As the temperatures drop and nights in watching Netflix become more tempting than braving the cold for a sweat session after a big day at the office, it’s easy for exercise motivation to go awol.
However, just because it may seem ‘easier’ or more appealing to ditch the gym for quality couch time, doesn’t mean it’s the best decision for your health, or happiness! Especially if those couch sessions begin to go from a sometimes thing, to a regular thing, to eeeeerry day.
Sound familiar? Well according to the latest Fitness First survey, laziness and lack of motivation is the reason 47 per cent of Aussies aren’t exercising, and almost a third admit to only making one session a week.
And ironically, the 60 per cent that do manage to make it, cited that the primary reason they do go is to feel good about themselves, and of course, to feel fit and strong too.
So knowing that it makes us feel good and knowing that the only barrier stopping us from being our best self is our lack of motivation (or *cough laziness *cough) there’s really no excuse to not get moving—it’s just a matter of having the right life hacks to keep us disciplined.
To keep you accountable and shake that stale mindset, Sporteluxe has asked two Sydney fitness experts, Michael Cunico of Fitness First and Danielle Bazergy, personal trainer at Chocolate Box in Sydney’s North Shore for their top tips for beating the exercise slump!
“Rituals create habits that help you perform and achieve a goal, so by creating a ritual noticeboard, it helps you both aim for a few big habits (such as going to the gym) and lots of little habits (200 push-ups per week and 200 squats). Then, whenever you walk past the board, it acts as a trigger and you will feel encouraged to do 20 push-ups and tick them off. This ‘ticking off’ releases a little bit of dopamine in the brain, acting as a reward,” says Cunico.
“A lot of the time motivation comes from discipline and while you might be busy, there is still a chick sprinting at crazy speed with a booty and legs for days that you always secretly stare at the gym (when you occasionally go). And guess what? It’s because she’s disciplined. She shows up, gets it done and carries on with life. So, just think how good it will be to be the next IT girl killing it at the gym and how much you could be the one that others turn to for motivation,” says Bazergy.
“This is where mixing it up and trying fitness classes are great! Exercising in a group is not only more stimulating to the brain than exercising alone but by mixing up your cardio with a HIIT class, replacing weights with a BodyPump class or branching out and doing a yoga session over a standard circuit could keep your fitness journey interesting. Variety is key!” says Cunico.
“You know when you’re working out at your local gym and that not-so gym worthy 2007 Katy Perry track comes on and you’re demotivated? Well, thanks to technology, you can now be your own DJ (even if that means listening in your own headphones). A killer playlist is one of the most exciting things about getting to exercise! Whether you’re making your own or using one you’ve found elsewhere (check out my current go-to here), make sure it’s full of songs that are going to want to make you move,” says Bazergy.
“That appointment to get your hair done is super important, and sure… so is the time you set aside each week to binge watch your fave TV show but your workout is just as–if not more–important! Open up your diary/calendar and pop your workout in there, set yourself a convenient time and hold yourself accountable. Make it a priority and don’t let anything get in the way of it! Think of it this way… if you wouldn’t cancel on your hairdresser, then you shouldn’t cancel on yourself!,” says Bazergy.
“Showing up to the gym without a planned workout in mind is risky as more often than not it will lead to a lazy or unproductive workout (we’ve all been there!). By planning your workouts it can keep you interested and wanting to train, but also allows you to make your training more effective towards achieving a specific goal. If you’re not sure what to do, even following an online program can be an easy way to stay on track!” says Bazergy.
“What does going out for dinner, going for a sunny coastal walk or watching a terrifying horror film all have in common? They’re much more fun when not done alone! The same goes for training! So grab your mum, brother, partner, neighbour or housemate and get it done together! In the off chance your wannabe training partner doesn’t live near you, then no worries, make him/her your Accountability Partner! Tell them what you’re going to commit to each week, share your schedule with them and make sure they keep you accountable (and of course you can do the same for them!)” says Bazergy.