How to work out when you don't want to

An illustration of a hand reaching for exercise equipment
Design: Fatima Jahan Ena

When a friend joined the gym in accordance with her new year's resolution this year, I was shocked to see how often she would skip days due to "not feeling like it." While this feeling of unwillingness was valid because people have busy lives, it was still a massive roadblock to our improved quality of life.

Even though it may feel like the lack of motivation is here for good, there are things we can work on to better adjust to days when our body feels like quitting exercise, or worse, despising it all together.

Don't make your goal superficial

Working out does not only have to be about achieving a specific look. When we give our individual arbitrary goals more than their fair share of importance, the initial objective to channel better habits into our lives becomes the very thing that may discourage us from it.  Over time we get to realize that the benefits of simply staying on the move will tally out the satisfaction of looking a certain way. We don't want ourselves to stop being healthy once we get our results so why make exercise solely about the dream body?

Remind yourself of the other benefits

Exercise is known to be one of the most rewarding activities for the body. Studies show that exercising can positively impact our overall well-being by improving nearly all aspects of our health. This can include the prevention of major health adversities such as lowering risks of life-threatening diseases, degenerating muscles and bones, and mental health disorders.

Change your surroundings

If we are deciding whether to work out while sitting on a sofa with the television on, chances are we will resort to immediate comfort. As a result, we fail in overcoming our slump. It's fair to say that it may not be the best environment for a mental paradigm shift.

To avoid the sloth trap, we need to manoeuvre ourselves into situations where we are more likely to work out. Sometimes simply putting on running shoes can mentally propel us towards getting out of the house for a walk.

Don't do it alone

It's easy to back out of things when we do it alone, especially if the task at hand requires physical labor. Avoiding exercise due to not having enough time or not finding it particularly joyful is very common as well.

Chances are friends, family, and other people we know may be facing the same mental battles of gearing up to stay active. This presents the opportunity to unite and tackle the issue together. Holding yourself and others accountable can be incredibly motivational and effective.

There are lots of other little ways we can trick ourselves to start working out but it all comes down to our intrinsic motivation. Once we can swim pasts the initial days of wrestling between the mind and body, we can finally turn it into a habit. Once we fit the habits into our lifestyle, "not feeling like it" will be a thing of the past.

The writer of this article is still waiting for her friend to come back and join her at the gym. Feel free to reach out to her at @[email protected]


চাঁপাইনবাবগঞ্জে আদানি পাওয়ারের সঞ্চালন লাইনে ‘ট্রিপ’, বিদ্যুৎ সরবরাহ বন্ধ

চাঁপাইনবাবগঞ্জের রহনপুরে আদানি পাওয়ারের ট্রান্সমিশন লাইনে সমস্যা দেখা দেওয়ায় বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্রটি থেকে বাংলাদেশে বিদ্যুৎ সরবরাহ বন্ধ আছে।