8 Strategies to Stay Active Even When You’re Out of Sync with Exercise

Feeling too exhausted, whining about the chill in the air, complaining about the distance to the gym, or being too snug on your home couch – these are all familiar excuses we’ve all probably given when we’re simply not in the mood to exercise.

“Lack of motivation or simply not being in the mood for a workout is pretty common and completely normal,” admits a professional trainer and nutrition coach based in Miami. He continues, “Even as an individual from the fitness industry, I rarely rely solely on motivation.”

A New York City-based certified mental performance consultant, specializing in providing mental toughness training to athletes and coaches of all levels, states that relying exclusively on motivation for any behavioral change can certainly be a snag.

Those who perform exceptionally don’t hitch their progress to motivation. They identify actions that calculate with their values and hold steadfast to these actions by carving out routines that foster their commitment. “Our performance in all spheres – as exercisers, romantic partners, or professionals – would be disappointingly mediocre if we relied solely on our feelings,” he explains.

That said, the quintessential role of motivation is not disregarded, neither is it suggestive that exercise should perpetually feel like a chore.

Research shows that intrinsic motivation – the drive to do something simply for the enjoyment and self-satisfaction, minus any far-off, theoretical rewards – is imperative to sustain a lifetime exercise regime. As a top-level sports and performance psychologist quips, “Performing an activity for its intrinsic worth rather than for self-boasting yields optimum results.”

Nevertheless, inevitable are days when you don’t feel like keeping up with your exercise routine. On such days, experts suggest the following tips to manage a disinterested demeanor and motivate yourself for a workout.

1. Question Your Motive-Particularly Instant Gratifications

A repeated fact that holds: If your urge to exercise rests solely on other person’s suggestions or societal pressures, you are unlikely to feel like exercising.

Yet, focusing on immediate and tangible benefits (like an uplifted mood, a sense of achievement, or renewed energy) rather than future ones (notwithstanding how valid they may be, such as longevity, disease prevention, and weight management) can mean that you will stick to your workouts more frequently, as suggested by some studies. As expressed by a sustainable change researcher at a leading University, “Transition from a success-driven aim to an experience-centered aim that feels like a nurturing task instead of a duty.”


2. Question Yourself – Why Not?


Often “I’m not in the mood to exercise” serves as a façade for procrastination. So, ask yourself: What am I avoiding? Experiencing physical unease? Fear of judgment from other gym-goers? The necessitated shower post-workout?

Identifying these genuine deterrents and addressing them could be as straightforward as reassuring yourself that progress comes from unease, planning to wear confidence-boosting gym attire, or simply opting for a dry shampoo post-workout.

If the deterrents are more rudimentary — like being fatigued, hungry, or thirsty — meeting these basic needs could change your disposition towards exercising. As suggested by a trainer at an academy, if lack of energy is the problem, “try having a healthful carbohydrate-rich snack to boost your blood glucose and energize you for a workout.”


3.Choose Workouts You Truly Enjoy


Missing workout classes consistently might mean you’re not stimulated by that particular routine, according to a New Jersey-based NASM-certified personal trainer. He often recommends people try different workouts they enjoy, such as swapping strength training for a dance class or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for a calming yoga session.


4. Focus on Just Getting Started

Identifying the initial steps and committing to them could be as simple as tying your shoelaces, doing a few jumping jacks, or cranking up your car.

“Play your favorite music or have a pre-workout snack you savor,” advises a sports psychologist. “Setting up such habit cues can signal your body to start moving, fighting off the need to call on willpower.”

Once you start, you’re likely to continue. As the mental performance consultant puts it, “Motivational drive usually kicks in after initiating an action, not before.”


5. Don’t Force Yourself

However, a word of caution is in order: adopting small steps to amplify motivation differs from coercing yourself to complete a dreaded workout. As more simply put by a trainer, “Forcing yourself into action could lead to developing negative associations with physical activity.”

If you’ve started your workout and still lack the drive to continue, consider switching to a different activity or simply calling it a day. “Go easy on yourself and understand that you’re consciously making a choice based on your feelings today,” advises the change researcher.


6. Vary Your Routine

India suggests formulating or following two basic workouts: one for the lower body, and one for the upper body. Then, create four subsets of each workout: shortened and extended versions suited for both gym and home.

“Rather than molding yourself into a particular workout style, customizing your workout based on your feelings and your life circumstances is far more practical,” he asserts.


7. Substitute Structured Workout with More Motion


If the thought of a targeted workout seems daunting, benefits from physical movement can still be enjoyed from a brisk walk for errand completion or a few living room burpees as a brief intense activity.

Even brief physical activity stints – as little as 19 minutes a week or two minutes a day – can reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease, and premature mortality. More movement is linked with more benefits, but the bottom line is that any movement is better than no movement at all.

##8. Take a Day or Week Off
Being repeatedly unimpelled to exercise could signal the need for a break. At the extreme, persisting fatigue coupled with a lack of drive can signal overtraining syndrome, a potentially dark condition, per a leading sports medicine academy.

As advised by a fitness expert, “When weighed down with fatigue, lighter activities such as walking or some stretching should replace your regular workout. Resting is an essential component of an effective fitness program.”

Further reading

  • 10 Delicious Snickerdoodle Shakeology Recipe Ideas

    Experimenting with Shakeology recipes is like going on an exciting culinary journey. Some days, you’ll crave Chocolate; on certain days, it will be a Cookies & Cream affair. Don’t abandon the Café Latte, Vanilla, and Strawberry flavors either! Hold on — what about Snickerdoodle? These 10 Shakeology recipes are tailored specifically for Snickerdoodle, the latest […]
  • 8 Strategies to Stay Active Even When You’re Out of Sync with Exercise

    Feeling too exhausted, whining about the chill in the air, complaining about the distance to the gym, or being too snug on your home couch – these are all familiar excuses we’ve all probably given when we’re simply not in the mood to exercise. “Lack of motivation or simply not being in the mood for […]
  • 5 Suggestions for Outdoor Enthusiasts

    Basking in the sunlight during pleasant weather presents endless possibilities for entertainment. To fully enjoy the season and prepare for any situation, certain measures must be taken. Here’s a compilation of tips gathered from Curad experts to protect your body, and particularly skin, from outdoor elements: 1. UV Protection for Skin Should your outdoor adventure […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *