Everyone strives to live healthier, happier and longer. We all know that balance is important and you need to work towards finding a happy medium. But some people, it is easier said than done. Not everyone is born with interest and excitement towards exercising or being active. For some, workout motivation is non-existent.
Sam and I are a perfect example. Sam could spend all day running, weight training, being active and compete. He just loveeees to exercise. Not exercising actually make him depressed, as a result, Sam is a 60-year-old who looks and behave like a 30-year-old. I, on the other hand, I prefer staying at home and not moving. I rather read, and the thought of exercising makes me shudder. That said, I do exercise, 2 to 3 times a week, under protest. As a result and I look and feel 60! The complete lack of motivation when it comes to getting off the couch and getting fit can be almost impossible to get over. There’s always 500 reasons why NOT to work out. But to get and feel healthy, you have to do the work! So Sam, our resident fitness expert has to come to the rescue today with a few tips on how to get workout motivation
1. Dress to Impress
Sometimes just putting on some super cute and comfy workout clothes can jumpstart your motivation. You wouldn’t want those expensive Nikes to go to waste now, would you? Treat yourself to some new threads on the condition that you have to break a serious sweat while wearing them, and no, reaching for the remote when it falls on the floor does not count. Take a shower, do your hair, and get dressed up in your best workout gear. Even if you’re going to do at-home floor yoga, putting in some effort can make it something you will look forward to doing.
2. Start Simple
Working out doesn’t always have to be an ‘event’. You can start introducing little extra movement into your daily routine. Stand up at least once every hour. Go to the bathroom, make everyone some tea, or just annoy a friend or colleague for 10 minutes. Sitting for hours on end is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Besides the fact that you can permanently damage your back, it also means that your legs get absolutely no exercise. This causes that heart attack feeling you get from climbing one flight of stairs. Not a great feeling. Get your body used to moving around and you will feel the difference.
The next step is to walk for 10 minutes a day, then build up to 20 minutes. Walking for 20 minutes every day will already be a huge improvement to your health. Walking increases blood circulation and forces your lymphatic system into hyperdrive. Then start with the rule of 10s during your workouts. All you have to do is 10. Don’t worry about how long your workout lasts, just do 10 of each thing until you can’t anymore, then stop. You don’t have to suddenly be one of the people that spend three hours in the gym. Ten push-ups, ten sit-ups, etc. Try to do it every day, but even if you can’t, something is better than nothing. When ten becomes easy, pick up the pace, and just keep going. Before you know it, you’ll be doing 100 push-ups a day, and even that will be too easy. Baby steps.
Next, try to run for just one song. Download your favourite feel-good jam, pop in your headphones and run as if zombies are after you. As you get better, download longer and longer songs. Eventually, you’ll run through your entire workout playlist. Don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning, start by just walking if you need to, but the important part is not to give up.
3. Line Up your Favourite Tunes
This is the most important aspect of a workout for me. That is probably why Zumba is so popular. Good tunes can make or break my workout – seriously. Because I know how easy it is for me to find reasons not to work out, I made sure my workout songs are lined up to the type of exercise I am doing that day. This especially essential when running or doing a HIIT workout. Some of the songs in my current playlist are:
- Drake – In my feelings
- Kendrick Lamar & SZA – All the Stars
- Bruno Mars – Finesse
- Maroon 5 & SZA – What Lovers Do
- Zedd & Marren Morris – The Middle
Finding a friend to workout with is extremely underrated. Having someone to motivate you when you’re having a particularly lazy day can be life-changing. Make sure to hold each other accountable and go out for a nice dinner at the end of the month to reward yourselves for sticking to your plan and helping each other. Remember to reward yourself for all the hard work you put in. When you stick to your new goal of getting fit, each day of working out, even if it’s from the comfort of your bed, is a step in the right direction.
To get motivated, all you have to do is go on your smartphone. Instagram introduced a new age of inspiration. There are thousands of fitness models online just waiting to inspire you. You don’t ever have to aim to look just like them, but if seeing those perfectly toned abs doesn’t make you want to work out, even a little, then nothing will. People like Stephanie Sanzo, whose Instagram posts make me want to weep, are perfect examples. She’s a mom, and she can still deadlift 110kg, she is sweet and inspirational without being cheesy. Her Instagram Stories show you proper technique, and she honestly seems like someone who could be your friend. There’s no need to get quite as ripped as she is, but let her absolutely epic photos inspire you. Spend time stalking fitness gurus, and it will, without a doubt, make you want to get up off the couch and lift some weights.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning some “easy” ways to work out. You certainly don’t need to go to the gym every single day to tone your body and become healthier. Learn how to do simple exercises for those bad days. Bed yoga is a great place to start, something you can do just as you wake up or before going to sleep. Go to YouTube and search ‘bedtime yoga.’ There are thousands of options so you can try a new one every day. Try to get up and about as much as you can, but when it’s been one of those days, doing a little light yoga will still give your body the movement it needs, without the strenuous workout.
6. Fun Zone Only
If you really cannot be bothered getting changed, starting simple, having the right tunes and the right tools or even can’t be bothered to get out of bed to do anything, fret not. There is another exercise you can do in bed, and it’s probably one of the more fun exercises you can do… This one might require a partner though. Scientists at the University of Quebec discovered that a sexual activity session could burn up to 90 calories which is the same number of calories you would burn on a 30-minute jog. So, for those days when you just don’t want to put on your running shoes, you don’t have to put on much else either. Easy!
7. 2 Birds…
If fitness doesnt motivate you but binge-watching tv series on Netflix does, perhaps rewards yourself while working out. Watching a full season of ‘The Blacklist’ on Netflix while on the exercise bike or treadmill or the Gymball is not a bad way to spend your evening. Every time you finish an episode and the countdown to the next episode starts, stand up and do as many jumping jacks as you can. Running in place also works. By the time you start running out of steam, your next episode should be starting. If you work your way through an entire season, listen to the credits music and do 20 push-ups.
Start slowly and work yourself up. Every little thing you do can benefit your body and mind. All the best!