There’s been many times when I’ve talked or almost talked myself out of exercising. You know the drill. You know you need to exercise to look sexy (or whatever other goal you have) but you and your inner voice is going back and forth.
You’re trying to wiggle your way out of it with these kinds of excuses.
‘I don’t feel like it.’
‘Maybe tomorrow but not today’
‘My to do list is too long.’
‘I wanna sit on my butt and binge watch (insert favorite TV show here).’
This is the tip of the iceberg of excuses. I’m sure you have many more. Bigger, better ones. Plus, I get that you don’t always feel like getting sweaty and I’ll let you in on a big secret.
Neither do I.
When the voices inside my head are winning at keeping my butt glued to the couch this is how I keep exercising when I don’t want to.
1. Lean On Habits
A habit is a routine of behavior that’s repeated regularly and tends to occur without you even thinking about it. You just do it, like the Nike slogan. It’s a settled tendency, something that’s ingrained in your brain.
I’m not sure about you but I have some less than stellar habits like biting my nails and not listening to my wife when she talks to me. Guess which one gets me in the most trouble?
Both are not good for me, but I do it anyway because some habits are hard to break. That’s the thing about good or bad habits, once you have them, they’re hard to break.
I’m fortunate to have a gym in my backyard but I still need a trigger, something to instigate my exercise habit to beat the voices inside my head. And this starts the night before.
Every night before I go to bed, I write a to-do-list, to help keep me on track and exercise is always on it. So, when my lazy gene kicks in, I reach over, grab my list, and remind myself to get off my butt.
Please put exercise on your daily to do list.
2. Keeping It Easy
All movement is good movement. This is a slogan you should live by when you’re feeling lazy and when you KNOW you need to exercise.
When you’re feeling especially lazy it pays to do something easy to get the movement ball rolling. The easiest thing is walking.
Every day, weather permitting, I take my dogs for a walk. It’s great exercise for them and me and all it requires is a pair of shoes and some open space.
There are numerous benefits of walking and there’s no need to rehash it all here. However, the hidden benefit of walking is that it reinforces our natural human contra-lateral (opposite arm opposite leg) pattern of movement.
Walking is a coordinated human movement that makes other movements like jogging, sprinting, and skipping easier.
The contralateral act of walking also activates the left and right hemispheres of your brain which can help you think clearer and reduce stress. Doesn’t this all sound good?
Then strap on a pair of shoes and go for a walk. It’s that easy.
3. Give Yourself 5 Minutes
Granted, this easier from me than you because I have a gym in my own backyard but the premise is still the same.
When you don’t want to exercise but you know you need to, give yourself 5 minutes. Get up, get dressed and get ready to exercise. This should take around 5 minutes. Still don’t feel like it, fine you can bail and call it a day.
However, are you starting to feel the need and are slowly warming up to the idea of exercise? Drive to the gym or go to your exercise space at home and give yourself 10 minutes. Do your usual warm up routine and if after this, you don’t feel like it, you can bail.
At least you’ve done 10 minutes, which is 10 more minutes than you felt like. Plus, if you feel exercising after all this, go ahead and crush it.
By giving yourself permission at each step and doing something before bailing or crushing your regular routine gets you off the couch when you didn’t feel like it.
That’s a win.
4. Do Something Fun
My definition of fun and your definition might be different. For fun, I like to lift weights, but despise yard work. My wife hates weights but loves getting out in the garden. Both will get us sweaty, stronger and burn last night’s cheesecake off.
You might like housework, Zumba, yoga, playing a sport, stretching or heavens forbid, mowing the grass. It really doesn’t matter what you enjoy as long as it gets you up and moving even when you don’t feel like it. Because all movements are good movements, even Zumba.
Half the battle is finding what you enjoy and then sticking to it and once you find it, do it for the rest of your life.
When you’re motivated to do something, like exercise it’s easy to get going. But when you’re feeling lazy, tired, or uninspired then it’s harder. Use these four tips to get up off the couch when you are bitten by the laziness bug.
After you’re done feel free to sit and binge watch your favorite T.V show. You’ve earned it.
Need an exercise program to get you on the road to better health, I have one for you here.