A hard work day can be a workout killer if you let it. How do you find the motivation to workout after work? The answer lies in changing your mindset and your habits. Here are 7 tips to help you make post- work workouts successful.
Pack Your Exercise Gear the Night Before
Don’t wait until the chaos of morning to pack your exercise clothes. You may forget what you need when you are in a hurry to get out the door. If the morning is particularly hectic, you might just decide “to heck with it, it’s too much trouble”, giving yourself an excuse to skip your workout.
PUT WORKOUTS ON YOUR CALENDAR
You put meetings, doctors appointments, Little League games and other things on your schedule to remind you so you don’t miss the important things in your life. Make exercise important too and put it on your calendar. Then, set reminders on your phone or computer.
PACK A SNACK
Let’s face it. You are working out as you head into the dinner hour. Sometimes plain old physical hunger can rob you of a workout by mentally distracting you and zapping your energy. Pack a small, easily digestible snack that’s got a mix of carbs, protein and healthy fat (like an apple with peanut butter) and eat it about 45 minutes prior to your planned workout.
CHANGE INTO YOUR EXERCISE GEAR BEFORE LEAVING WORK
Again, this factors into your mindset. If you change into your exercise clothes before you leave work, you’ll be more likely to commit to your workout and less likely to back out at the last minute or make excuses for skipping.
DON’T GO HOME FIRST
Once you walk through the door, your brain switches over to “home mode”. At home, you are reminded of all of the things you feel you need to do there (fix dinner, do laundry, clean up, etc). This makes it very difficult to mentally disengage to leave for a workout. Be consistent and stick to a routine – work, gym home; work, gym home . . . After a while, this will become a habit and it will actually feel weird if you break it.
LEAVE WORK AT THE OFFICE
Clear your mind. Take a class that requires a bit of thinking. If your mind is occupied following moves, it won’t be able to wander off and think about job responsibilities. If you are hitting the fitness floor, create a playlist that motivates you and pulls your mind into a good place. No matter what, make sure you choose an activity that you enjoy. After all, your exercise time isn’t just good for your body. It also serves as a mental break, an opportunity to let go of the concerns and stresses of your day.
USE THE WEEKENDS
Let’s face it, exercising five days a week after work may be unrealistic because we have other demands on our time. So, don’t forget the weekends. If you exercise on Saturday and Sunday, then you may only need to exercise 2 – 3 days a week after work.
A few other suggestions . . . Find a workout buddy (or a few workout buddies) and make arrangements for weekly small group training sessions with a personal trainer. You’ll be less likely to skip these workouts because you don’t want to let your buddies down.
Thanks Cornerstone Clubs and author Theresa Whitcomb
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