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How to Exercise When You Don’t Feel Like it

How to Exercise When You Don’t Feel Like it

No matter how motivated, energized or regimented you are when it comes to getting in your daily workout, you’re likely to face a day that you just don’t feel like exercising. Whether you’re exhausted from a poor night’s sleep, you’re thinking about all of the other tasks on your plate or you just can’t seem to muster up the energy to lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement, there are times that working out just doesn’t seem appealing.

With all the countless health benefits that come along with regular exercise, most Americans try to adhere to the recommended 30 minutes of activity a day. In fact, just 30 minutes of walking every day can help you manage your weight, improve your mood, increase energy levels, and help you sleep better at night, according to Mayo Clinic. So how do you get yourself to exercise when you’re just not in the mood?

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1. Enlist a Buddy

One of the best ways to get motivated to move is to commit time to walking or running with someone else. Call a friend, grab your spouse or stop by your neighbor’s house to recruit them to join you. This will hold you accountable and make the activity more of a social event than a workout. You can even use the Lumo Run sensor which can serve as a personal accountability coach to motivate you to achieve your best performance.

2. Dress the Part

Oftentimes, the biggest hurdle to actually going to the gym or getting outside to exercise is the actual act of getting ready to go. Once you’re dressed in workout gear – shoes and all – it’ll be much more difficult to turn back to the couch and kick up your feet or to crawl into bed. Whether you feel like it or not, lace up your running shoes, slip on your yoga pants or swap your cozy sweatshirt for a tank top and you’ll be halfway out the door before you realize.

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3. Set a Goal

Setting a daily goal, a weekly goal or even a monthly goal will help you stay on track in your fitness regimen. This goal can include anything from walking a certain number of steps each day or completing a local marathon event by year’s end. By setting a realistic and achievable goal that you can easily track and to which you can hold yourself accountable, you’re more likely to set your competitive drive in gear in order to reach your objective.

4. Fuel Up

More often than not, your body is fatigued or lethargic because it doesn’t have the energy source or hydration it needs to get moving. This is particularly true first thing in the morning, as your body has gone without food or water for many hours. Additionally, you lose water weight through the emission of water vapor and sweat as you sleep, according to NPR. Try drinking a high-protein shake or guzzling down a glass of cold water before attempting to exercise so you set your metabolism and energy levels in motion.

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5. Sign Up for a Class

If your workout regimen has become so repetitive that it’s just not interesting enough anymore, you’re more likely to opt for catching up on reruns at home than heading to the gym. If this is the case, sign up for an exercise class (they’re usually free with your membership) or make an appointment with a personal trainer to shake up your routine. Your mind and your body will benefit, as switching up your sequence will help you work new muscles and get you out of your monotonous rut.

6. Shake Up Your Soundtrack

Have you ever found yourself unknowingly bobbing your head or tapping your foot when a popular pop song comes on the radio overhead while waiting on line at a coffee shop? For most people, music has the incredible power to make them move, especially if it’s a fast-paced dance song or widely popular jingle. Make yourself a CD or download some new songs on iTunes, and use this as the soundtrack to your workout. You’ll find yourself groovin’ and movin’ before you know it!

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There are always times when a workout feels like the last thing you want to do, but these six simple suggestions will help you get motivated to move when you need it most. While it’s certainly healthy – and even recommended – to take a few “rest days” a week, regular exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Make a point to move every day on your own, with a friend, at a class or to the sound of new beats, and it will become a routine that you won’t want to skip!

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Sara Jane Adkins

Blogger at Natural Healthy Living

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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