We’ve all come up with excuses at some time or another to avoid going to the gym: I have too much to do, it’s too far away, or it’s too cold out (or, in the case of this semester, there’s still too much snow on the ground!) But in reality, we know this is something important we should do to live a healthy lifestyle.
For me, working out has always been a chore. Last year, I viewed it as something I didn’t like to do, but I did it anyway. But this had its flaws. If I was really busy, working out was the first thing that would go. If it was really cold, I wouldn’t make the frigid walk to the RPAC.
It took me a while to understand, but working out and exercising on a regular basis has helped me manage my time better, feel better about myself, and be happier in general! (Who knew all that could come from a treadmill?!)
Here are 5 tips I’ve learned over the past year or so on how I have increased my motivation to work out.
Find a friend
Working out with a buddy is a great way to build motivation for a workout. If you and a friend schedule a workout, you’re less likely to back out if you know someone is relying on you to be there. Plus it’s fun! Going to a ZUMBA class or yoga with a friend for the first time can be a fun way to let loose!
Finding an activity you enjoy makes working out fun! Running on the treadmill every day can get repititive, so try a variety of things–maybe it’s a pickup game of basketball, or a night of rock-climbing. Trying new activities is a great way to spice things up a bit.
If you set a goal in your workout plan, you will feel like you’re working toward something. Maybe it’s running two more laps around the track next time, or increasing the weights you lift. Or maybe it’s scoring a few more goals in your intramural soccer game! Whatever it is, setting a goal helps you feel productive.
Understand the benefits
Understanding the benefits of exercising also helps with the motivation of actually doing it. Now that we’re (hopefully) coming out of the snowy, gloomy winter of central Ohio, the weather is getting nicer and we can spend more time outside. But when it’s cold and gloomy, we lack the vitamin D we get from the sun, which can sometimes affect our moods. By exercising regularly, you release serotonin which helps make you happier! I am no expert on health and medicine, but I’ve noticed when I work out regularly, I’m happier, more productive, and feel better in general. Check out the Student Wellness Center for more benefits and information.
Just do it!
Committing to yourself is half the battle! By scheduling workout times into your weekly schedule, you’ll be prepared for your hectic day. If you know you have a busy couple of days, schedule a workout time so you can prepare to bring your clothes and tennis shoes with you for the day. This way, you’ll be ready to go!