One of the most common reasons people give for not exercising is lacking the energy and motivation to get up and move. This is not at all surprising. Americans are busier than ever, working longer hours, spending more time taking their kids to and from activities, and spending their days off doing chores around the house.
After all of that, nothing is more appealing than plopping down on the couch or heading to bed early. But the longer you put off exercising, the less energy you have and the less likely you’ll be motivated to work out.
Next time you’re planning to exercise, try these five motivators to get energized and break the cycle!
Eat to Move
About an hour before your workout, eat a snack or small meal made up of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein. Try Greek yogurt and granola, an apple with nut butter, or a handful of nuts and a banana. The pre-workout snack provides your body with the nutrients it needs to perform and provides a boost of energy.
Drink More Water
If you feel like every article you read about healthy living says to drink more water, you’re probably right! That’s how important it is. The body is 60% water, which provides several essential functions to keep the body moving. In terms of your workout, it regulates body temperature, acts as a shock absorber for the spinal cord, and helps deliver oxygen throughout the body.
Buy a New Outfit
Everyone has that outfit that makes them feel like they can do anything – nail that job interview, give that big presentation, go out on that blind date. The same goes for what you wear when exercising. Buy some athletic wear that looks and feels great. Carry it in your gym bag and bring it to work so you can hit the gym straight from the office. Even if your workout is at home, resist the urge to throw on an old t-shirt and shorts and opt for that outfit that motivates you to move.
You know you should stretch before your workout to avoid injury, but stretching also gets your blood pumping, wakes up your muscles, and signals to your body that exertion is about to happen. Dynamic stretching is more effective for warming up your body than static stretching, so try activities like side leg raises, downward dog, and walking lunges to limber up.
Make a Workout Playlist
Who doesn’t love working out to music that makes them want to move? But listening to upbeat tunes does more than put a spring in your step. It has been shown to reduce feelings of fatigue and give an instant energy boost. Instead of waiting until you get to the gym to plug in your earbuds, start listening to your workout playlist before you even slip into your athletic wear to motivate yourself to move.
After a long day, exerting energy during a workout is not always the most appealing option. But taking a few steps to prepare your mind and body for exercise can provide the motivation and energy you need to hit the gym.
Dr. Marjorie Broussard is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Cinco Ranch Clinic. She helps her patients manage chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Her clinical interests also include preventive medicine and women’s health.