We all know at least one person who jumps out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, makes a healthy smoothie made of Kale, spinach and flax seeds, and then rushes off for an hour long workout at the gym.
Most of us are not that person.
You might join the gym, you might even set your alarm for early in the morning, but when that annoying, blaring noise starts you weigh what you want most…gym time or sleep… and gym time rarely wins.
However, you are aware that you need more exercise to feel healthier, happier and to drop those extra pounds.
So how do you trick yourself into exercising more?
- Choose an accountability buddy. If you know someone is waiting on the street corner to walk with you then you’re more likely to drag yourself out of bed and put on those sneakers. Or meet at the gym and then go out for coffee afterwards.
- Find some type of exercise you actually enjoy doing. This could be playing tennis, swimming, riding your bicycle along a beautiful trail, or kayaking on a lake.
- Join a class. Try jazzercise, yoga or martial arts. Find a local runners club and train for a 5K. You’ll meet new people and get to socialize while you exercise.
- Challenge yourself with weekly and daily goals. Use your competitive nature to boost yourself forward. Reward yourself every time you reach a new goal.
- Take brisk walks with your dog. While a leisurely stroll is a gift, it won’t get your blood pumping. Try to pick up the pace for a least a few minutes and then slow down for a minute or two.
- Remove the clothes hanging from the treadmill in your bedroom and place a television in front of the machine. Choose a series on Netflix you’ve been wanting to watch. Only watch an episode when you’re on your treadmill or stationary bike. This is your chance to catch up on all those series shows you’ve been wanting to watch. Don’t cheat and watch the show at any other time!
You can also read books while you walk on your treadmill. Using your Kindle allows you to enlarge the print so it’s easy to read.
- Shorten the time you must exercise by using H.I.I.T or high intensity interval training. With this type of training you exercise at full speed for two or three minutes and then go slow and rest for a short time. Then hit it again with full force. With this type of exercise you get the impact of a full workout in a shorter amount of time.
- Sneak in a few walks during the day by using these easy cheats. Instead of circling the parking lot three or four time trying to find the closest spot, park further away and enjoy the walk. Stop taking the elevator or escalator and take the stairs. Even these short walks get your body and metabolism moving.
- Use upbeat music to get you in the mood to move. This can be a great motivator on your treadmill or other exercise machines. I will caution about walking with earphones on when you’re near traffic areas. You won’t hear cars approaching or an angry dog.
- Don’t overdo when you first start. This can end an exercise plan quicker than anything. If you feel exhausted or in severe pain after your first one or two workouts you’ll probably give up. Start slow. Long term consistency is what’s important. If you’re using a new piece of exercise equipment at the gym always get directions so you’ll know how to use it properly and avoid injuries.
Remind yourself of the end goals. You want to improve your health, keep your weight under control, improve your energy level and improve your mental outlook. You want to sleep better at night. Even your sex life will improve.
Exercise also works as a natural anti-depressant so you’ll lift your mood every time you work-out. This is what runners call the “runner’s high”. Keep thinking about how great you felt after your last exercise session. Keep thinking about this until you’ve made exercise a habit.