As much as I love the post-workout adrenaline rush, and the general feeling of well-being that you earn through consistently taking good care of yourself, that feeling isn’t usually enough to get my ass off the couch. I’m really good at persuading myself that I’ll work out later, or tomorrow, or . . . you get the picture.
Let’s face it: as much as I admire athletes who will just up and go, I’m not made like that. It only took me 27 years to realize that wishing I were like my fitness rockstar friends (you know who you are) doesn’t make me a fitness rockstar. Instead, it sets me up for failure in a major way. Now that I’ve accepted my couch potato tendencies, though, it makes it a lot easier to plan for success. And one of the major ways I succeed at staying fit despite myself is by tricking myself into working out.
How, you ask?
First, I use my weaknesses to my advantage. (Yep, it’s just like interviewing for a job!). For example, I am NOT a morning person. My brain doesn’t really start working until noon, and that’s only after embarrassing amounts of coffee. One of my greatest discoveries is that if I go to a 6am yoga class, there’s simply no brain function available to talk myself out of going. I don’t overthink it. I don’t make excuses or alternative plans. I just go. And that, folks, is magical. You can’t really get bored if you’re only barely conscious. Plus, it feels AMAZING going to work with my (half-remembered) workout already checked off my list.
Second, I try to incorporate “purpose rides” into most of my days. A purpose ride (or run, or roller skate– you name it) means riding my bike to work. Or to pick up my car wherever I left it the day before. Or to run some all-important errand. I’ll intentionally leave my car behind when I meet up with friends or stay out too late, knowing that I’ll have to bike to pick it up the following day. It’s never something I have to talk myself into, either: it’s way easier to motivate yourself to be active tomorrow than to get moving today.
Third: I take my dogs out for walks or playtime. It’s the oldest trick in the book – for getting yourself moving, for meeting cute boys, and for striking up conversations with strangers in the park.