You’ve got good intentions. That cycling class is on your calendar. Your bag is packed. You drank a lot of water today. And yet — the 5:30 p.m. start time has come and gone, and you’re home catching up on your DVR instead. Here’s how you can do better next time.
Promise yourself fifteen minutes.
You’re too tired/busy/hungry — give yourself just a quarter of an hour; chances are you’ll end up staying longer and be happy that you did. And if you don’t end up extending your session? You still get credit for fifteen minutes of exercise.
Take your mind off the dread.
Is your naysaying brain one of your workout hurdles? Try distracting yourself with a new playlist. Listen to an engaging podcast. Use one of the machines near a TV. Work out with a chatty friend. Focus on the voice of your motivating instructor. Let something drown out the “I can’t do this” self-talk.
Consider alternative fitness incentives.
The obvious benefit of improved health and well-being isn’t enough for everyone. Does your company reimburse or reward you for healthy behavior? Mark those deadlines on your calendar. If not, consider rewarding yourself — set aside a gym jar of cash that you only get to crack open if you hit the Y twelve times this month.
Remember that post-workout feeling.
When you’re toweling off and catching your breath, you rarely regret the past hour of exercise, right? “Man, I wish I didn’t manage to get that workout in and have all these endorphins flowing,” said almost no one ever.
Forgive yourself with a makeup session.
Okay, all these tips have failed you and you still didn’t make it to the Y — it happens to the best of us. Go for a walk around the block. Hold a wall-sit for one minute. Take the stairs. Do fifteen burpees. Build a fort with the kids. Vacuum your living room. Do a few sun salutations. Then, pack your workout bag and put it in front of the door; you’ll try again tomorrow.
What gets you to the Y when your mind is telling you to skip it? Share your strategy in the comments!