I do love working out and people often ask, how do I keep myself so motivated? Truth is, it’s not something I’ve ever really thought about because fitness has just become a huge part of my lifestyle. But I guess that’s because I’ve let it become a habit. I go to the gym in the morning because it’s routine. I tend to run at the weekend because I deliberately keep Saturday mornings free for that. Then there’s the fact that if I don’t move, I feel rubbish! At work, everyone knows when I haven’t worked out as I’m twitchy, anxious and jittery!
Thing is though, my biggest belief is that you don’t have to kill yourself every session. Little and often is my mentality, and it’s the best way to keep yourself motivated and exercising regularly. It’s better to end a workout on a high wanting more, rather than dead, dying and thinking ‘f*ck ever doing that again’. I pretty much skip out of the gym of beans, and whilst some might think I clearly haven’t worked hard enough, I’m thinking I can’t wait to get back in there and do it all again. Same with running. Same with classes. With all that in mind, how do you actually make it a lifestyle and make fitness a regular part of your life?
It’s not for everyone but I’m a sucker for an early morning workout. That way, you’re up, out, and done, and you don’t have to have it hanging over you all day. Also, if you leave working out to later in the day, there’s more things to get in the way and a way higher chance you’re gonna bail. I always try and hit the gym, run or do something first thing — often for just 20-25 minutes. Set your alarm earlier and get it out the way. Promise it gets easier once you make it a routine!
Remember, workouts don’t have to be a slog. They should be fun! Sometimes, I’ll go to the gym and barely work up a sweat but it just feels good to move, stretch, and maybe work through some yoga poses. Other times, I’ll have just 15 minutes, but I’ll go hard and heavy on the weights to make it count. Most of my gym sessions are 30-40 minutes long — rarely ever longer unless I’m stretching or foam rolling.
Aha! Getting trapped into something is always a good way of making it happen. Sign up for classes with sucky cancellation policies so that you don’t bail. My gym, Virgin Active, penalises you if you miss 3 classes so I know I can’t just skip them, and studios like Frame or Psycle don’t let you cancel within 12 hours prior. Dunno if it’s intentional but it’s a great motivation tool!
I feel like I say it all the time but good fit kit does motivate you. Just like you want to go out to dinner to show off your new shoes or great dress, I love having great fit kit to wear at the gym. Plus, if you’re looking at yourself in a mirror for 30 minutes, and/ or in an environment where you don’t feel so comfortable, why wouldn’t you wear what makes you feel great? I live for LNDR sports bras, love Lululemon leggings, and UNIQLO’s Airism range is great, really affordable kit too.
Find your vibes! Classes are expensive and definitely aren’t for all of us all of the time, but they are amazing and can give you a real boost of motivation. The music, the energy, the fact that they do push you a lot harder than you’d probably push yourself means they make you OD on endorphins and leave wanting more. If I’m feeling a bit lacking in motivation, a turbo spin class like Psycle is the ultimate kick up the bum. SO good.
Having a race on the horizon is, for me, the ultimate motivator to run. That’s why I do so many I think! I love having a tangible goal to work towards, and if I don’t, I do get slack. Hence every time I do a race I sign up for another pretty much the next day. Sign up TODAY for a 5km or 10km or more, and see just how it motivates you to get out there.
Cycle. Cycle everywhere. It’s so good. So liberating. Not to mention free! Fun! And fast! It’s great exercise and good stress relief. I’ll often leave work in a funk and get home feeling so much clearer headed.
Lastly, my new favourite trick! After work, plan to meet friends or go for dinner 30 minutes later than you usually would and use that time to squeeze in a workout. It’s a fail-safe trick as you’re having to go to the gym to kill time. Plus, there’s the incentive of wine.