I’m going to be honest here–exercise has never been easy for me. I find all sorts of excuses about why I’m too busy, or too tired, or too out-of-shape. There was a short time in my life (before baby #4) that I loved to exercise. I even trained for and ran a 5K. For all of you million-milers out there, that may seem like nothing. But for me, it was a huge accomplishment.
Running a marathon has always been one of my “I’m gonna do it someday” goals. Every member of my family has completed a marathon. My dad has run in over 20. I’ve always been the person at the finish line cheering everyone else on, wishing I could participate, but knowing my unhealthy body could never do that.
So, what’s wrong with me? Am I just lazy? Unmotivated? Pathetic?
Even now, I’m struggling with adding exercise into the mix. I’ve been trying to figure out ways to overcome this exercise slump. As I’ve been searching online for some tips and tricks, most of what I’ve found just says, “Get off your butt and do it!” Unfortunately, that’s not overly motivating. However, here are a few ideas I’ve discovered along the way that sound like they just might work.
Start small. Really small.
If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps. ~Leo Babauta from ZenHabits
Remind yourself some is better than nothing.
Erase the concept that if you can’t do at least 30 minutes you’re wasting your time. Exercise burns calories, increases energy, and improves your health – even in small doses. ~eHow.com
If you prefer to work out alone, give yourself something fun to do while you exercise. Find some good heart pumping music or listen to books on tape. A suspenseful audiobook may be all you need to get on those running shoes each day. ~SelfGrowth.com
Create a rule.
Have a rule that no matter what craziness happens in your life, you won’t workout less than 3x in a week. The absolute bare minimum should be to exercise at least 2x per week for 30 minutes. You’re not going to “try” to workout, or say you “should” workout, you “must” workout! If you’re a working professional, you’re sitting on your butt wasting away if you don’t exercise. That’s the harsh reality. Your body is built to move, not sit in a chair staring at a computer screen all day. ~BuiltLean.com
Remember the aftertaste.
As hard as it is to maintain an exercise routine, you always feel SO great after it’s over. This feeling can keep you coming back for more. After an excruciating workout, when you’re exhausted and your legs feel like rubber, your head is clear, you feel grateful, you feel accomplished, you feel cleansed, and, most of all, you feel happy. ~BlondeandBalanced.com
And isn’t HAPPY what it’s all about anyway?
Have you found something that motivates you and keeps you exercising even when you don’t want to? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below, and until next time–enjoy the aftertaste!!
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