5 Easy Workout Ideas For When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising

5 Easy Workout Ideas - mostlyfitmom.com

This weekend, did bury yourself in a novel while parked on the couch, spending your weekend in a lethargic fog? Or perhaps you found yourself binge-watching Season 5 of The Good Wife? Just me?

I’m all for honouring your body and listening to what it’s saying, but sometimes, it’s not really a tired body you’re listening to: it’s your mind being tricksy.

Now, if you’ve been skimping on sleep because you’ve had work deadlines to meet or dance competitions to run your kids to, then the answer is likely that you’re in need of a little extra shut-eye. You deserve a good night’s rest. Tonight, treat yourself the way you would your sleep-deprived child and be firm about your bedtime. Plan for an excellent night’s sleep by powering down your electronics at least an hour before bedtime, taking time to write out everything you have on your mind so that it won’t keep you awake, making sure your bedroom is nice and cool, and listening to a sleep meditation or some relaxing music at bedtime. If you’re using your phone for meditation or music, set it to “Do Not Disturb” and make sure that you won’t be disturbed by light from the screen by flipping it upside down.

If you’ve been getting some solid zzz’s in that 7 to 9 hour range and know that your lack of energy isn’t so much due to tiredness as it is Couch Potato Syndrome, be honest with yourself about it, but be kind to yourself, too. Take some time to ask yourself why you’ve been slack about physical activity. No calling yourself names or making nasty comments about your body. Be honest with yourself, and be your own friend.

Once you’ve sorted yourself out, and maybe said a few nice things to it, like, “I feel energetic when I move my body,” “My body gets stronger when I exercise,” or “I always make time to take care of my body,” take action to overcome your inertia and get moving.

Easy Ideas for Physical Activity

1. Commit to 10 minutes of physical activity. If you want to stop after those 10 minutes, give yourself permission to stop. It’s really okay. Once you’re done your workout, whether it’s 10 minutes or more, pat yourself on the back.

2. Pick an activity you enjoy. It’s been really windy around here lately and I feel sandblasted every time I go for a walk outside, so I’ve been avoiding my walks (and choosing the couch). It’s okay to do something different and play. Dig out an exercise DVD, ride your old stationary bike, climb the stairs in your house, find some free yoga or other fitness videos online, throw on your favourite music and dance around your living room, pretend it’s the ’80s and do some Jane Fonda-style aerobics to a Songza playlist, head to the gym, lift some free weights. Whatever it is, choose something that you’ll find fun.

3. Go for a walk around the block. How much simpler can you get? Turn your face to the sun, listen to your iPod, focus on how good it feels to be outside. If your feet take you farther than a block, that’s great. If not, that’s cool, too.

4. Reward yourself for working out. Hey, I’m not above bribery. Treat yourself to something lovely after your workout. It might be a hot bath with those citrus bath salts you’ve been saving, that episode of Outlander you’ve got on your PVR, or fresh polish on your nails. Whatever floats your boat and makes seems worthwhile to you.

5. Ask for help to be accountable for your workout. Sometimes it feels really hard to get moving and you feel like you want a little extra motivation to make sure you accomplish what you say you want to do. Talk to your husband, call your sister, or e-mail your co-worker and let her know that you plan to workout today (bonus points if you’re specific about what you’re doing, for how long, and at what time). Tell her you’ll let her know once you’ve finished your workout, and then ask her to follow up with you if you haven’t contacted her by, say, 9pm. Heck, you can even leave a comment on this blog and I’ll follow up with you, if you want.

Whatever your obstacles to working out, know that you are not alone. I definitely get into slumps (like right now) where exercising feels like the last thing I want to do, even though I know that I will feel better after I do it. Our brains are funny that way.

Do you have a go-to workout for when you just don’t feel like working out?

Why I Avoid Exercise: Confessions of a Discouraged Mom

Why I Avoid Exercise - mostlyfitmom.com

My life is so full right now. I’m working on a blogging course and a business course, and my work schedule has been back-to-back, which is awesome. My kids were with my parents for a few days, so I got in a yoga class, went out for dinner with my husband, and enjoyed a movie date with my favourite man another night (although, truly, I did not enjoy Insurgent, which is what we saw. It was that or Furious 7, which I’m sure would have been worse).

