Obligatory new Nikes Instagram….
Hello! Regardless of the above photo, I have had a lacklustre few weeks when it comes to exercise. There are so many little false beliefs that keep telling myself, e.g. “it’s been so stressful with the house move”, “I’ve got too many work/social commitments to deal with”, “getting up early to exercise will just make me more tired”, etc. etc.
However, deep down I know these are all just lazy excuses. I spent the first 21 years of my life finding every reason possible to sack off netball and trips to the gym in favour of lounging on the sofa or having a laugh with my friends instead.
But after I started full-time office life, I discovered that unless I move my body regularly, your weeks get pretty depressing. Who wants a cycle of work, eat, sleep for the rest of their life?! There’s still a little couch potato languishing inside me so it’s very hard to spring out of bed at 7am when the prospect of a cosy lie-in is calling. However, I’ve discovered some sloth-proof techniques to make fitting exercise into your day-to-day life much easier.
1. Lay your gym clothes out at the end of your bed
Make it as easy as possible for yourself in the mornings, because your fuzzy little morning brain will thank you for it.
2. Make it the first thing you do on the weekend
Waking up on Saturday morning and realising it’s the weekend is one of the best feelings ever, right? So take advantage of that great feeling and do some exercise first thing – whether it’s a long bike ride or just a couple of laps around the park. Then you can have a huge breakfast afterwards and know that the rest of the day is reserved purely for fun and/or laziness
3. Try out lots of new classes
I still like to think that my favourite class is out there, I just haven’t found it yet. Sometimes going to new classes can be intimidating, but a change of scene always makes my week a bit more interesting. Still on my list to try this year are boxing, Bootcamp Pilates, spinning (got a feeling I might hate it but whatevs), and resistance training.
4. Plan in advance
On a Sunday night I usually write a little plan for the week, including meals, social activities, and when I’m going to exercise. I’d be lying if I said that I always stick to the plan, but just writing in three or four workouts per week makes it seem much more achievable.
5. Walk instead of getting the bus
There are always going to be days when you just can’t fit anything in at all. You’re working late, or spending all of your free time house-hunting (that will be me soon – yippee!) so there just isn’t time to do anything active. When this happens, I try to make sure that I go out and walk for at least 20 minutes. This usually means walking to the station instead of taking the bus, or otherwise forcing myself to go out at lunchtime and take a stroll around the park. It doesn’t feel like much, but it all helps.
6. Sign up for a race or event
This is what motivates me to go and run when I really really don’t want to. Because however much I dislike training for races, I know that the actual race day itself will be loads of sweaty fun and I can truly reward myself at the end. Having a goal to work towards will keep you focused and driven, especially when the excuse pile is stacking up!
7. Do it with friends
I know that everyone says this, but going to new classes with your friends makes such a big difference! As long as you’re not too competitive with one another… It also means you can get a juice or lunch afterwards and hang out with them. Win.
8. Take advantage of new environments
If I’m going away for the weekend, or on holiday, a work trip, whatever – I usually always pack my trainers and look into whether there are any facilities e.g. a pool, so I can fit some activity in. It totally adds to the experience of being away – I can boast that I’ve been kayaking in Slovenia, practised yoga in Malaysia, and done lots of mountain hill-walks in North Wales (except I won’t do that cause nobody likes a bragger).
9. Keep it short and regular
Not feeling up for a full 10k? I find the idea of running 5k twice a week much easier to cope with than a full 10k once a week. As well as being able to fit into a lunch break, it’s better for your body and encourages you to push yourself. It’s much easier to procrastinate with more strenuous or longer workouts, so if I keep it short and sweet I’m much more likely to actually do it.
Remember, it’s not normal or realistic to be working out all day every day. I used to follow quite a few fitness bloggers online and have since unfollowed most of them, purely for selfish reasons in that their constant “fitspiration” only made me feel guilty that I wasn’t working as hard as them. It’s easy to forget the fact that they are in the gym for a living, whereas I earn my 9-5 in an office like the much larger percentage of this city.
And since some fitness bloggers have lifted the lid on what the hidden truth behind the filters can look like, it’s served as a greater reminder that we should not be comparing our exercise routines whatsoever to people we see on social media.
We only need to aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day according to the NHS, so if slobbing out and watching GBBO is going to make you happier than spending an hour in the gym, by all means don’t make yourself miserable!
I hope my tips will help you next time you need some lazy-girl motivation!