Body & Mind

4 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

How do you motivate yourself to exercise when you just don’t feel like it? I ask myself this question from time to time and I guess I am not the only one. Through out the years of regular visits at the gym I figured out 4 ways that are the best motivation for me. Maybe they will appeal to you as well. Take a look!

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1. Think about the feeling afterwards.
Tough day at work? You missed the deadline, participated in an extremely long and unproductive meeting and had an argument with your colleague? You wanted to go to your Pilates class after work, but you just feel like heading home and hiding under the blanket? Don’t worry! – Everyone has felt this way at some point in their lives or if not such a day might be ahead of you. 🙂

I noticed that just when you are mentally overwhelmed and you don’t feel like going to the gym at all – trust me – then your body needs it the most. Exercises destruct you from you daily problems, shifting focus only on proper workout performance. Movement lowers your cortisol level and evokes happiness hormones: endorphin, dopamine and serotonin. After exercising you can look at your day from a distance, suddenly your thoughts become more positive and you have more energy for new challenges. So before exercising simply try to think about how great you will feel afterwards.

2. Go to the gym directly before or after work. Pick the one close to your work or home.
Logistics might be difficult. Going from A to B in big cities might take forever. Certainly when it rains and it’s cold outside, you don’t feel like going home after 8 hours of work, picking up your gym wear and shoes and than going to the gym eventually. How many times did you just stay at home, hence it seemed impossible to leave the warm and cosy nest?

I learnt that if I want to go to fitness classes in the evening, I definitely need to select the one starting directly after my working hours, so I can go there straight away without making a D-tour home. I prepare myself for the exercises in the morning: I pack into my big bag all my sport accessories, shoes and towel. Having all my sport wear with me at work prevents me from thinking again whether I still should go to the gym or not. I simply just do it!

It also helps to pick the gym situated very close to your home or work/school. You can definitely save time on annoying traveling.

3. Fashion & Visualization.
I don’t mean here cutting out the pictures of fashion models in the magazines and placing them above your desk. We all know that they are photoshopped anyway.

What appeals more to me is the power of visualization. Just to give you an examples: You can buy a new fashionable sport outfit. You can imagine yourself in new leggings and top. How will you look in the mirror while doing those squads? Will you have more energy?

Hajo Adam, a management professor at Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University and author of a research ‘Enclothed cognition’ in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology says: ‘It’s all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing. (…) When you wear athletic clothing, you become more active and more likely to go to the gym and work out.’

You can also set up long-term fashion goals: I will buy this sexy pair of jeans after four months of hard workout.

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4. Love Yourself
Exercising is the time well spend with yourself. In the fast-paced environment with constant changes, we need a 1:1 with our own thoughts every now and then. Body Balance lessons or yoga are the perfect time to concentrate, contemplate and meditate. They make you calmer, more relaxed and balanced. Learn sometimes to put yourself first. It’s not about egoism. It’s about taking care of your body and soul.

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And how do you motivate yourself to exercise? Share your tips with us.

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