Do You Hate Working Out?

by Kim on September 19, 2012

Hey friends! How are things?

It’s crazy windy and chillier here today-perfect slipper conditions! (Big slipper fan here.)

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This is the first winter since I was maybe 3 years old (!!) that I’ll be spending mostly at home, so basically I’ll be living in these things until about March. Wow, hopefully they survive that long. Or maybe they’ll fall apart right around the time winter slippers go on mega sale! (Gotta love it when the worst time to sell for retailers is the perfect time to buy for you.)

 

Soooo, today I’m thinking about exercise…and about how, sometimes, it just royally sucks. We get busy, we get tired, we get unmotivated…and sometimes, we just plain hate it.

We see people out jogging while we’re in line for a frosty at Wendy’s, and our brains instantly go on the defense, lashing out at those stupid joggers and their stupid overachieverness. We go to the gym and sludge through 20 minutes on the elliptical, while a super fit chick breezes through 6 miles on the treadmill next to us without breaking a sweat.

And eventually, sometimes, we let ourselves start to think: “I’m just not like them. I just don’t like to work out.”

 

Well, the truth is:

 

  • It’s not just you. I don’t wake up in the morning thinking “almost time for my workout!! How can I kill time until then?” Although I don’t mind working out (usually), I enjoy finishing my workout much more than the actual act of doing it. I like to reap the benefits of working out (like higher energy, improved mood, better eating and sleeping habits), but if I could get all those things by curling up on the couch with a good movie, that’d be a no-brainer for me. And I bet the jogger by Wendy’s and the super fit gym chick might just agree.

 

  • You don’t have to love it. We’re adults-there are lots of things we do every day that we don’t necessarily love, but that ultimately make our lives better. We go to work on Monday mornings, eat veggies, groom ourselves, and do chores around the house. We’re not always having the time of our lives, but we enjoy the benefits of having money, being healthy and well-groomed, and having a cleanish house. How often do you think “I cannot WAIT to shave today!!” No, you just do it, probably without thinking much about it. When things get habitual enough, you stop analyzing why you’re doing them and just do them. Exercise should be the same way.

 

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What To Do When You Hate Working Out

So. We know that most people who work out do so begrudgingly now and then, and we understand that we don’t have to be ecstatic about working out all the time.

But what do you do when you honestly just never want anything to do with exercise?

 

When something isn’t working, you need to change it. In my mind, you either need to change what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, or how you’re thinking about it. I’m going to talk about each of these in a little more detail over the next few days, and I’d absolutely love-love-to hear your feedback and ideas.

 

Today, I’m going to tackle the thinking piece. As you know, what’s going on in your brain has a huge impact on how you feel and what you ultimately do.

 

Changing How You Think

Here are some ideas of ways you can redefine how you think about working out:

–Recognize and respect the benefits. Remember how you feel when you’re done. Remember how it was much easier to nix that cupcake when you’d just gone through all that effort to work out.

–Just think about moving every day.

–Rethink what defines a “workout” to you. Playing a sport, doing housework, walking the dog, and playing with your kids can all count as workouts.

–Instead of thinking about time or distance, use another measure. For example, listen to podcasts or watch a TV show while you work out and keep going until the podcast or show is over. If you go the podcast route and you’re a runner, you could run one “podcast length” out and one “podcast length” back home.

–Get out of your head. Have you had bad past experiences with exercise? Traumatic gym or sports experiences as a kid? Move past them and start over.

–“Exercise” can be just as ugly of a word as “diet” if it triggers a negative response in you. (I hate the word diet because it’s better to focus on life changes rather than temporary ones.) Don’t think of it as exercise-how about movement?

–Ditch the “I’m not an exerciser” mindset. Everyone benefits from exercise-it’s just a matter of finding the right kind. I’m horrible at sports, which is why I run.

–If you’re dreading it, get it done early in the day. If getting up early to work out makes you resentful, do it later. But pick a time of day that works best (even if it’s not perfect) and go with it.

–Think of working out as “me” time. Time to be alone with your thoughts, listen to music you like, watch the shows you like, etc. Or maybe you need to turn off your brain-try an exercise video.

–Stop thinking about exercise (“movement”) as a choice. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s a must.

–The hardest part is getting started. Focus on taking that first step and let yourself think “if after 10 minutes, I hate life, I am allowed to stop.” Once you’ve successfully started, you’d be surprised how your attitude will change and you’ll be up for finishing.

–Don’t think of it as something “good for you” that you “have” to do. Think of it as caring for your body, like you’d care for a pet.

–Think about why you hate exercise. Do you try to do it after work, when you’re too tired? Time a pre-workout snack and stop at the gym on your way home-or switch to morning workouts. Do you push yourself through grueling hour-long sessions? Try shorter bursts of higher intensity exercise (which can be more effective anyway!).

 

What helps you get in the spirit to sweat?

 

sweat Haha. Don’t you love it when people get all literal on you?

 

Stay tuned for more on this topic!

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