Listen, I love working out. I love moving, I love getting stronger, I love getting faster. But sometimes, life gets busy, something hurts, or I just can’t be arsed to get out of bed at 5AM. I get it. Sometimes, we just don’t want to work out.
But actually, the workouts I do when I really don’t want to work out are often the very best ones. If I’m not feeling like exercising, chances are I’m not feeling great in general. It might be exhaustion, it might be an unbalanced diet over the past few days, or it might be that I feel heavy and sluggish and just don’t want to move. In all of those cases, getting a bit of exercise into my day always helps me quite a bit (unless I’m genuinely ill, in which case I ALWAYS rest).
This past week, for instance, I had a crazy busy week, both at work and at home. On top of that, I was suffering from absolutely ridiculous hayfever symptoms (along with half of Europe, it seems!), sleeping badly, eating too many convenience foods and just generally not feeling myself. Because I was so tired, I slept late (or as late as you can with a two-year-old..) and skipped my workouts all week. As a result, I felt less and less like myself each day, and slid into a bit of a vicious cycle. This morning, I decided to make myself a priority for a few hours and headed to a yoga class. Hey presto, I feel so much better.
So, how can we motivate ourselves to exercise when we don’t want to work out? There’s one factor that’s more important than anything else – we have to pick the right type of exercise. Basically, choose something that you feel like doing, and that will help you get through whatever funk you’re in. Here are my top three:
Not a two-minute walk to a coffee shop, but a proper walk. I like to do this on my lunch break if I’m feeling drained – 30 minutes of non-stop walking around the park helps me get some fresh air, stretch out my limbs and gives me a chance to listen to some music, or just get lost in my thoughts! When I’m race training, I also love going for short walks on non-running days. I have no idea whether there’s any science behind it, but it makes me feel like I’m staying loose and in the groove!
This one is kind of a cliché, but a good yoga flow always helps me when I don’t want to work out. Specifically, Adriene helps me out! She has a huge selection of (free!) yoga videos, and you can choose one depending on your needs and feelings. There are short sessions and longer ones, videos that tackle self doubt, stress and even cozy yoga, if that’s what you need at the moment!
Now, I know this sounds insane, but bear with me. When I don’t want to work out, it’s often because I’m feeling stressed or anxious or frustrated. In those situations, I tend to build up a lot of negative energy and am really harsh to myself. If I can get my derrière in gear and power through a high-intesity workout, I can get rid of a lot of that negativity and look at everything from a much more positive perspective. It’s not always easy, but usually worth the struggle!
What are you favourite ways to get moving when you just can’t be bothered? Let me know in the comments :)