I hate working out. Exercise can be miserable sometimes. For me, working out sounds like a miserable job. I cringe at the thought of mundanely running on a treadmill or picking up a weight over and over again. I mean, really, how much more boring can it get?
The problem is, exercise is part of being healthy. Our bodies were designed to move – that’s what all those joints and are muscles are for! Plus there are so many benefits to exercising regularly. Here are just a few:
- Helps control your weight – no kidding, right? That is why most of us torture ourselves working out!
- Reduces your risk of heart disease
- Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels
- Improves your mental health and mood
- Strengthens your muscles and bones
- Helps with relaxation and improves your sleep quality
- Can improve your sexual health
- Improves brain function and protect memory and thinking skills
- Plus it has a positive effect on hormones: Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.
With a list of benefits like that, you can’t continue to say, “I hate working out”. Maybe we need to reframe this picture. Perhaps we can change the wording to exercise or fitness or activity or movement. No matter how you slice it, you can’t continue feeling, believing or saying, “I hate working out”.
Seriously, I hate feeling sluggish and depressed more than I hate working out. I hate being sick or in the hospital or dying early more than I hate working out. So, it is time to get creative with some tips to trick ourselves into working out.
Tips to Trick Yourself into Working Out – even if you hate working out
Enjoy your movement
I have never been a fan of going to the gym – it is just not my thing. Lucky for me there are many ways to get my heart rate up without hitting the gym and needing a bunch of fancy equipment.
- Take the dog for a brisk walk
- Go swimming
- Go hiking on a nature trail
- Play with your kids at the park
- Try a dance class like Zumba
- Get out for a bike ride
- Join a recreational sports team
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs
- Park your car further away and walk
- Try yoga – start with a beginner’s class or gentle or restorative
Move to the beat
Music is a powerful motivator. Grab your headphones and get moving to some upbeat music. Aim for songs that around 120 beats per minute – like Lady Gaga’s Just Dance (119 BPM). Listening to music you love can make any workout more enjoyable – even at the gym!
Look the part
Changing your clothes may not sound like a big deal, but there is a whole psychology effect involved. When you get in the habit of putting out your workout clothes, it signals your brain and body that it’s time to go. Even my dog has this one figured out. When she sees me putting on my running shoes she is hopping excitedly at the door before I can even reach for her leash!
Exercise comes with its own intrinsic rewards, but who doesn’t like to treat themselves? Sometimes promising yourself a reward after your workout can get your butt in gear. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Have a collection of tasty post-workout snacks that you love. Then you’ll have something to look forward to after your workout.
- Create a ritual for after your workout. Maybe a lovely shower with your favourite-scented body wash – something you have splurged on to treat yourself after your workouts.
- Set milestone treats like booking yourself a wonderful massage after you have completed 10 workouts.
Just get it done
As the day goes on, more demands get made on our time and our energy fades. And so does our motivation. Get your workout in as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning. That might mean getting up before everyone else in your house wakes up. But that can be a bonus since it also allows you to enjoy the peace and quiet of that first hour or so of the morning. It is like a gift to yourself.
Walk it off
Sometimes you just need to walk – no dancing, no jogging, no weights, nothing – just walk. And that is still great exercise. Walking has loads of benefits like lowering blood pressure, improving mood, reducing stress, and balancing blood sugar levels. And that goes a long way to supporting good health!
Physically prepare yourself
Set yourself up for success by taking good care of your physical self everyday throughout the day:Get adequate, restful sleep – aim for 7 to 9 hours each night
Drink enough water – aim for 2 litres (64 oz) per day – more if it is hot or you are extra active
Avoid dehydrating substances like alcohol and caffeine
Eat wholesome foods that nourish your cells and fuel your body
Keep working at getting 30 minutes of some form of exercise in everyday. It won’t be easy at the start but it will become easier over time as it grows into a habit. Be patient with yourself – keep working at. I promise, you won’t regret it.