Some people jump out of bed at 4:30am for their run, diligently hit the gym after work, and actually follow through with their self-imposed workout plans. Then, there are the people who MEAN to use their gym membership, but suddenly NEED to organize their closet instead, or who can outsmart their snooze button while still sleeping. I am the latter. Luckily, I have found some no-fail ways to enjoy fitness that I actually look forward to (most of the time).
Best Workouts for Procrastinators
1. Bootcamp – I like having someone tell me what to do, so I can’t get out of it. The workouts are fast, effective, and I don’t feel like I am wasting time being there. When I used to go to the gym, I probably spent more time wandering around waiting for equipment than I spent working out. Plus, since I paid for the classes, I hate to miss them.
2. The Non-Workout – Find an activity you like, and think of the exercise as an added benefit! Walks at work, hikes with friends, learning to snowboard, or biking with the kids. Yes, walking the dog counts; just walk quickly to get your heart rate up.
3. Follow a set plan – With it all laid out for you, it is harder to fail. Try following a health challenge, like these ones on Vitamin Shoppe or Buzzfeed. They tell you what do do, when to do it, and often have accountability built in. Many gyms will set you up with a free workout plan when you join, too – you just have to ask.
4. Sign up for a Challenge – There are so many fun-runs and obstacle courses these days. Foam Fest, The Colour Run, and Inflatable challenges are less strenuous than, say, an Ironman challenge, but you DO need to do a bit of preparation. Try to enlist some friends, and make it a team challenge. You can practice together beforehand, or at least keep each other on track as you get ready. A lot of the runs have mini-heats for older kids, as well, so you can rope the kids into keeping you accountable.
5. Short Workout Videos – I can commit to 30 minutes or less in my own home. Going to the gym for a 30 minute class turns into a 1+ hour event (driving to and from, chit chat), and that is time I’d rather spend sleeping. Beach Body videos are one of my favourites, since you don’t have to be super-fit to start, and they are actually effective! There are a LOT of Beach Body coaches online that are great if you need help to stay motivated and accountable, but I just do videos on my own. The kids now ask me “are you doing your workout today, Mom?” and that is enough pressure in itself.
6. Buddy Up Workouts – I actually hate working out with others, but my kids have become my workout buddies. “Are you doing your video now, mom? Can we ride bikes?” I want to set an example, and not let them down. If you don’t have kids, or you actually like working out with others, you can find an accountability buddy who you either work out with, or check in with on set days.
7. Chase the Kids… Seriously. Just chase them! Little A is learning to ride his bike, so I just run alongside him. I am a lot more motivated to keep going when he is a block ahead of me, and headed for an intersection. Most young kids will be thrilled to race you across the park, play tag, do jumping-jack contests or dance parties. As long as you get your heart rate up, any activity with the kiddos can turn into exercise.
Knowing yourself and what does or does not motivate you is the first step to succeeding at anything, including fitness. What are your favourite ways to find time to stay fit?