When you have to choose between staying at home to use your Xbox and heading out for a gym workout, we know how hard it is for gadget heads like you to unplug. Let us read full story
Do you ever have days when you don’t feel like getting up off the couch, much less completing your planned workout? We all have periods of reduced motivation from time to time that can derail our fitness goals. Although taking a day off from your routine to recover from sickness is not a problem, skipping a workout due to lack of motivation can lead you down a slippery slope of quitting your workout routine all together.
Social scientists have started to study motivation, including the factors that influence behavior and outcomes. This area of study is called self-determination theory. Scientists are trying to discover what helps us practice healthy behaviors, and they have found a few surprising results:
- Perceptions of competence and self-determination affect motivation. So, if you feel like you are great at something, you’ll be more motivated to do it. Similarly, if you feel like you have more choice and freedom in your actions, you are more motivated to do it.
- Interpersonal relationships affect motivation. If you have a support system, and if you are involved in an informational relationship with someone (like a health coach or a trainer), you are more motivated.
- Setting extrinsic goals (body composition goals, trying to look like your favorite celebrity, etc) is associated with higher incidents of negative body image and low self-esteem. Setting intrinsic golas (like improving health, mastering a skill, or improving well-being) is associated with greater behavior persistance and performance.
So how can you harness the power of this research when you can barely get up and get moving? Try these practical do’s and don’t of workout motivation:
Do Put Your Workout Clothes On.
Don’t think about your workout. Just go to your closet and put your workout clothes on. You’ll be less likely to go lay back down on the couch if you take the first step.
Do Drink 2 Glasses of Water.
Chronic low level dehydration can zap the energy out of you, which can manifest itself as loss of motivation. Drink 2 glasses of water to hydrate, and you might feel your energy levels increase.
Do Pump The Jams.
Make a playlist of your favorite high energy songs and load it up on your phone or mp3 player. Scientists have found that energy levels increase to match the intensity of playlists during exercise.
Do Monitor Your Progress During Your Workout.
Now that you have been motivated to actually start working out, monitor your progress throughout your workout. If you are not feeling your best, do fewer sets or cut your workout session time down. Any exercise is better than no exercise, so don’t push yourself to complete a full workout if you are legitimately tired. Just hit it extra hard tomorrow.
Don’t Use A Cramped Schedule As An Excuse.
Even 15 minutes of exercise can help you get in shape. If you don’t have time to complete a full workout, drop down and complete a few sets of pushups, wall sits, planks, and standing calf raises. It only takes a little motivation and a little time to improve your health.
Don’t Distract Yourself.
Don’t make up work for yourself so you don’t have to workout. Email, facebook, and the dishes can wait. Focus on you and your goals, not small tasks that need to be done.
Don’t Reward Yourself With A “Day Off”.
A day off from working out is not a reward. Time to workout is a reward. By viewing workout time as an enjoyable escape, you’ll rewire your brain’s reward system over time. Have you have met someone who craves working out and feels crappy when they skip a day? These folks have successfully rewired their reward systems.
Don’t Fall Into The “All Or Nothing” Trap.
Don’t think that you have to complete your entire scheduled workout. If you feel tired, just do half of your workout. The all or nothing approach can derail your health progress because it puts you in a mindset where you think you have to behave perfectly, or it’s not worth it.
What are your favorite ways to get motivated when you don’t feel like working out?
Subscribe to the DailyBurn Life newsletter for exclusive healthy tips, articles, recipes and more.
What we talk about
- The Real Reasons You Shouldn't Eat After 7PM If You Want to Lose Weight 9519 view(s)
- Top 10 Best Health and Fitness Blogs You Don't Know About (Until Now) 5684 view(s)
- How to Prep Healthy Meals for the Week Ahead 4173 view(s)
- 5 Ways To Use Protein Powder When Shakes Get Boring 3427 view(s)
- Spring Clean Your Liver To Rev Up Your Metabolism 3159 view(s)