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.
"When I don't feel like working out, I ___."
  1. Do it anyway. 
  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! 
  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. 
  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 workout video! I pick something that isn't super-hard or 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, just 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!

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


I tell myself I'll work out for 10 minutes and once I've gotten started, I can usually go for the entire workout. Report
SUNSET09 12/30/2020
I put on my clothes and just do it, SparkFriends. I'd rather feel better about doing than guilty about not doing it at all. Isn't that why we're where we are? Report
ACACIA21 11/4/2020
great Report
METAFUKARI 9/15/2020
I always decide to try 10 minutes and if I can't go more I can quit. I never quit and wind up doing much more. Good suggestions here~ Report
VHAYES04 7/6/2020
Nice! Report
NOMOREDJ 6/2/2020
ONLYME33 5/30/2020
Nice! Report
SHOAPIE 5/29/2020
Good article Report
Thank you! Report
JIACOLO 5/29/2020
Great suggestions! Maybe it will help me get and stay motivated. Report
LJBOWSER1 5/28/2020
Thanks for the ideas. Now that the weather is nicer and pool is open felling more motivated Report
NEPTUNE1939 5/28/2020
ty Report
My legs feel heavy today - I did a 20 minute “easy” walk yesterday - plus the 2 mile walk with the little dogs. Today is supposed to be a 30 minute “Walk with Leslie” on line Um, thinks I’ll just do a long slow walk this evening. Really hate when I don’t get my steps in. Report
NATASJA140 4/1/2020
Thanks for the ideas, I really needed this. Report
SPINECCO 3/6/2020
I'm committed to doing some type of exercise everyday. It makes me feel better. Report
KATHYJO56 2/14/2020
Great ideas Report
Great information Report
I realize that nothing will change if I don't and I've wasted more than an hour doing other things. May as well get her done doing something for myself that will last, SparkFriends. Good going Report
I think about someone I know who was overweight. Full of fun w/ a hardworking spouse & children still in school. One day she was out w/ her hubby, joking & conversing while seated at a local watering hole. She suddenly fell to the floor dead cuz her heart gave out.
Motivation Report
Like I'm feeling today! Report
The other day it was SO hot out and I did not want to go for a walk in the heat after work so I sat on edge of my chair watching movie with hubby and did steps whole time. Boy did I use a different set of muscles then I was use to. Report
I like looking at the numbers on the daily differential after a workout. Those numbers keep me motivated. Report
Thanks Report
Put on my clothes & just do it!!! Report
Put on my workout clothes and just start; after all, it feels a bit silly to just sit around in workout clothes.... Report
Thanks for sharing, I needed this.. Report
Great suggestions! Report
good article Report
gottawanna.. Report
Thanks for sharing. Time to get moving. Thanks! Report
''Gotta try these, really try them, and keep the article. THANK YOU, Nicole. Report
great info--I appreciate hearing it--I need it!-Lynda Report
great article Report
There is no law that says you have to do it 7 days a week! Do 5 or 6 days a week, for heaven’s sakes! Your mental health is worth it. Report
I schedule boot camp 5 days a week and attend, just like any other appointment. Report
thank you Report
thank you Report
great Report
Great! Very helpful blog! Report
Good tips and ideas to get you moving. Report
Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions. I totally agree that starting is the hardest part...Also, motivation is great but "just do it" is the bottom line, we have to go forward by decision not feeling or it won't happen. That's true of a lot of things! Report
Good article; great advice!!! Report
I like getting my Spark points and/or doing the challenges of my teams. Report
good Report
Another good article for me to save and keep reading when I feel this way. Report
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
Inspriratio7from reading this article. Gonna have to save this one. Thanks. Report
great Report