How I Beat the “I Don’t Want to Workout” Blues

Yesterday was one of those days. After work I sat on the couch reading blogs and watching YouTube videos in an attempt to avoid the one thing that I knew I should be doing: working out. I just wasn’t in the mood. It wasn’t that I was overly tired (although I was tired, even though I went to bed an hour earlier than usual–I’m trying to get more sleep these days since I know that I don’t get enough)… there was no reason for me not to workout, I just didn’t want to.

I think we all have those days, so here are a few things that help me get my butt off the couch (or a chair) when I’m feeling that way.

1. There are days that I start coming up with excuses before I have even left the office. The most common: “I’m too tired to workout when I get home!” I think that working on a computer all day can make me feel more tired than I actually am, so when I start thinking that way I know it’s time to switch it up. I’ll get up to refill my water glass or make a cup of tea. Getting away from my computer for a few minutes helps to wake me up. Another thing I’ll do is pull out my exercise ball. I haven’t completely replaced my desk chair with an exercise ball, but I have one in my cubicle that I can pull out and I’ve found that sitting on the ball instead of the chair does a lot to take away the tiredness. And I start to feel motivation to get a workout in once I’m home!

2. Sometimes my excuse is, “I have too much work to do once I get home!” If I actually have a lot of things to get done in the evening I’ll go on a walk during my lunch break. I always feel great after a power walk.

3. Sometimes I’m just feeling lazy. I don’t want to workout and my only reason is that I don’t want to, so none of my workouts sound like fun. On those days I have two go-to workouts that are bound to pick me up once I get started. The “I Will Survive” workout in Cheryl Burke’s Disco Abs collection is a lot of fun, although I don’t know if it’s still being sold. I received it when a friend of mine gave me all of the workout DVDs that she wasn’t using. Another go-to is So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Cardio Funk. What I like about this one is that when you know the dances you can cut out the instruction and just do the finished dance at different speeds. Each segment is about 10 minutes long and I always think, “I’ll just do a couple of them.” But once I get started I have so much fun that I end up doing all of the segments–and some of them I do twice.

4. I always think of this quote. I may not be able to watch another episode of Revenge or read another chapter of a book, but working out makes me feel better. It gives me more energy, my body generally feels good after a workout and it creates a strong desire to eat foods that are going to provide me with nourishment, rather than foods that are going to make me feel like crap. I’ve never thought, “I wish I hadn’t worked out” but I have woken up the next day and thought, “I wish I had done that workout last night.”

At the same time, I listen to my body. There are nights when I have thought, “I am legitimately exhausted, I need rest.” Those nights I give myself the break that I need and the next day I’m ready to go.

What do you do when don’t want to workout, but know that you should?

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