40 Things to Try When You Don't Want to Work Out

By , SparkPeople Blogger
We all have the days where we plan to work out and know that we should, but when it's time to lace up your shoes and go…You. Just. Don't. Wanna.
 
I have those days, too, but when I remind myself how GOOD exercise makes me feel, and how it will help me reach my goals, I generally suck it up and do it anyway. Getting started really is the hardest part. Once you get going, you're generally glad you did. And when it's over, you feel even better.
 
But some people have less willpower or dedication. Some give in to the temptation to skip exercise too easily. While that's fine once in a while, it can become a hard habit to break if you skip out on your workouts too often.
 
So recently, I polled members of SparkPeople.com, America's No. 1 fitness and healthy living community, asking what THEY do to motivate themselves when they don't feel like exercising. Let me tell you: These people are a creative bunch. The next time you feel less-than-enthusiastic about your upcoming exercise session, take their advice. Here are 40 things you can do (or think about) to get your workout motivation back—and get moving.
 
SparkPeople members answer: "When I don't feel like working out, I ___."
  1. Do it anyway. (This was the most popular answer!)
  2. Tell myself to go for 15 minutes. If I still feel bad or unmotivated, I can quit. I have yet to quit.
  3. Look on Pinterest for motivation! (Check out Pinterest's Fitness section and follow SparkPeople's Pinterest boards.)
  4. Ask a friend along to the workout it helps us both with accountability.
  5. Do a heavy house cleaning (vacuuming, moving furniture, scrubbing) so I have a reason to work out.
  6. Watch a Crossfit video on YouTube. It always inspires me. Then I get it done.
  7. Take a 10-minute brisk walk.
  8. Take the dog for a long walk.


     
  9. Force myself anyway and feel better for it.
  10. Go to a yoga class. It gets me moving, and I always have fun!
  11. I sit by myself for a few minutes and think about all the things I can't enjoy because of my poor health.
  12. Sometimes I find myself doing it just to get my fitness minutes for the month. Proof that SparkPeople works!
  13. Work out anyway…then bask in the awesomeness!
  14. Find something new to do! If you run then go for a swim or a bike ride. Maybe you are getting bored with the same routine.
  15. Complain about not feeling motivated, then go do it, since I don't like hearing myself complain.


     
  16. I drag myself to the gym anyway. Before I realize it, an hour is passed and I'm glad I went.
  17. Post about your lack of motivation on Facebook, and get chewed out.
  18. Do it anyway because this is for me.
  19. Try to force myself to just do something for 1 minute (jumping jacks, squats, etc.). But usually I tell myself I will be happier that I did it instead of mad at myself for not doing anything.
  20. Put on my work out clothes, lace up my shoes and go for a walk. Once I'm out and moving I find my motivation.
  21. Do a SparkPeople workout video! They are always great workouts and I love that they are not super hard and complicated!
  22. Remember a time when I couldn't work out, and how sad I was when I was heavier, and how I don't want to feel sad again!
  23. Listen to some music—something with energy that I like. It's funny how the right music can make you move even when you think you don't want to, and it usually provides a mood boost, too (which is probably why I didn't want to workout in the first place).


     
  24. Put my feelings aside and use logic and reasoning. My feelings then change after a good workout.
  25. Follow an "easy" DVD and tell myself I'll do just one part of it. I end up doing it all usually.
  26. Put on my workout clothes!
  27. Do a workout at home instead of going to the gym.
  28. Remind myself why I started working out and how much better I feel and feel about myself when I am done!


     
  29. Do it anyway, just not as long.
  30. Remember how easy it is to loss fitness even after missing a few sessions.
  31. Put on my workout clothes first thing in the morning. Once I'm in them there's no reason to not work out!
  32. Remind myself of one of Gods promises in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  33. Think how good I feel after a workout! Nothing else gives me that same feeling!
  34. Go bowling.
  35. I go get my small weights and start toning up.
  36. Do something light and slow, like yoga.


     
  37. Start working out anyway, and then, I figure I've already started, so I may as well finish STRONG!
  38. Put on dance music and move!
  39. Call a friend to encourage me.
  40. Think of all the people who can't and I go do it and am grateful that I CAN.
There are a lot of things in life that we should do but don't always feel like doing. For many, exercise is one of those things. But the only way to make it a habit is to do it—consistently. So next time you don't feel like it, make like these strong-willed SparkPeople members and do it—or something—anyway. Just get yourself moving, even if it's light and easy, and even if it's only for a few minutes. You'll be glad you did!

