No matter how big of a gym rat you are, laziness can get the best of you, especially during a pandemic. While it may be easy to sink a little deeper into the couch and bury yourself in blankets, you’ll feel much better if you get up and sweat out the stress.
On the days when you can’t find motivation to move, these hacks will come in handy.
1. Sweat for a Cause
If you can’t find the motivation to sweat for yourself, maybe you can find a reason to sweat for someone else. Look for an organization, cause or charity that inspires you to make a difference and find a way to raise money for it. Many large non-profits will host campaigns or fundraisers that let you complete a workout challenge and make donations along the way.
You might also use an app like Charity Miles, which tracks running and walking miles and converts them into money that you can donate to a charity of your choice. You can even team up with your dog to raise funds for local animal organizations with Walk for a Dog. No matter what charity you choose, it’s sure to get you up and moving.
2. Find a Buddy
Sometimes, it’s best to workout alone and really focus on your gains. However, if you’re losing motivation, finding a workout buddy may be beneficial. Skipping out on the gym is a lot harder when you’re supposed to meet someone there, you know.
Look for a friend that’s already into fitness and will hold you accountable. Then, meet up once a week — or as often as you need — to regain your motivation. If none of your pals are into working out, don’t fret! You can just as easily find an exercise group on Facebook or connect with someone through an app like Workout Buddies, which helps you find like-minded health nuts near you.
3. Share Your Goals
Of course, you could also share your journey on social media to motivate yourself and others. Post before photos and keep your followers hanging for the transformation pics. State your goals and share your journey to achieving them. Try to keep each post as candid as possible so both you and your friends can look back on your progress and be proud of how far you’ve come.
Often, sharing your goals will inspire others to do the same and, before you know it, you could start a whole fitness movement. In fact, starting or sharing an exercise challenge might be another excellent way to stay on track, beat your personal best and make new friends along the way.
4. Save the Next Episode
Last year, Americans spent more than three hours a day binging their favorite Netflix shows. Imagine what would happen if you spent just as much time working out? Well, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. All you need is a little restraint.
Instead of spending hours on the couch, choose to only watch your favorite show while you’re at the gym or actively working out. Save the next episode for your next fitness routine or keep pedaling away on that exercise bike and watch one more.
5. Prepay Membership Fees
Another brilliant motivation hack that’s sure to get you out the door is prepaying your membership fees. Whether you take classes at a local studio, hit the gym or frequent a local YMCA, paying for a month’s worth of classes or workouts before you go is a surefire way to motivate you.
Once you pay for the membership, take the extra step of signing up for classes in advance. Mark them on your calendar to prioritize them on your schedule and ensure you get your money’s worth and continue to show up.
6. Try Something New
If you’re really struggling to get back on track, break your routine and try something new. Think outside the box and try boxing, swimming, hiking or even goat yoga. The activity you choose doesn’t have to be as intense as your typical workout. It just has to be fun and different.
Switching things up every now and then will keep your muscles on their toes and prevent plateaus. Plus, trying new things and exercising in a way that feels good might motivate you to move some more and return to the gym — or embrace an entirely new hobby!
7. Reward Yourself
When all else fails, treat yourself. Rewarding a workout with cookies may not be a great way to motivate yourself 24/7, but it sure does do the trick every now and then. So, if you’re struggling to put rubber to the road, set aside a sweet or savory treat to indulge in when you finish exercising.
Of course, you can reward yourself with a healthier alternative like a nap or a nice, long soak in the bathtub, too. Setting aside a few dollars every time you workout and buying new gear or gym clothes when you save a certain amount is pretty motivational, too. Plus, it’ll further incentivize exercise.
When it comes to maintaining a consistent exercise routine, staying motivated can help. However, even the best motivational hacks will fail to inspire you sometimes. On those difficult days, it’s helpful to have habits that automatically get you back on the right track. Instead of succumbing to laziness, force yourself to complete a short workout anyway — whether you feel like it or not. In the end, it’s dedication, not motivation, that will keep you strong.