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How do I motivate myself to work out?

Commented on February 06, 2014
Created January 29, 2014 at 3:07 AM

I hate exercise. I really, really hate it. Obviously I'm not achieving my fitness goals, but I really can't seem to motivate myself and stick to a plan. I've been paleo for 2.5 years, I feel better than ever, but I lack muscle and look flabby.

I need to be doing some form of structured exercise, and since it's been hovering around 0 degrees here I haven't been walking outside like I want. I really just can't motivate myself. Help!

Medium avatar

(238)

on February 06, 2014
at 10:40 PM

I have a Bowflex machine, picked it up off of Craigslist for $200 several years ago. They have a chart with 10 basic exercises which I do all of except the leg (2) ones which hurt my lower back. I added an additional 2 working the arms/shoulders from the manual or that I made up. Takes me 15 minutes with another 5 minutes on the exercise bike. Every 4 or 5 days. I try to walk a few miles a day 5 days a week. If I didn't have a bad lower disk problem I'd probably push it more, but it isn't a good idea for me.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 06, 2014
at 10:24 PM

What's your routine, if you don't mind me asking?

Also, good to know that I may also never be one of those people who loves to work out. It seemed like I was the only one, especially in the paleo community! :)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on January 30, 2014
at 12:56 AM

you cannot fake motivation... you are either motivated or not. find something you like. soccer, hiking, ultimate, etc and do that -- find exercises that will improve that activity and "exercise" to improve you play. Also setting goals is great. When I really want to dial in my workouts I sign up for a race or something.

508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on January 29, 2014
at 02:36 PM

+1 to motivation coming from within.

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10 Answers

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Medium avatar

(238)

on January 29, 2014
at 06:05 AM

Motivation comes from within usually. Someone could offer to pay you or provide some other benefit but you just have to decide to do it. I hate weight lifting, it took me a very long time to finally do it and stick with it. I've been at it for 1.5 years and I still don't enjoy it. I compromised with a short routine that is surprisingly effective. So I spend less than 1/2hr a week at it.

508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on January 29, 2014
at 02:36 PM

+1 to motivation coming from within.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on February 06, 2014
at 10:24 PM

What's your routine, if you don't mind me asking?

Also, good to know that I may also never be one of those people who loves to work out. It seemed like I was the only one, especially in the paleo community! :)

0
06ad701563dbcd7463a252a94f2ac6b8

on January 30, 2014
at 11:44 AM

I've had plenty of issues with this throughout my life. I actually love to work out, but it's the "getting there" part that is regularly the struggle. I've taken to only doing the things that 1) I enjoy and 2) I try to do more group-oriented activities. So, for me, I've taken to doing Crossfit and MetCon classes, I play tennis (and tend to play more highly-competitive doubles than singles because of the social component), run with groups, etc. For you, maybe it's a spin or rock climbing class. Who knows. I just know that I'm more accountable and likely to stick to things when I'm participating with others and when others are counting on me.

Oh, and like mentioned above, looking better naked is always a motivator. :P

0
Medium avatar

on January 30, 2014
at 07:11 AM

I strongly believe that motivation for working out its something you must work day by day. At the beginning you may feel happy but insecure, looking around and seeing people that looks much better than you and are in a pretty good shape is quite tough, but don't let this get you down, with hard work you will get at least at their point. You also need to find something that pushes you. I personally find my motivation in competing with myself, I mean, trying to get better in whatever you do every day, at the end of the day, knowing that you done better than yesterday is what makes you feel proud about yourself and achieving your goals.

Also make no excuses, if you want to do something, get it done, laziness is one of the greatest enemies of the human being.

And the last the last thing to say, is that finding someone to work out with may helps, although try to find someone with a bit more experience than you, so she or he can guide you.

