How I Get Myself To The Gym When I’d Rather Binge Netflix

I post a lot about exercise because I love it. When I was younger and hitting the bars with friends, I would drink water and leave by 11:00, so that I could wake up early for a 3-hour bike ride. I get that’s not how everyone feels about exercise. And believe me—I have my days where I’m sitting in my workout clothes, binging on Netflix, and debating whether I really want to squeeze in a workout.

In those moments, I implement my internal review process. It’s not revolutionary, but it helps me to get moving or at least achieve my weekly goal. If you’re not feeling so motivated, I hope that these questions can help you get moving.

On random low energy days, I usually ask myself:

  • Do I have to wash my hair today? Maybe that’s TMI. But it works. If the answer is “Yes,” I usually trudge towards my shoes.
  • If I don’t workout today, then what? I exercise three times a week and those are my only hours to myself (#momlife). If I can’t swap that day of exercise for another day, I won’t let myself lose that hour. When you’re feeling unmotivated, it’s important to remember why you’re working out and what you get out of it.
  • What sounds fun today? If nothing sounds fun, what’s manageable? This is where it’s important to have a variety of activities that you enjoy doing. Depending on how you feel, you may want to try the following:
    • Group class: First, you don’t have to think about anything—just follow the instructions. Second, everyone else’s energy can help push your limits.
    • Get outside: Nature improves your workout experience and mood.
    • Get a friend: Exercising with friends switches the focus from exercise to catching up.
    • Find an app: I use the Jillian Michaels app and really appreciate how I can tweak it to my energy levels and interests at the moment.
    • Do your usual workout at a manageable level: Part of making exercise a habit is just staying consistent. I have plenty of days when I take it down a notch. Not every day is a personal record day—sometimes you’re more proud about sticking with the workout than setting a record.
Walking_Unsplash 213476-arek-adeoye
Staying consistent is important for creating habits. If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, force yourself to put on sneakers and go outside to get a boost from nature. Start by walking around your yard and see how far you can get. Aim for at least 20 minutes. (Photo by Arek Adeoye)

If I’m finding that my motivation remains low over a period of weeks or months, I ask myself:

  • Why aren’t I having fun?
  • Am I still seeing results?

Basically, what do I need to change? Depending on the answers, I either adjust the balance of my cardio and weights, switch to entirely different activities, or buy a packet of sessions with a trainer to reset my workout. Fun and results should factor heavily into your workout plan. Without both of those elements, you won’t be able to sustain your activities. If you can afford a few sessions with a trainer, I have found them to be the quickest and easiest way to adjust my workout and attitude.


Editor’s Note: Starting next week, we will only be posting on Tuesdays. 

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