Everyone who works out knows that there will be times when you just don't feel like exercising. It doesn't matter how motivated you are, how long you have been working out, or how much you love being active, it is a simple fact of life that you will have challenging days. However, what you choose to do at these times can make the difference between staying in shape or starting a downward spiral that will take a toll on your fitness level.
I want to address this issue beyond the "just do it anyway" type of advice and give you a few super techniques that can push you over even the most difficult slump.
1) Do it anyway, but take it easy. There is a big "gap" between doing nothing, and doing a full-blown workout. When you are tired or don't feel like working out, the thought of doing a hardcore workout can be very "intimidating" and working yourself up to actually doing it can be impossible. So if you don't feel like working out, go for a lighter workout, but refuse to judge yourself if you choose to stay at a light to moderate level. If it's easier to get motivated to do a light workout and you know from the start that's all that's required, you are much more likely to get started. You will get your workout; you will keep the habit, and you will still get good results. For example, if it's cardio day and you don't feel like running, go for a light to brisk walk instead. If it's strength training day, perform less reps or utilize only 3/4 of the weight you normally do.
2) Focus on the pleasurable parts. Focus on the aspects of exercising that you enjoy the most. For example, remember how great you feel when you finish a workout! Not just the feeling of accomplishment, but the physical energy that you feel. And that's a feeling that you will only get when you do your workout. Also, focus on the exercises that you like, rather than the ones you don't. Keep thinking about those specific exercises and look forward to when you get to those in your workout.
3) Create a play list of workout songs. I'm giving away one of the greatest tips that's in my motivation e-book, but here it goes: make a tape, CD, or play list of songs that are motivating and only listen to it when you workout. This is a great technique that I have been giving my clients for years with amazing results - especially for their cardio workouts.
4) Join the champions team. Remember that working out when you don't feel like it is what will separate you from the rest and guarantee your success. Everybody faces challenges from time to time. Even world-class athletes! There is a saying that goes: champions are made on the off days. Everyone can workout when they feel great and motivated. It is those who can get themselves to the gym when they don't feel this way that become champions and achieve amazing results. Look at those challenging times as opportunities. Those are the times you are given a chance to join the elite champions team that make it through their workouts no matter what.
Eduardo Dias Health & Fitness
For Health, For Fitness, For The Body You Want
Eduardo Dias is a personal trainer and nutritional advisor based in Toluca Lake, CA. His website eduardodias.com is dedicated to providing information in all areas of health and fitness: from nutrition and exercise to mental health and motivation.