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How to Motivate Yourself When You Don't Feel Like Moving

Some movement is always better than no movement. Make yourself start moving, break the workout down so that it feels manageable. Do something, even for just 10 minutes. Your future self will be happier if you move!

We all want to skip our workouts sometimes! I love exercise and I still occasionally try to find a reason to skip training, but over the years I have found ways to combat my inner voice that says "don't worry about training can be lazy."

I stay on track in large part because I have come to the conclusion that being active is a non-negotiable: when I work out, even for 10 minutes, I feel great!

If I skip my workout, overindulge on food I don't need and/or have a pity party on my sofa, I feel crappy!

The worse I feel, the more important it is for me to move!

Working out is good for my mood. Period.

The problem is, the days I most need a mental and physical boost are the days I REALLY want to have a pity party on my sofa. My solution?

Whenever I don't want to move I use my "10-minute rule," and it works like a charm.

The next time you don't want to train, try it! Believe me, it works!

My "10-minute rule"

When you want to skip your workout tell yourself that you have to move for a minimum of 10 minutes, but If you still want to stop after 10 minutes, you can. Shift your mindset. Take skipping your entire workout off of the table. Some movement is always better than no movement.

The rationale is that breaking the workout into chunks will make moving seem less daunting. Anyone can do anything for ten minutes.

Plus, 10 minutes of exercise is better than nothing, so if you do stop, that is okay. Usually once you have done 10 minutes you will continue and finish the workout.

Often at the end of a long day I feel like skipping my run, taking a cab home and relaxing on the sofa. I tell myself that is not an option. I make myself put my wallet in my running jacket and start jogging towards home. I tell myself that if after ten minutes I want to jump into a cab, I can. Once I start running I always finish my run. I get home and feel fantastic. I am always proud that I fit my workout in. After my shower I relax and completely enjoy my relaxation time. I know that if I had skipped my run I would have ended up at home, sitting on my sofa feeling grumpy and guilty.

So, when you don't want to go to the gym, force yourself to go for a 10-minute walk, or do 10 minutes of body weight strength exercises at home. After 10 minutes your workout might turn into a full-on jog or strength workout at home. If not, at least you have done something.

Before making any snap decision to skip your workout, walk yourself through how you will feel depending on the choice you make.

When I want to skip a workout I tell myself, yes, if I skip my workout I can relax immediately, but the quality of my relaxation time will be compromised. I will be metaphorically kicking myself the entire time. On the flip side, if I am active, even for 10 minutes, I will feel great and enjoy relaxing that much more.

Main take-away: some movement is always better than no movement. Make yourself start moving, break the workout down so that it feels manageable. Do something, even for just 10 minutes. Your future self will be happier if you move!


Don't be scared off by the fighting element of it. Boxing is a fantastic way to get in shape. The high intensity nature of training means you are constantly on your toes and burning fat. There are a variety ways to train in boxing to keep you motivated from skipping to bag work, which is also a great stress reliever. Another additional benefit is that you will learn how to defend yourself. So step into the ring for a rock solid abs in no time.
Pole Dancing
Dismiss Pole Dancing at your peril. The amount of sit-ups you can do in the gym will be no match for the core strength you can build on the pole. Once you master the pole you'll boast increased flexibility and exceptional balance. Not only this but you're guaranteed to have loads of fun while learning. Pole dancing is a full-body workout involving resistance training and cardio. It should come as no surprise to you that most pole dancers say they are in the best shape of their life. Not many people can say they can pole dance - be a trend-setter.
Getty Images
No we're not talking about spinning around in a circle until your dizzy. This new fitness trend is taking countries across the world by storm. Celebrities including David Beckham and The Kardashian Gang swear by this virtual indoor cycling craze. Hop on a stationary bike and peddle as hard as you can, while the instructor tells you to speed up and slow down. This is a brilliant way to exercise with friends and motivate each other. Not only do you get a amazing workout in and build legs and a bum of steel, but the atmosphere in the studio is exhilarating too.
This isn't condoning your embarrassing disco dancing on a Saturday night. There are a variety of different dance styles for you to pick from which will all offer you an addictive and engaging way to exercise. From showing your attitude in street dance to grabbing a partner and gliding across the floor in ballroom. You only have to look as far as the celebrities on Strictly Come Dancing to see how much fat you can shed. Dancing is a form of exercise for everyone, men can show off their strength with big lifts, while women can bring out their inner diva.
Insanity DVD
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With busy work and social schedules, many people believe they don't have enough time to go to the gym and workout. Well the excuses stop here as the Insanity Workout DVD brings workouts to your living room. This total body conditioning programme is guaranteed to get you in a sweat, burn fat and build muscles you didn't know existed. You'll get addicted to the DVDs when you see the results that come from working hard from the comfort of your own home. This non-stop workout is not for the faint-hearted.
Take Up A Sport
Whether it's a sport you used to play when you were in school or a sport you've always watched on TV and wanted to have a go at. Doing a sporting hobby is a great way to keep fit and get in shape, as your enjoyment of the activity means you forget your actually burning fat. Not only this but it's also a great form of escapism from your work life and a way to form friendships with like-minded people. Swimming is a brilliant way of exercising as it puts less stress on your joints, however darts is not recommended.
Take The Dog Out
Sally Anscombe
Now this doesn't mean just taking the dog out to do their business. Go on a brisk stroll through the park or even jog with the dog as you and your feline friend both work up a sweat. This means you don't have to make time to squeeze in a workout and instead can gain some brownie points from your parents for constantly taking out the dog round the block. A win win situation.
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