We all know that some workouts feel better than others. But when rough ones stack up it can affect your motivation. Next thing you know you’re hardly going at all. It’s important to break that pattern and get back into a healthy routine. Here are five ways to keep you smiling as you head to the gym.
1. Take a Class. We’re all social creatures and there is often valuable energy to be gathered by exercising with other people. And it’s a fun way to make friends! On the days you may not be feeling your peppiest, it can be motivating to look forward to seeing friendly faces.
2. Don’t Worry About Being Perfect. It can be easy to beat yourself up about not hitting your exact time or getting your reps done to your complete satisfaction. Or you see someone next to you burning it up and you suddenly don’t feel great about your performance. Don’t let those things get you down. Remember to enjoy the process and revel in how it feels to work your body. Let that be its own reward.
3. Do What You Enjoy. This may sound like advice from Captain Obvious but it’s so true. If you always enjoy hitting the Stairmaster, but are hit and miss on the Elliptical, then focus on the stairs. Yoga may be your thing, so bring your mat and water bottle. Weights are rewarding. Put on those gloves. Do what energizes you love and build from there.
4. Timing Is Key. The time of day can be a big factor in whether you consistently look forward to working out. Some love to start the day with a burn. But if you’re not a morning person, that can be a slog. Maybe you’re a noon-hour person? Or you enjoy working off the stress of the day after work? Find out what works with you and stick with it. Not everyone’s clock works the same.
5. A Little Is Better Than Nothing. Some days you have a million things going on. It happens. But do keep your commitment to hitting the gym. You may need to scale back your workout on a given day— maybe do 30 minutes instead of 45 — but there are still so many health benefits to even brief appearances. On days when your phone is blowing up, give yourself that break in the day. By the time you’re done you’ll be ready to walk out the door with newfound calm and clarity.