Imagine this: you set your alarm for 7 a.m. so you could squeeze in a quick workout before class. You know you’re going to be super sore from your previous workout, but you set the alarm anyway. And when the clock strikes 7 a.m., and you hear that unfortunate blaring of your alarm, the last thing you want to do is get up and workout.
We’ve all been there before. We made the promise to ourselves, to a friend, a trainer, or a workout class to go to the gym, but then when it’s finally time to go, we can’t bring ourselves to. And if you don’t feel like working out- don’t force yourself to. But sometimes, all we need is an easy workout to do when we don’t feel like working out. Meaning something quick and straightforward, but will still get your heart rate and energy up. So, if you find yourself in a mood for a workout when you don’t feel like working out, here are some great strategies:
Set a time frame
Ideally, a workout will be around 45 minutes. But when you don’t feel like working out, 45 minutes is a lifetime. So instead of forcing yourself through an agonizing 45 minutes, set a manageable time frame. That can be as little as a 10-minute ab workout or 30 minutes of HIIT. And if you accomplish that and feel like still doing more, go from there. But for starters, set a manageable time frame.
Workout at home
You don’t have to go to an actual gym to get a good workout in! You can have just as an effective and sweaty workout in the comfort of your home. And when you don’t feel like working out, the hardest part is getting there. So when you can work out at home, there’s really no excuses why you can’t build in the time. All you need is a soft surface like a yoga mat and the motivation to get a sweat on.
Watch YouTube videos
YouTube workout videos are my favorite way to work out on my own. It can be challenging to think of different ways to workout different parts of your body, but YouTube solves that problem. You can find a workout video for just about everything- from 10-minute abs to full body HIIT. Some of my favorite workout YouTubers are MadFit and Blogilates.
Go for light weights
If you manage to bring yourself to the gym on a day when you really don’t feel like working out, don’t make yourself lift or workout with heavy weights. Even if you’re trying to build up the weight you can lift, go for something light on a day you’re not feeling motivated. If your mind isn’t entirely in it, you can run the risk of not lifting properly and injuring yourself, meaning you’ll be at a disadvantage on a day when you want to workout.
Although we’re tempted to power through our workouts so we can get them over with, it’s crucial to take breaks. If you want to squeeze in some abs for the day, do them during the commercial breaks of the show you’re watching. Or you can download an app that sets alarms throughout the day for 7-minute workouts. Do four 7 minute workouts throughout the day, and you’ve got yourself the equivalence of about a 30-minute workout.
Go for a run
My go-to workout when I don’t feel like working out is going for a run. It doesn’t have to a super long or challenging run, but running is a great way to get your heart rate and energy up without exerting too much time or effort. And if you don’t feel like running outside, do a quick 20 minutes of walking/running on the treadmill, and I promise you’ll feel accomplished.
Stretch or do yoga
Another one of my go-to workouts when I don’t feel like working out is doing yoga or stretching. You might not sweat as much as you would during a regular workout, but you’ll still be moving your body, which is essential every day. There are tons of easy yoga tutorials online that will benefit both your mind and body and only take about 20 minutes to complete.