September 12, 2011

4 Feet Are Better Than 2

Sometimes its hard to exercise. You don't have energy, you just ate a huge meal, or you have so many other things that you need to do that spending an hour working out seems almost counterproductive. With school starting in less than 2 weeks, I see all these excuses looming in the not-so-distant future.

The truth is, however, that a good workout - which can actually be as short as 20 minutes- improves your energy, allows you to eat more, and helps you stay more focused when doing other tasks like writing papers or organizing a trip. I find that the days that I work out end up being more productive, more energetic, and overall more enjoyable.

If you are lacking exercise motivation, here are a few things that I have found encourage me to get up and work out even if I would way rather get up and go straight to the couch.

1. Find a Buddy - Find someone with similar fitness goals as you and make a plan to work out together a few times a week. Having someone holding you accountable for your workout will ensure that you don't give in to laziness. Plus, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.

Why can't it always be this easy?
2. Buy a Drink... or a Bar - I don't eat them everyday because they are often overpriced, but I really love granola/energy bars. Since they've become so popular, there are many great tasting varieties that fill you up and give you lots of energy, carbs and protein. If you're not working out, however, they have way more carbs and protein than you need. So, I tell myself that if I eat one during the day at school or work, I have to work out that day to make it worth it. I do the same with sports drinks like Gatorade or FRS. If I drink a sporty, electrolyte-filled drink or eat a 250 calorie peanut butter protein bar and then don't exercise, I feel like a fool. Plus, honestly, I feel cool when I think I "deserve" to eat and drink athletic things. Maybe that's just me?

3. Take a Workout Class -  If you've read through my previous posts, it's pretty easy to tell that I'm a big fan of workout classes. I find that I push myself harder and continue working out longer with an instructor than without. I belong to 24-hour fitness, and I love their TurboKick and BodyPump classes. I also love yoga and pilates, especially if I can get some cardio in before the class. Plus, because the classes are at set times, you can't tell yourself "I'll go later" and then end up on the couch until the next morning.

4. Get (or Stay) Dirty - If you think you're going to shower and then accomplish some other task and then go to the gym or for a run and then shower again, you are sorely mistaken. I find that it's easiest for me to go straight from work to the gym, because I already feel like I need a shower, so the idea of sweating isn't so off-putting. For girls, the fact that you have to wash your hair afterwords can alone be enough of a reason to not work out. So, if your hair was washed on Monday and it is now Tuesday night but you haven't exercised, tell yourself that you will exercise on Wednesday and wash it then. Come Wednesday, you know you're going to have to wash your hair that night anyway, so you might as well get sweaty. (Note - Please still feel free to shower on the Tuesday, but don't wash your hair).

If all else fails, go through a checklist of reasons why you want to exercise, including better health, better body, and more ways to justify eating dessert. Chances are, even a 20 minute run will seem worth all those benefits.

What do you do to trick motivate yourself to work out?




  1. Taking workout classes is a good one. An over active friend works too. Some people are naturally hyper and it's good to pal up with them for some major inspiration. Someone like Monica from Friends :)

    Heel in Mint

  2. Haha LOVE the friends reference <3

  3. I also find that getting a new piece of work-out clothes helps! There's nothing quite like getting new pants and how they force you to go on that run. :)