I don’t think I’ve watched T.V. for about 5 days, which is pretty awesome, and I haven’t spent more than 15 minutes a day on Facebook. This has definitely helped me make room in my life for the stuff that I’ve been doing, which has been infinitely more energizing than whatever it is that I could have found to watch on Netflix.

What I have neglected – and it’s a pattern for me – is exercise. I absolutely know I feel better when I’m moving my body, and I absolutely had time to engage in fitness activities, but I chose instead to work through my courses.

The question I have to ask myself is why have I avoided exercise? What thoughts are coming up when I consider going for a walk or practicing some yoga? What feelings have I been experiencing when I think about fitting in some fitness?

When I examined my thoughts, I realized that I think that developing my mind is more important than working out and working on my body, that worrying about how fit I am or how my body looks is frivolous. Plus, I’ve had so much trouble maintaining a healthy weight in the past, I’ve had the thought that by avoiding exercise by increasing my knowledge, I can justify being heavier and not being successful in losing weight because learning is always worthwhile. I fear that I will put effort into working out and will not lose weight yet again, and this will support the idea that I’m a failure, which creates a feeling of shame. I also have the thought that working out won’t be worth as much to me as learning something new, because fitness doesn’t really pay off from a financial perspective. (Except it can if it affects my health and ability to work.)

This is interesting, because I realize that my identity is wrapped up in the idea that I’m smart and know a lot. I have underlying insecurity related to my intelligence, even though by pretty much any measure, I am a full-on smarty pants. I feel like I have to be smart to be worthy and to get approval – from my parents (yes, I am approaching 40 and still care about approval from my parents). Huh, who knew those thoughts were all in there?

As I let these thoughts roll around in my mind, I’m considering what thoughts I’d prefer to think when it comes to working out and being fit.

  • Fitness is important to me (this is true)
  • I make time for those things that are important to me (this is true)
  • I want to make fitness a bigger part of my life (also true)
  • Fitness increases my health and sense of well-being (yes)
  • Choosing to exercise instead of developing my mind will benefit me in the long run because I will live longer, be healthier, and have a better quality of life, which will allow me to have better mental functioning (makes sense)
  • I can choose to develop my mind when I’m exercising – thought I don’t have to – by listening to educational podcasts (absolutely)
  • It is okay to put my physical fitness ahead of my knowledge and education, because my health and fitness are currently a greater priority than how much I know, and because the time I require to work out still allows me the time to pursue my intellectual interests (you bet)
  • I can care about how my body feels and looks without it being shallow or vain (truth)

I’m going to let these thoughts – all of them – percolate for awhile and I’ll be curious about what other anti-exercise thoughts I might have tucked away in my mighty mind.

Do you struggle to fit in fitness? What thoughts are holding you back? Or, conversely, what thoughts make it easy for you to make fitness a priority? Please let me know in the comments section below. I really want to hear your exercise-related stories.

Blog Posts for a Fabulous Weekend

It’s Friday evening, the start of a few days off, the punctuation at the end of the work week, the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the perfect time to set yourself up for some rest and rejuvenation over the next couple of days.

Need some inspiration to get your weekend off to a great start? Look no further.

After a long week, it’s easy to feel rundown and low energy. From Marie Forleo, what to do when you doubt everything and just wanna stay in bed.

Easy hair is imperative on your days off. Try a subtle twist into a side braid from Cute Girl Hairstyles. I didn’t get it quite right on my first try, but I did on my second, and got lots of compliments on it at the hockey rink last weekend.

After hunching over at work for hours and hours, a good stretch can be just the thing. Try these three yoga postures for rounded shoulders from the Peanut Butter Runner (and now I have peanut butter cups on the brain).

Saturday is the perfect day to get your body moving after a good night’s sleep Friday night. Not eager to workout? Check out what Tara Bliss tells herself when she doesn’t want to move her body and galvanize yourself to get physical.

Wanna tackle some of that clutter? Check out the biggest decluttering mistake you don’t know you’re making from My Love for Words and tweak your approach to make it even more effective. If you need a little more inspiration, check out my three simple steps for easy decluttering.

I’d love to know about any posts you found particularly inspiring or uplifting this week. How are you taking care of yourself this weekend?