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When You Don't Want To Workout

By Emily Saunders

What’s your attitude like when it comes to working out? Are you one of those people who just LOVES to exercise and always feels better afterward? Or are you one of those who hates exercise and literally has to “make yourself” exercise?

I think more people fall into the second category. I’m not sure about you, but I hear a lot more people saying “I should workout” and “I know I need to exercise” than “I can’t wait for my workout in the morning”.
But. That can change.

I’ve seen it happen so many times. And the thing that changes first and most dramatically is the attitude. The why. The reason.

If your mindset around exercise is simply about trying to get toned, fit, smaller, or healthier then it’s likely you’ll continue to dislike your workout routine. Yes these are valid reasons, but if they are primary reasons they won’t help change your attitude. If you have a “have to” focus then your “want to” might not follow.

Let’s get specific. Let’s dive deeper. Let’s come up with a statement that’s all about YOU.
At Momsanity we consider exercise as a form of worship. It’s a chance to give God glory and surrender to Him as we do hard things and push our bodies that He has asked us to steward well. We can praise Him and thank him for the ability to exercise right in the middle of a burpee.

When we are exercising with the same heart that we put into singing our favorite worship song then things begin to change. It’s true.

It comes down to purpose. If the sole purpose of your workout is to lose 5 pounds to fit into your Spring Break bathing suit, then it’s going to feel like work. If the purpose of your workout is to thank the Lord for all He has done and for the strength that He is building within you physically, mentally and spiritually then over time it will begin to feel like an opportunity.
While nothing compares to changing ones heart and mindset around exercise, there are a few other things to consider when working toward enjoying exercise.

  1. Partner up with a friend who loves exercise. This doesn’t need to be a super fit gym rat, but employ a buddy who will help keep you motivated and is already committed to sticking with it.
  2. Consider different modalities. We are all about lifting heavy weights for fast and effective workouts and love the endorphins delivered after. That said, you’re not going to regularly perform exercise that you hate. If an organized sport, bike riding, or hiking is more your style then by all means go for it! And don’t be afraid to mix it up. That’s the best thing you can do for your body!
  3. Remember your example. Like it or not your kids are watching you. It’s hard to encourage them to be active and disciplined and to eat their veggies when we’re not doing the same things ourselves. Invite them into the process. They will love keeping you accountable.
  4. Remind yourself that it takes stamina and strength to be His hands and feet. You might not be running marathons, but do what you can to keep you temple strong and able so that you can serve the Lord in the ways that He has planned for you. 
  5. Keep It Simple. Like most things in life, we have a tendency to overcomplicate our focus on fitness. We don’t need a gym membership, fancy equipment, super structured programs or much of anything else to get and stay fit. The more we expend energy PREPARING, the less energy we actually have for the workout. Our Momsanity Sisterhood workouts mostly include nothing more than a mat, dumbbells and sometimes sliders or a chair. Removing the complication barriers can do wonders in keeping you going!
  6. Commit. Recently I shared with our Momsanity Sisters that our workouts should be as important as our kids’ activities. What I mean is that we will do just about anything to make sure our daughter makes it to ballet on time, but we will quickly cancel our workouts when things get complicated. Add your workouts to your calendar and give yourself at least a month. Stick with it. I bet you’ll have fun!