How to Work Out When You Really Don’t Want To

September 17, 2014 by Cat

work out

Ah working out. It’s something we all know we’re supposed to do but rarely have time to do it. Then, when that little glimmer of free time comes available, we’re typically so exhausted we let the opportunity pass us by. So what’s the secret? How can we work out when we really don’t want to?

Well, here are some things that have worked for me:

1. Get Creative With It

After I get back from FinCon (Financial Bloggers Conference) next week, I’m signing up for an adult ballet class. I danced for over 20 years and taught ballet throughout college. So, after a break of a few years, I really miss my passion. I’m not the type of person who enjoys running. My mind can never relax with something like that. So, I really enjoy the challenge of learning choreography and giving my brain a workout too. I’ve been looking for a dance class for quite some time, and I was lucky to find one in my own neighborhood.

When you don’t have a desire to work out in the traditional sense, remember that you can go boxing, swimming, or even just head outside and throw a ball with friends. Get creative with it, and working out will become more fun and enjoyable.

2. Use Your Surroundings

Gym memberships are expensive. There’s just no way around that. So, one way to get your workout is to just use your surroundings. Do traditional push ups in your living room. Walk your dog. Do lunges up and down your hallway. I use my two babies all the time to work out. I do squats while holding them. I push them up in an airplane position. I can do pushups over their adorable faces and kiss them every time I get close to the floor. You can do planks in the same way. By using what I have (or who I have) around the house, I was able to get back to my pre-baby body without spending a dime on a gym membership.

3. Grab a Buddy

It’s been proven that having accountability helps us with most of life’s tasks whether it’s sticking to a budget or working out. If you know someone is relying on you to go for a run, you are much less likely to quit. If you know you have a fun exercise class with a teacher who will be looking for you, you’re much more likely to attend it. Your workout buddy can be your spouse, a friend, a co-worker, or even someone you just met. It doesn’t matter who it is; what’s really important is that you find someone who won’t let you down and who you won’t want to let down in return.

Ultimately, I’ve learned that being active is so much more than heading to the gym. It’s so much more than being on a fad diet. It really is true what “they” say – being healthy is a lifestyle, and once you find a way to make it enjoyable, it will become much easier to keep it that way.

How do you work out when you really don’t want to?

21 thoughts on “How to Work Out When You Really Don’t Want To”

  1. The buddy thing is the best for me and my hubby. We are pushing ourselves to work out more in the mornings and when the alarm goes off, it is very tempting to hit snooze and stay in bed, especially because it is getting cooler outside. But we both push each other to get out of bed and get moving.

    1. That’s great! You have to find what works for you. My husband’s schedule is so varied that we usually don’t have mornings together, and that would be the perfect time to squeeze a work out in.

  2. Kassandra @ More Than Just Money

    I was lucky to snag a $20/month membership at a gym that opened up the same time I moved to S.I. and it includes some really cool classes. Working out really helps me to stay sane and sleep better. Congrats on deciding to take ballet classes again!

    1. I love group classes! I went to my first one in college, and I’d love to find somewhere that offers affordable classes in my area. I always liked step aerobics and yoga.

  3. “not wanting to” doesn’t really even register anymore. I get up,I go work out. It’s ingrained in my very being to the point that’s just the day goes. It doesn’t matter if I feel less than 100%, how busy I’m going to be the rest of the day, or what my attitude is. I get up, I go work out – just like I brush my teeth, eat meals, and breathe. It’s a “have to” activity, not a “want to” activity. Trying to tell myself that I’m not going to go work out today is like telling myself I can’t go to the bathroom all day. It just doesn’t make any sense.

      1. To be honest, and people are going to hate to hear this, but something just snapped. I had been an on again, off again exerciser most of my life. About 5 years ago, right around Christmas, a friend of mine patted my belly and said, “someone looks content with life.” I smiled and laughed with him, but inside it felt like a wrecking ball against my self-esteem. On January 1st, I walked into the gym to go to my first spinning class in about a year and a half. I saw someone wearing a shirt that said, “Is it in you?” I nodded my head and said, “Hell YES it’s in me.” Haven’t looked back since….I’ve worked out 6-7 days a week since then. I’m not going back to being out of shape, it’s just TOO HARD, to get back into it once you fall out. That’s what keeps me going every day – because if I skip one day, then I’ll skip two, then three, then the next thing you know, someone will be patting my belly again. I’m running my fourth marathon on October 5th, and when that’s over, I’ll continue training for my 5th marathon in June of 2015. Hoping to qualify for Boston……

        1. That’s really awesome! I’m sure you’re not the only one with a defining moment that pushed them to commit once and for all. What was said to you wasn’t nice, but look where it got you. Keep it up! And thanks for sharing!

  4. I listen to audio books! It’s great because even when I don’t want to work out, I always want to continue reading (listening)! I keep my audio book reading confined to either working out or driving. It makes me happy to do both. 🙂

    1. That’s a great idea to keep your mind off the exertion! I’ve never been able to physically read a book or magazine while working out, though I’ve seen others reading on stationary bikes and such. The words jump around on the page too much for me to get through it at any reasonable speed.

  5. I am trying to kick it back in gear. I had a goal to run 500 miles this year and I was at 300 already by June, but works it slammed during summer and I dropped off justifying that I would pick it up once September rolled around…well it’s been hard to get back at it. I ran 6 last week, but it was harder than I expected. I used to think 3 miles was hard, but I was getting up to 7-10 miles on Saturday morning runs without much issue. I love working out, seems like everything goes better in life when you feel healthy and spend the time on yourself to work out. Got to get to 500!

    1. You can do it! That’s awesome! I agree with you; I feel great when I’m in the habit of working out. Falling out of that habit and trying to get back in is so difficult.

  6. Erin @ Journey to Saving

    I think dance classes are a great way to work out without actually feeling like you are. I did zumba a few times and it was lots of fun! My boyfriend also motivates me when I’m not feeling up to something, so I agree that accountability partners are great.

    1. Losing money on a gym membership can be a good motivator or it can just be a waste of money. Do you do yoga on your own or watch a video? I really like yoga with an instructor to help everything flow together.

  7. I was a ballet dancer too! And, I took adult ballet classes until just a few years ago; they were wonderful. It felt so good to continue dancing! I’m now completely converted to hot yoga, but I still dance around the house sometimes. Enjoy the class–I hope it’s wonderful!

  8. Love these ideas 🙂 I am always looking for friends who want to do active things together– and you know what, it’s hard! I am busy, all the time, so when I hang out with friends, I want it to be productive– and squeezing in push ups while watching TV– or a few balancing poses while I am blow drying my hair, is sometimes all I can manage- but it makes me feel better knowing I am consistently doing those.

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