I hope this helps you, and helps motivates you. Good luck! Work out as hard as you can! :)

0
343f5f3994f252321d4c4f9546553f17

on January 30, 2014
at 02:29 AM

One way that works for me is making it easy and entertaining--we have a recumbent bike, and for a long time I was happy to ride and watch favorite TV shows. What has been happiest for me is finding something I love (Afro-Brazilian dance). I come home exhausted and energized and can't wait for the next class. It's not a perfectly well-rounded routine or anything, but it's a start, and it motivates me to add other things (walking, body-weight training) so I can be a better dancer.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on January 30, 2014
at 12:47 AM

do exercise that you like. for me it is soccer, walking and biking, plus cross country skiing when the snow is too deep. I also swim, but I have to bribe myself with a walk to the pool and a sauna afterward.

0
F9b585e2ffe82dde10e5534d7fb5ebf5

on January 29, 2014
at 07:34 PM

I typically tell myself: "You are an adult. Do it. Stop acting like a child trying to getting out of responsibility. You cannot make an excuse if a tiger is attacking your village. You cannot make an excuse to not lift that log that fell on your hunting companion. Stop being a baby. Do it."

0
A6b7afacdb512b861716bca9e9226ad3

(333)

on January 29, 2014
at 04:08 PM

When my thyroid and adrenals are in a good place, I feel like doing something active, and find myself moving more without having to motivate myself. But when I am low, I can't do anything. And from what I understand, doing too much when your adrenals are low is actually counterproductive and leaves you exhausted (hand raised). If your body is craving rest for now, maybe just rest. Do some low-key walking as you are able. Jump a little bit while watching tv or while waiting for the shower water to heat up.

0
Medium avatar

on January 29, 2014
at 03:49 PM

Motivation can be really hard, especially for people who struggle with depression. This link may help, but if you are anything like me, it may make you angry that their solution is just to do it and get motivation later. However, because of that article, for the last 3 days i have started supplementing with a SMALL (around 50-70mg) amount of Passion Flower which raises dopamine, and I have to say I think it's working a bit.

My go-to solution is reading everything interesting about the subject, listening to podcasts and researching it to motivate me. Eventually, your subconscious absorbs this information and gives you a motivation boost without you asking it to. However, make sure that you pick things that are relevant to you and can hold your interest, or your subconscious deems it as bad or unimportant and won't push you in the right direction.

0
508a4ebd259022f415326f7a6baec00c

(482)

on January 29, 2014
at 02:35 PM

This is my insight only, and I'm speaking of what works for me. Everyone is different, but you asked, so here's my 2 cents:

Look at yourself in the mirror and say, "How can I be more f-able?" Answer usually comes from a healthy-looking, well-proportioned physique, which comes from diet (congrats) and exercise.

I have no shame in saying I'm superficial when it comes to my own body. I want to look fantastic so that more people view me as a potential mate. I want this to happen, because I like to get with beautiful women. Even though I'm in a long-term relationship, it's still nice to keep her interested and to retain her physical attraction.

That's my superficial motivator. Everyone's is different. Call it silly or frivolous, but looking better naked is enough for me. If that doesn't work for you, maybe having the strength and endurance to save yourself in a big storm, or zombie apocalypse is a motivator. Maybe it's to show up your little cousin who boasts his strength gains. Maybe you're fearful of death and know that every day you hit the gym is likely prolonging your life. Whatever works for you, you have to find it.

0
4d506c625dcd88b85a8b73ac4d8b2ced

on January 29, 2014
at 04:07 AM

right before you take a shower, do as many pushups as possible. wake up in the morning and box the air for 5 minutes, then do it in 5-minute periods throughout the day if you want. buy a pullup bar for the doorframe and when you happen to notice it, put it up and do what pullups you can. go to a library and walk around looking at books for an hour or two. or just walk between the aisles. or go to the mall and do laps. buy some ankle weights and wear them the whole day. take a minute every now and then and flex all of your muscles. maybe do sets of this. do calf-raises as you stand in the shower. don't sit down the entire day.

just easy ways you can get in a bit of exercise here and there.

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