How to Train Your Brain to Crave Working Out
Be it bad weather, too little sleep, or an overwhelming amount of work, it's far too easy to come up with an excuse to avoid hitting the gym. To help us get out of our winter workout rut, we reached out to Carolina Russ—Lululemon ambassador, top Miami yoga instructor, and wellness expert—for her tips on how to stop procrastinating on our fitness goals.
Finding motivation to attend just one workout class can be difficult, let alone committing to a weekly regimen. Lucky for us, Russ has offered up some solid advice on how to kick-start a fitness routine and stick with it. From finding a workout buddy that makes the gym more enjoyable to changing your feelings on fitness, keep reading for five expert-recommended ways to stop procrastinating and start working out.
1. Change Your Internal Dialogue
According to Russ, working out is as much a mental game as it is a physical activity. To change your feelings toward fitness, Russ says to ask yourself, What are my current beliefs and excuses about why I am not taking the best care of my body? Once you understand why you feel the way you do, Russ says it's time to change your story. In order to do this, she recommends coming up with a creative motto to replace your excuse; for instance, "I love to move my body."
2. Get Creative
If you're dreading going to the gym, then don't go. Instead of forcing yourself to do a fitness routine, Russ recommends creating a list of 20 physically active things you love to do, like hiking, skating, or dancing, and then crafting your very own "fun and exciting workout." Russ notes that you are more likely to stick to a routine if you genuinely love what you are doing.
3. Try Something New
If you feel stuck in a workout rut, Russ recommends trying "something new and spontaneous" like rock climbing or pilates, as you might just stumble into a physical activity that makes working out more enjoyable. For a membership service that lets you mix up your fitness routine every now and again, check out ClassPass.
4. Get An Early Start
Instead of coming up with excuses all day long as to why you can't make it to the gym, Russ recommends working out first thing in the morning. Not only will this make it harder to procrastinate, but it also sets you up for a good day, as studies show exercise releases endorphins which, according to Russ, "elevate our mood, increase pleasure in the body, and minimize pain."
5. Bring A Friend
Not only will a friend make your workout more enjoyable, but attending classes with a buddy will also hold you accountable. Furthermore, Russ recommends telling your friend "about your goals and struggles" so you can be of service to one another on your fitness journey.
For more motivational workout tips, check out a psychologist's tips on how to trick your brain into loving the gym.