By: Crystal Williams
I get it; I’ve been there. The temperatures are rising, which means happy hour with the coworkers or even sleeping in with Bae in the morning becomes more enticing to you than the gym. Having to force the effort to complete treadmill intervals for an hour or having someone encourage you to “dig deeper!” when you feel like you’ve done enough can be tempting. When you skip your workout once or twice, you manage to forgive yourself and forget it. But eventually, those two skip-the-gym days turn into weeks, and your jeans are getting snugger by the day. It doesn’t have to be like that.
A big part of becoming or maintaining a state of physical fitness is about being mentally present, and honestly, sometimes we’ve got to play tricks on our brains to tap into that consciousness. So, here I am to give the 411 on how to get yourself motivated to work up a sweat when, in the words of the great lyricist Big Sean, “[you’ve] “got a million, trillion things that [you’d] rather f*ckin’ do.” Whatever your situation – be trying to inspire yourself to get back into the gym post-injury, postpartum, or post-completion of that Netflix series – it’s time to change your attitude to reach your destined latitude.
1. ACCELERATE TO THE 5TH STAGE OF GRIEF.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Morbid, much?” If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you know that the practice asks you to honor where you are in the present moment – in other words, practice acceptance. And cheery affirmations don’t always work. Instead, take the more realistic approach. Think, “I don’t want to do this right now, but I need this right now because (insert reason here).”
We are so quick to justify a purchase we can’t afford, so why not validate taking that one hour to yourself that is absolutely proven to lift your mood, health, and booty?
2. KEEP IT CLOSE TO HOME.
Many people like to break a sweat close to their job location – which is what I like to call the “Early Morning Workout Warriors.” However, if your workout discipline is waning with every passing summer day, getting your workout in close to your front door may be more beneficial for commitment for both the night owls and morning glories. You may be compelled to try out the Ride class that’s located near your home subway stop or to lace up your kicks for a sunrise run around the neighborhood. Plus, you can leave the shower shoes behind this way!
3. GO WHEN YOUR FAVE INSTRUCTOR IS TEACHING – OR NOT.
That super inspiring instructor with the equally dope playlist is teaching at 7 PM? Write it down in your calendar and get ready for a good time. But if your favorite coach is instructing at 8 PM – but you know in your heart that if you don’t go immediately after work then you won’t at all – I’d recommend just hitting the gym when you’re ready! This goes back to that first item on honoring where you are mentally in the present. And don’t worry about upsetting your GFI because his or her timeslot doesn’t allow what your mind, body, and schedule need at that moment. At the end of the day, this is about YOUR journey!
4. SWEAT BY THE 20-MINUTE RULE.
Following the rule of telling myself that I am only staying for 20 minutes ALWAYS works for me when I have no desire for a workout. Why? Because it sounds a lot better than a half hour, and us fit pros are constantly reinforcing the idea that “some activity is better than nothing.” But once you get there, two things will happen: a) those 20 minutes are up and you don’t feel exhausted yet and you stay longer (HELLO ENDORPHINS! NICE OF YOU TO SHOW UP TO THE PARTY!) and then b) Holy sh*t, look at your watch! An entire 60 minutes have passed by without you realizing it!
5. BEAST MODE < BE REALISTIC MODE.
More than likely, this may not be the session you’ll be attempting plyo pushups and box jumps. Again – you don’t want to be there anyway, so then WHY are you trying to make your workout even more difficult? This will only frustrate you. Use this session to reinforce your form with standard functional movements – because regular, tried-and-true squats, lunges, planks, overhead presses, and bicep curls have never failed any workout session. Also, spend the time focusing on feeling good about not succumbing to the couch.
The battle is showing up, and you won. And I guarantee you’ll feel amped to return tomorrow full throttle!
Next time you find yourself evading the Stairmaster, utilize one or two of these tricks, and I bet you’ll find yourself sweating in no time!
Crystal Williams is a group fitness instructor and personal trainer.
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