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6 Tips for Exercising When You Don’t Feel Like It

6 Tips for Exercising When You Don’t Feel Like It

Some form of motivation drives everything you do in life. For example, people are motivated to work hard to earn more money or maybe get promoted. A person will be motivated to practice new language skills every day to become fluent. You get the picture! The same goes for exercising. Whether you’re working out to lose weight, get stronger, or be healthy, something pushes you towards your goals. However, maintaining motivation can be tricky. Some days you would rather lie on the couch and watch Netflix than go for a run. And that’s perfectly normal! The goal is to push through this feeling and restore your motivation. However, be sure that these six tips for exercising when you don’t feel like it can help you get back on track.

Tips for exercising when you don’t feel like it

Listen to your body

This may sound like a cliché, but it’s the truth! If you don’t feel like exercising, maybe your body is trying to tell you something. Sometimes it’s not about the lack of motivation but about actual physical or mental inability to work out.


Think about the last 24 hours. Did you sleep well? What did you eat? Are you properly hydrated? Maybe you overdid it the last time, and now you have muscle soreness. If your body is not ready for exercise, lack of motivation is the least of your problems. Your body won’t let you go through the workout if it doesn’t have enough energy.


Also, take a look at the bigger “picture.” Is lack of motivation becoming a constant problem? Maybe you have some health issues which need to be resolved before jumping back into a regular workout routine. It’s better to take some time off until your body is ready.

Caption: You need to listen to your body carefully. Sometimes, time off is what you need.

Give yourself 5-10 minutes

The most important thing is to show up! Don’t think about how you need to go through an hour-long training session, or the workout will be pointless. You will sabotage yourself before getting a chance to start. Keep in mind that every minute counts!


Set yourself up for a 5-minute workout, and then reevaluate. Even if you don’t feel like it, you will be able to walk this long, at least. Set your timer, do some light exercise, and see how you feel after. The chance is you’ll want to continue once the blood starts flowing. This is an excellent mental trick for exercising when you don’t feel like it.

Try changing something

Maybe you just got bored with the routine! Training should be a fun activity that you’re looking forward to. If you think about it as a chore or something you “must” do, you’ll lose your motivation quickly.


The key is in the change! If you don’t feel like going to the gym, do something else instead. Do anything! You can go for a walk, hike, bike ride, etc. You can even try something completely new that you haven’t done before. Take a salsa dancing class or try CrossFit. You don’t have to stick with this activity, but it can help you get back on track.

Of course, it can be enough just to change your routine a little bit. Find some new exercises and try them out. If you’re a runner, change the route. No matter the type of workout you prefer, there is always room for fun variations.

Caption: One of the best tips for exercising when you don’t feel like it is to change something. Instead of going to the gym, go hiking!

Remind yourself why it is important to exercise

We have to admit that one of the unusual tips for exercising when you don’t feel like it is to try to talk yourself into doing it. This may seem strange, but it helps. Your mental state is what drives you forward. Remember why you started working out in the first place. Was it to lose weight, get stronger, or stay in shape?


You don’t even need to think this general. Simply remember the smaller goals you set and are now trying to achieve. Maybe you want to run a mile more or be faster. Sometimes just reminding yourself about these small goals is helpful.


However, there is a chance that your mental state is blocking you. If you’re suffering from depression or some other issues, self-help is not a valid option. If you don’t feel like going to regular therapy, you can always opt for online therapy. It’s important that you find someone to talk to. Some things need to be resolved with the help of a professional, and online therapy is a good option.

Build a habit and establish goals

Establishing a routine will make exercising easier even if you don’t feel like it. If you decide to skip one workout, you know the next one will be in two days. You’ll probably work even harder the next time to compensate. When exercising is a habit, lack of motivation is not as big of an issue.


However, it takes time to build a solid routine. Usually, a month or two is enough to make exercising a habit. Of course, be sure to set realistic goals. If you’re just beginning, working out five times a week is not a good idea. Start with one or two sessions per week. Even if you’re not a beginner, you need to tailor your goals accordingly. Knowing that you can achieve them will keep you motivated.

Caption: Sometimes, you’ll need professional help to resolve an issue.

 “Outside” help

There’s no doubt that one of the best tips for exercising when you don’t feel like it is asking a friend for support. Some people prefer to train alone. However, it is harder to pick yourself up when you lack motivation. If you’re working out with a friend or in a group, they can help you. Make a schedule with a workout buddy. If one of you fails to show up, hold them accountable.


Also, you can establish a reward system. Some people need a payoff of any kind for the work they are doing. Motivate yourself with a new pair of leggings you’ll buy for a job well done. Promise yourself a self-care reset trip. A reward system reinforces motivation and keeps you focused.


Every one of us has bad or lazy days when we don’t want to do anything, let alone exercise. This is normal, but it’s good to have a strategy for pushing through it. The important thing is to understand why you lack motivation. Hopefully, these six tips will help you return to exercising when you don’t feel like it.


Meta description: Maintaining motivation can be challenging. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks for exercising when you don’t feel like it.