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Motivating yourself to exercise when tired

“How to motivate yourself to exercise when tired” is one of the most common questions we get asked by our clients and followers on Instagram. Lack of motivation is a barrier to exercise that plagues the best of us – yes, including us!

Tiredness is unfortunately a factor of everyday life. Whether that’s due to having little ones that wake up in the night, sleep troubles, stresses in life and work keeping you up, or simply having times where you can’t seem to get enough sleep.

There’s no avoiding it, we all have days when all we want to do is crawl back under the duvet. On those days, any plans to exercise usually get bumped to the bottom of the pile of priorities.

As your personal trainers, we’re here to give you the best advice on how to motivate yourself to exercise when you’re tired.

Listen to your body, not your mind

Are you genuinely exhausted or are you mentally feeling lazy? If it’s the former, you need to rest. If it’s the latter, you’ll actually feel better for exercising. Be honest with yourself.

You don’t need hours to feel the benefits of exercise. We saw from our early users that even a 10-15 minute workout had a huge impact on the way they felt. You might not feel like it before you start, but, chances are, once you’ve finished, you’ll feel a whole lot better. Keep this is mind when you’re saying “I’ll do it later.”

On the other hand, burnout is a very real thing. Pushing yourself too hard can make exercise feel like a chore. It shouldn’t be, it should be something you enjoy. Whether that’s a home workout, a gym session, a run, or some kind of sport with your mates.

Keep it interesting

Change up your routine regularly. Be open minded to trying new ways to get your bloody pumping – it can reinvigorate your relationship with exercise. You don’t have to follow anyone else’s definition of what ‘true exercise’ is. If a brisk walk gets you hot under the collar, go for it. Enjoy biking with your kids? Do it more. Hate weights? Don’t use them… you get the gist.

Make a (rough) plan

Any PT worth their salt will tell you to play in your workouts for the week ahead. This is the right thing to do – but make sure you’re flexible with that schedule without feeling like you’ve let yourself down. Setting difficult goals for ourselves is a great way to make progress, but we won’t always achieve them.

Planning in four high intensity workouts for the week ahead will mean your energy levels are likely to dip. It’s a good idea to have an alternative, less intense workout in your back-pocket for any days when you’re really struggling. That way, you can still give it a ‘tick’ on your list of things to do, without beating yourself up.

Log it

Banish asks you how you’re feeling before and after each workout. This’ll help you identify patterns in your mood, and possibly your energy, which will highlight what types of training work best for you. But it’s also important to keep a note of your progress. How many reps are you able to do in a minute, two minutes, four minutes?

These are for you to work against, not for anyone else. Knowing that you did thirty last week is going to push you to do thirty-one this week.

Build yourself the perfect playlist

Music has the power to energise us even on the laziest of days. Having a playlist of songs that make you feel fantastic ready to go on those days where you’re struggling to find the effort might just be the pick-me-up you need. With Banish, you can listen to whatever music you want. So grab that house party playlist from that night you’ll never forget last summer and flip it into one for your workouts.

Fuel yourself up

Having something to eat or drink an hour or so before your workout can help to combat any fatigue you’re feeling, and be the motivational kick you need to get you going. It’s totally dependant on your individual goals – could be a coffee, banana, small meal or a pre-workout shake.

One tip from our side would be to try and consume the same types of thing before you train. By doing this, it turns the eating/drinking into a kind of ritual, which’ll help you control the situation and limit the worry that can arise before you workout.

Be kind to yourself

Remember that the most important thing is that you feel good. If something about your workout routine doesn’t make you feel good, try something else. Doing something is better than nothing, and remember we’re here as your personal cheerleaders to help you reach your goals.

Make sure you’re following Banish on Instagram to connect with us, and don’t hesitate to drop us a DM for support if you’re struggling to get motivated.