Even if you’re an avid exerciser who’s at the gym most days or out on the trails running every morning you can lose your workout mojo and get into a rut where you lose all motivation. This is never a good place to be in because exercise is so vital for good wellbeing, and the longer you’re out of the game, the more difficult it is to get back in, and the harder it will be to maintain your previous level of fitness.
The good news is, no matter why you’ve lost your motivation to exercise, there is a solution out there for you. Let’s look at some of the most effective right now:
Work out your “whys”
One of the best ways to keep yourself exercising when you just aren’t feeling it is to work out why you exercise and what has caused you to stop exercising. When you know that those late nights or that breakup has caused you to lose motivation, you can take steps to turn it around and when you know why you exercise in the first place (to boost mental health, to stay in good shape, to have a goal) then it will be easier to get back on the horse and start doing what you know you need to do, once more.
Set yourself a goal
Science has shown that, when we set ourselves a goal, and really envision it, it becomes part of our reality and we have more intrinsic motivation to get moving towards it. So, whether you give yourself the goal of shaving a few seconds off your best running time or to bench press an extra 10kg, make sure you have a goal and you’re more likely to find your motivation mojo.
Make it your work
If you offer your services as a personal trainer, start working for The Beachbody Company Group as a trainer or take up teaching Tai Chi on the beach, you will have intrinsic motivation to get up and get active – you’re ability to make money will be affected by whether you do so or not. Okay, so this may be a bit of an extreme suggestion, but if you are the kind of person who knows the health and fitness world inside and out, a career in fitness could be an extremely fulfilling move for you, and you’ll rarely have to worry about workout motivation again!
Don’t be hard on yourself
When you lose motivation to exercise, it’s all too easy to be hard on yourself when you miss leg day or you don’t go running for a whole month, but this can be really counterintuitive. If you keep telling yourself you’re a failure or a loser or that you’ll soon be fat, then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; you’ll keep spiraling until it’s way harder to get back into it than it would have been if you just gave yourself a break and tried to focus on the positive in life, not to mention the positives of regular exercise.
Stay off social media
On a related note, if you’re the kind of person who’s always comparing yourself to others, it may do you well to stay off social media for a while. Why? Because although you can found lots of very inspirational workout posts on there, you can also find a lot of posts that will make you envious, cause you to compare yourself negatively to others, and out you off getting back to the gym. If that sounds familiar, protect your mental health and keep social media to a minimum.
Get a workout buddy
If you don’t already have a workout buddy, maybe it’s time to get one. When you work out with a partner, you are accountable not only to yourself but also to them. If you don’t show up, you’re letting them down and that just won’t do. Not only that, but having a friend workout with you can make the process a whole lot more fun, which is just another motivating factor to keep you exercising when you really don’t feel like it.
Take a small step
If the idea of getting back to your usual gym routine seems overwhelming, try taking a smaller step instead. Forget about those high-intensity workouts you’re used to and just go for a jog or swing a kettlebell around for a few minutes instead, ease your way back in, and before you know it, you’ll be back to your workout warrior best.
Get up earlier
This may not work for all of you, especially those night owls reading this, but a lot of people find that if they wake up earlier than usual, they are more inclined to exercise, Not only do they have more time to do so, but they have more energy, and the early mornings are more peaceful and less populated, which makes for a more enjoyable workout. Maybe it will work for you?
Some people also find that bribing themselves to work out is the best way to keep exercise motivation levels high. Some people do this the carrot way by promising themselves a nice new pair of sneakers or a trip to that place they always wanted to visit after they’ve worked out for X days in a row, while others go down the stick route and take something away from themselves for every day they don’t exercise, like donating a dollar to a cause they don’t agree with each day they don’t work out, Find out which method works best for you and give it a try.
Follow the Seinfeld Method
Speaking of X days in a row, there is a great motivational method that was popularized by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and it’s a really simple one. Basically, he would mark an X on the calendar for every day that he achieved his goal. He’d hate to see a day without an X, which spurred him on to stop procrastinating and do that thing he needed to do, Maybe this could work for you? There are even Seinfeld Method apps available to make it easier than ever!
Make a bet
A really fun way to re-find your workout motivation is to make a bet with a buddy. Bet them that you will work out for X minutes for X days in a row and you know that you’ll want to make it happen. There’s just no way that you want to lose a bet to your buddy and end up owing him money or a month’s supply of beer or whatever. The smug feeling you get when you win the bet will be so much sweeter than those days spent staying in bed when you should be at the gym!
Research the benefits
Researching the benefits of your favorite form of exercise could be a good way to bring the motivation back. When you know you’re prolonging your life, building healthy muscle, and keeping depression at bay, for example, exercise seems like a no-brainer, and getting back to the gym becomes your number one priority once again.
Try something new
Maybe you’re just tired of running or boxing or whatever it is that you usually do, so why not try switching it up with some yoga or aerobics instead? Not only may it reignite your motivation, but it will potentially work out parts of your body that rarely get a workout and that is never a bad thing.
Get Monday done
Research has shown that if you exercise on a Monday, you’re more likely to follow through and keep exercising on subsequent days. So, if you can just force yourself to get up and get a workout in on the first day of the week, you’ve fought and won half of the battle already. Sounds good to me!
If you take the time to relax and look after yourself a bit more often, you will maybe find that you’re more inclined to exercise because you don’t already feel like crap. It’s hard to get up and do something when you feel stressed and low, but if you feel good, well why wouldn’t you get up and out? So, whether you meditate, read a good book or enjoy time socializing with friends, do whatever you need to do to relax more often and the rest will come.
Examine your excuses
Sometimes excuses are valid, I mean if you’ve put your back out you can’t exercise right? But sometimes, they are exactly that – an excuse. So, next time you’re telling yourself you don’t have the time or whatever your latest excuse is, really examine its validity, and if you find there is none, put your training shoes on and get to it.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to re-find your workout motivation and keep exercising even when it feels like the last thing you want to do, so you should be able to find at least a couple that work well for you. Try as many as you feel you need to until you get your exercise mojo back again.