walk up stairs and counting steps counts towards exercise

9 Tips for Working Out Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Happy last #FitnessFriday of 2014 everyone! No one ever said exercise was easy, but the truth is, working up a sweat is essential to your overall health and well-being. Making time for fitness is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself.

Here are 9 simple tips for beating the workout blues:

1. Do something you enjoy
If you love it, you’ll do it. So what do you enjoy? Exercising with a friend or on your own? Do you like being outdoors or in a controlled environment? Do you need variety or do you like the familiar? Keep trying different forms of exercise until you find something you enjoy.

2. Start slowly
If you’re new to exercise, or starting again after a long period of inactivity, there’s no need to go all-out right away. If you go too hard too soon, the post-workout soreness may end up reinforcing any negative beliefs you may have about exercise. Take it easy at the beginning. Be gentle with yourself, and remember to acknowledge your accomplishments.

3. Make it a habit
What do fit people have in common? They exercise regularly and consistently. So make it your priority to establish the habit first; you can concentrate on increasing your level of fitness later. Put your workouts into your calendar, just like doctor’s appointments, and aim to hit the goal every week.

4. Don’t expect a quick fix
One of the reasons people work out so hard and then give up so quickly is that they are looking for a quick fix, and when they don’t get one, they become disillusioned. Be patient, give it some time, and remember that exercise has long term, ongoing health benefits beyond body shape.  

5. Do the right exercise to match your goals
If you have a specific goal and you’re investing time and effort to reach that goal, make sure your time and effort are well spent. What is it you want to achieve? Be honest with yourself, and if necessary, get some advice on what would be most effective. For example, if you want to tone your upper arms, chose resistance training and/or weight training rather than hiking.

6. Track your progress
One of the positives of regular exercise is experiencing improvement and progress. If you didn’t see any improvement, you’d eventually get disheartened. So track each small success to keep your motivation levels high. For example, if you go jogging and do your route 15 seconds faster than three days ago, you wouldn’t be aware of this unless you had a stopwatch, or used an app on your smart phone to time your run accurately.

7. Stop with the excuses
Your mind is very powerful and persuasive. How many times have you talked yourself out of doing something good for your body? Turn your excuses switch to OFF and say YES to making a positive difference in your life. It’s about prioritizing, and you must make fitness a priority.

8. Every little bit counts
You may not have time to fit in an “official” workout every day, but you do have time to walk. Invest in a simple pedometer or use a free app on your phone. Aim for 10,000 steps a day and you’ll start seeing a difference.

9. It feels good
Many fitness professionals talk about workouts as if they’re of no value unless they leave you gasping for air, covered in sweat and really sore. We disagree. Working out should leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. Bottom line: any exercise is better than no exercise. Move your body, feel your breath and be grateful for the opportunity to improve your health.

Let us know how you’re being active using the hashtag #FitnessFriday on Twitter or Instagram and tag us @MuradCares.

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