follow plans and routines, but it is much harder to focus when you’re on your own with limited space.
However, I do try, and the first step is always getting my gym kit on. Sometimes I workout as soon as it is on, sometimes it takes hours. But just having it on feels like half the battle. Make sure that you feel as happy and comfortable as you can in what you have on, and that it is appropriate for whatever sport you are going to crack on with that day.
Next, I plan what I am going to do. I use an app called ‘Kutya’ to either plan workouts or simply use as a timer to count down as I do my reps. Some days I feel like doing a boxing workout, some days it’s weights, some days it’s a solid half hour of hills and sprints on the bike. And I often find that unless I am really low on energy, once I am working out I can push myself a lot further than I thought I could five hours ago as I pulled on my sports bra. I am bored easily, and so doing rounds of exercises (eg fifteen weighted squats, ten dead lifts, 30 kettle bell swings, 20 battle rope reps, a minute long wall sit and then repeat twice more) helps mix it up and keep the effort and motivation going. I sometimes play podcasts, or if I am biking I watch something on my iPad, and sometimes it’s all about letting loose to an emo playlist.
One thing I also find that helps is filming my workouts – and if you follow me on social media, you will have seen quite a lot of my sessions. My form is better, I am way more motivated and hopefully some of you guys find it useful as well. You could maybe start an account where you post your videos or photos, or share them in various fitness group on Facebook. Or maybe just film them for you to check your form or to show a friend!
And speaking of friends – tell a friend! Not someone who will be an arsehole, but not a complete pushover either. Someone who will sternly tell you to get cracking with the squats, but will understand if you aren’t up for it that day.
Set a time. Sometimes I have lots to do, and I know I will try to put off doing a workout. So I tell myself that at x o’clock I will be in that garage getting my butt moving.
Eat sensibly. Don’t do a workout just after eating, but also don’t go when you are starving. Time it so that you are comfortable and not distracted by your tummy.
Don’t touch your phone – unless it is to film or change the music! Less distractions, more action!
Using tools to track your workouts can be a good way of pushing yourself to do it. I only really know of ‘My Fitness Pal’, but there are others that you can use to log your exercise. Joining a club or taking up a sport or joining ‘Borrow My Doggy’ could also help push you towards a more active lifestyle.
And lastly – accept that not every workout will be strong and amazing. Energy waxes and wanes, periods and moods can really change things, and it iss all about determining whether you’re just not feeling it or you genuinely cannot push yourself. Be stern but fair.
So those are some of the things that I do or find helpful when it comes to pushing myself to do and complete a workout. Workouts should never be used to punish yourself or to do anything extreme. Working out is about feeling fit and strong and happy.
Maybe let me know if you have any tips or advice in the comments.