 
How do YOU get motivated to exercise when you don't feel like it? Do you skip your workouts or "just do it" when you'd rather not? Tell us in the comments below!

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Comments

DEE107 3/17/2019
good Report
RD03875 3/7/2019
Another good article for me to save and keep reading when I feel this way. Report
LITTLEBABIES18 3/6/2019
How I get through lose lazy days I think of my kids and say hey let's do something. If ita nice. If it's crappy I tell my husband and kids let go to the store. Easy way to walk and get warm at the same time. Report
NMCINTYRE1 3/6/2019
Inspriratio7from reading this article. Gonna have to save this one. Thanks. Report
ROBBIEY 2/3/2019
great Report
DEE107 1/12/2019
thanks Report
ELRIDDICK 11/29/2018
Thanks for sharing Report
_CYNDY55_ 11/26/2018
Thanks Report
CECELW 10/31/2018
That's really motivating sometimes I can force myself to get started & just get it done, other times, I just put exercise off Report
DAYLEO1 10/12/2018
I listen to books while I walk at the gym. I stop walking when the book is at a really good part and stop listening. I have to go to the gym the next day to find out what happens in the book next! Report
KHALIA2 9/5/2018
I just DO IT!!! Report
KHALIA2 9/5/2018
I just DO IT!!! Report
DEE107 9/4/2018
thanks Report
CHRISINMIAMI 9/2/2018
Thank you! Report
JEWELZEE- 9/2/2018
I remind myself how much I like feeling stronger so I can do the things I want to do. Report
ERICALEAHA 9/1/2018
Thanks great article Report
97MONTY 9/1/2018
Thanks Report
EMGERBER 9/1/2018
I needed this there are day I just do not want to workout and I really have to push myself. Report
HEALTHYME98 9/1/2018
Great ideas! I've done some of them Report
TCANNO 9/1/2018
from time to time we all drop out for a short while Report
CHRIS3874 9/1/2018
Do it because tomorrow you will be mad at yourself if you ddn't at least try. Report
AQUAGIRL08 7/15/2018
Music motivates me sometimes. I also like to move around a lot. Report
ROSSYFLOSSY 6/4/2018
Great alternatives! Report
DWROBERGE 5/11/2018
Great ideas! Report
thanks Report
Sometimes there are valid reasons to skip a workout. Other times these are good things to do Report
These ideas all seems simple for someone not dealing with chronic pain and also in a walking boot due to a stress fracture in my non injured foot. I can't seem to catch a break right now and the tears won't stop falling because the pain is so severe. What do I do then? Report
NASFKAB
Very helpful ideas Report
I always think of something small to start out with like walking in place. After I start walking then it motivates me to add some squats and lunges. Then I will add something else. After that sometimes I will add in a plank. If I'm on the floor then I might as well do some bridges and some leg lift. I might even do a few sit-ups. Then I might go into the kitchen and do some standing push-ups off of the countertop at an angle. By then I have at least a half hour work out in! Report
Awesome! Report
thanks... Report
MICHELE1119
at times i just need to honor my body and skip it , the next day I'm usually ready to go. Report
The hardest part for me is just starting. Once I start, I usually finish Report
JSIELKE1944
If I need motivation, I go to Walmart, to remind myself if I don't work out, I could end up looking like the people there! Report
Some great ideas! Report
tell myself 10 mins. If I start then I usually do the full workout. Report
git her done! Report
SUSANBEAMON
Just do it, just do it, just do it. Report
GETTHERE7
I like the idea of just doing 10 minutes and then I'll usually get the motivation to continue for my whole workout. Lately I've found if I just don't wanna it's because I am starting to get sick. My problem is exercising when I should really not since I stay sick longer. (Right now recovering from flu symptoms and afraid to start up with my running routine too soon, too fast so the 10 minute idea is perfect) Report
My biggest problem is that I am an insomniac. Even on medication prescribed by the doctor, I have a hard time sleeping. Last week and today is a real problem for me. I did a 10-minute walk, today. I liked the reason about the music. Music makes me feel better no matter how tired I am. I also liked the comment "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me". I will use music and the verse. Report
Family funeral days are the hardest for me to try and get motivated. Report
I can do it Report
great article Report
love these Report
Love all this motivation. Just do it! Report
keep on going.... this is a new you.... Report
#1 for me....just do it! Report
RO2BENT
Keep moving forward Report
I usually do it anyway or last ditch effort go work on yard work. Report
If there is not a valid reason such as sickness or injury; I ask myself, "Is today the day I quit?" Report