Desperately in need of some workout motivation? You’re certainly not alone! For many, the sheer anticipation of working out inherently evokes feelings of laziness and lethargy because they simply dislike the act of doing it. Then there are others who may love to work out yet they just can’t get motivated to get up, get out and go to the gym.
So, how do you get around this problem?
Well, I must admit, as much as I love working out, I sometimes ask myself: “Why am I doing this anyway?” Occasionally, sluggish feelings take over. Truth is, we’ll all have those moments when we don’t feel like working out. But, it’s important to find ways to push past the lack of inspiration, put on those sneakers and just go do it.
To make the process a bit easier, I’ve compiled a list of simple strategies for combatting that all-too common lack of workout motivation.
Consume Energy Boosting Foods
A diet that’s deficient in essential nutrients can substantially reduce your energy levels leading to extreme fatigue and general weakness. Collectively, these symptoms can make it difficult to even start a workout.
To alleviate this, I recommend regularly eating foods that house substantial amounts of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants). Some of the best include leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruit and berries, high-quality whole grains, nuts, and oily fish like salmon or tuna.
You can also get a substantial dose of energy with moderate consumption of caffeinated coffee or tea (about 8-16 ounces per day). In fact, a single 8-ounce cup of either can boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels high for up to 3 hours after consumption.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is one of the most commonly overlooked, but especially critical aspects of any workout program. Even small levels of sleep deprivation over time can lead to burnout, making you more susceptible to accidents and injuries during workouts.
Adding insult to injury, sleep loss or poor sleep quality is also linked to unhealthy weight gain, obesity, and other health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
For good health, it’s important to get at least six hours of high-quality sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, start by simply turning off your computer and/or television at least an hour prior to bedtime. Maybe even use lavender or other aromatherapies to evoke relaxation.
Dress for Workout Success
I’m sure you’ve heard the familiar saying: “Dress for success.” Well, dressing for success is no different than dressing for a good workout. I always encourage my health coaching clients to bring more fashion to their fitness routines—No matter their shape or size. This is actually the premise behind my “Get Fit, Live Well, Be Fabulous” mantra.
I wholeheartedly believe that wearing fashionable, flattering fitness apparel helps make people feel excited and more enthusiastic about the workouts to come. In fact, research has revealed a direct correlation between what people wear and how they perform, as well as their motivation levels and even their likelihood of injury during workouts.
So, whether you’re a size 2 or a size 20, go ahead and treat yourself to a stylish set of fitness apparel and be fabulously motivated while you work out!
Perform Exercises You Enjoy
You may be unmotivated and unenthusiastic about a workout because you simply hate the type of exercise you’re about to perform. If this is the case, you’ll find it difficult to initiate each and every one of your workouts.
One of the best ways to counter this feeling is by performing exercise activities that you actually enjoy. Most people don’t do this! Working out doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it have to be boring. When you put forth some real effort to choose exercise formats that you really like, exercise can actually be quite fun.
In addition to ‘structured’ exercises like treadmill walking and elliptical climbing, maybe consider taking long hikes, kayaking or competitive sports. Such activities are equally as effective.
What types of non-traditional exercise do you find exciting? Dancing? Rock climbing? Jumping Double Dutch? It’s all about what you like to do! Just adding variety can help you overcome a lack of motivation and even improve your progress. Your muscles have memory cells that may become unresponsive if they’re not shocked occasionally with a change in routine.
Listen to Your Favorite Music
It is very well recognized that listening to music has a number of beneficial effects when it comes to working out. Music can greatly reduce pre-workout apprehension and fatigue, increase exercise motivation, and induce a sort of “distracting” effect during workouts making it easier to exercise harder, faster and longer.
Think about it. Have you ever attended a group fitness class without music?
There’s a reason why moderate-intensity to high-intensity group fitness formats like traditional floor aerobics and Zumba, boot camp-style training, and spinning are all performed with the aid of fast and loud music. Such music has been shown to substantially enhance exercise motivation and even exercise output.
Personally, music is one of my absolute favorite ways to prep myself for a workout. I typically make a playlist of at least 25 songs that I looking forward to listening too. When I don’t make it through my playlist during a workout, I get that much more excited about the next workout. While this may seem silly, it’s quite an effective strategy, especially if you like music.
And there you have it! Five simple strategies for getting more energized and motivated to work out. While there’s no one-size fits all solution, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try them all.
But, it’s also important to understand that if you constantly feel sluggish and unmotivated to exercise or just be active, you may want to evaluate other facets of your life. Such feelings can also be related to mental issues like stress or even anxiety.