Do You Hate Working Out? (Part III)

by Kim on September 22, 2012

I was hoping to post this on Friday, but in retrospect, that was kind of a ridiculous plan. The hub and I were in our friends’ wedding that day (and at the rehearsal dinner the night before)-plus the in-laws were in town to watch the Mase monster-so there was zero spare time for bloggity-blogging. (Duh, right?)

But the wedding was incredible! Everyone looked amazing, the decorations were beautiful-the whole thing went off without a hitch.

AND we got to ride in golf carts.

20120921_170508Brent really, really liked it.

See what I mean?
(He’s probably so happy I posted that picture.)

Our only teeny tiny little nitpick: the girls were all fuh-reeeezing cold! It was a little over 50 degrees for most of the day-but luckily, the rain we got in the morning cleared up by the ceremony and held off for the rest of the day.

bmaids Pictured with our future homes in the background.
Only a few lottery wins away…

I won’t post any pics of the bride out of respect for her, but take my word for it that she was one of the most gorgeous brides I’ve ever seen!


Anyway! Back to business.

This is the final installment of the Do You Hate Working Out? series. (If you missed the other two, you can check them out here and here.)

So far, we’ve talked about ways to change how you think about working out and what you actually do when you work out. The only piece left: ways to change how you’re doing what you’re doing.

The idea is that it might not be as easy as just switching from running to swimming, or aerobics videos to Zumba classes, or whatever. Maybe you’ve tried switching it up or introducing new activities into your routine, and something is still just not clicking. In that case, you might have to examine your workout approach at an even more fundamental level.

This is basically just getting to know yourself and what will work best for you. A lot of the suggestions below are “Try Approach A-or THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE of Approach A!” Something that fits one person’s needs perfectly could be the exact opposite of what the next person needs. For example, I like running because I like to zone out and get lost in my thoughts during workouts (or listen to music/watch movies/etc.) but I know people who get bored out of their minds when they run and would much rather do a workout video that keeps them engaged.

Here are some things to think about…

running Here’s me thinking about them.
…And also about the fact that I’m clearly posing for a picture of me wearing headphones and standing under a tree. Yeesh.
(We were taking pics for the new blog design. It was embarrassing.) 

Change How You’re Doing What You’re Doing

–Do you always work out alone? Try working out in public places now and then. Being around other people-especially if they’re also working out-can energize you, and maybe add a little healthy peer pressure. The most obvious option here is to join a gym, but you could also walk/run/bike on a trail, speed-walk the mall, or play tennis or basketball somewhere public.

–Similarly, do you always work out indoors? Try mixing in outdoor workouts. Every workout can benefit from a nice side of fresh air + vitamin D, and if you’re used to staring at numbers ticking on a machine, well…Mother Nature is much less annoying to look at.

–Try working out less, but harder. Sometimes we get it into our heads that we have to work out for at least an hour (or whatever) to make any impact, and that’s just not true. Especially if our hour-long workouts consist of plodding along on the elliptical machine or bike at a steady, not-super-challenging pace. In fact, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), which involves short bursts of really hard work followed by rest periods, can be even more effective in torching calories. I like TurboFire‘s 15- and 25-minutes HIIT workouts-it’s hard to come up with a reason that you couldn’t fit one of those into your day, and you WILL work up a good sweat!

–Don’t do what anyone else is doing. Do what’s best for you, and keep your eyes on your own goals. Don’t compare.

–Do you like having someone in your face, pushing you, or do you prefer to do your own thing? If the former, you could try working with a personal trainer or attending live classes. If the latter, you could ditch the live classes for videos, or run on secluded trails rather than busy streets.

–Do you respond better to positive reinforcement or yelling? Jillian Michaels is known for being a no-excuses harda$$, while Chalene Johnson (the instructor in TurboFire, among others) is super uplifting and supportive.

–Add or remove structure. Some (like me) prefer more regimentation and direction in their exercise plans. Others need more freedom and randomization.

–Join a gym or quit your gym. Many people do better at the gym, surrounded by fellow exercisers, but others never quite get over their self-consciousness (or their distaste for waiting for machines, sharing a locker room, or being unable to work out in the middle of the night when you get the urge). Either way is perfectly fine, but one might be better for you.

–Reward yourself for working out. Make it something non-food-related, like a bath, a TV show/movie, a video game, a book, etc.

–Buy some new workout clothes. Besides just being comfortable, make sure they’re things that make you feel good while wearing them and that fit you properly.

–Try saving songs you like for workouts only. If you’re training for a race, save a few special songs for race day so you have something a little extra to look forward to.

–Know what your body can do. There’s definitely a lot to be said for pushing yourself and ignoring that little “I’m too tired” voice in your head, but you also have to be smart. Don’t decide to pick up running one day and expect yourself to run 5 miles the next. Don’t commit to working out 7 days a week if you know it’s not feasible.

–Work out at a different time of day. If you’re not a morning person and you’re too tired at night, could you possibly do a lunch-hour workout?

–Every morning (or week), tell someone (your sig other, a friend, etc.) what you plan to do for a workout that day. Even if that person doesn’t really care, you’ll feel more accountable.


What have you discovered about the best way for you to work out?


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