It is a sad fact of life that when you hit a certain age, you cannot eat all the cake and not face the consequences. This leaves me in a bit of a predicament. As you can probably tell from the pages of this blog and my Instagram account, I live for food. Sadly, I also hate exercise. It’s mainly because I really enjoy sitting down; it’s a talent that I have perfected over the years and I am pretty damn good at it.
But at 26 years old, I can’t ignore the way that things don’t quite stay in place like they used to anymore and so I’ve had to force myself to start exercising. Here’s a few top tips to keep motivated and fool yourself into thinking that exercise isn’t all that bad:
1) Gimmicks work
I cannot just go to the gym and get on the machines for an hour. It is so deathly boring. Instead, I break it up with classes that are much more about fun while still getting you fit. I love Zumba and Body Attack both of which are available at most gyms. I also highly recommend Frame, a small gym based in Shoreditch and Queen’s Park which do classes such as Beyonce dance lessons and Rebounding (which is SO much fun!).
|More than slightly red in the face after my first Rebounding class!|
2) Listen to podcasts
High tempo music works for most people, but I find myself clock watching if I’m on machines at the gym rather than in a class. I find a podcast that I love that is the length of time I want to exercise for; it makes time go so much quicker and you hardly notice the time at all. Serial is perfect for this, definitely listen to it if you haven’t yet!
3) Put exercise time in your diary
This is one of the best tips I’ve ever been given. If your gym class, run or session is in your diary, it shows as busy and you don’t make plans. It means I feel guilty if I delete it!
4) Mix it up
I have to do different things at the gym a couple of times a week, whether that’s going to a class or trying a different machine. I got in a rut of cross trainer/bike/step machine/repeat and was SO BORED. Changing it up can make the world of difference.
5) Go with a friend
For the most part I like to exercise alone, but sometimes it’s good to go with another person if you feel like you’re losing your mojo. Even if they’re doing something different to you in the gym, it’s nice to be able to take a little break and have a chat with someone.
6) Go before you can think about it
I go to the gym after work and in the mornings on weekends. I get into my workout gear before I think about sitting down or doing anything else because I know that as soon as I get settled on the sofa or start making breakfast, I will lose all motivation.
7) Reward yourself
In all honesty, I go to the gym so I can eat. I’m definitely not the type of girl that comes home after a workout and drinks a protein shake and eats a handful of almonds. I’m not saying you should go home and Bruce Bogtrotter the hell out of a chocolate cake, but I’m not going to beat myself up for having dessert when I’ve actually done some physical activity!
8) Wear something fun
Wearing something I love always perks me up, and sportwear is so huge right now. With places like Boohoo and Missguided bringing out collections, and new brands like Fabletics starting up, there is lots of affordable ways of being fashionable even when you’re sweating like a biatch.
9) Don’t give a crap
I lovelovelove the This Girl Can campaign from Sport England. It shows women of all shapes and sizes doing a range of exercises and not caring one little bit about what they look like. Too many people I know are conscious of what people think of them when they are red and sweaty, but look around you. Every person is sweating but instead of caring, they use it as a badge of honour to show how hard they worked.
If you have any other tips on how to get motivated when you hate exercise, be sure to leave them in the comments!