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How to Exercise Even When You Really Don't Want to

How to Exercise Even When You Really Don't Want to

April 22, 2021

For people with diabetes, regular exercise and a healthy diet can make a drastic difference in their treatment outcomes. Exercise not only helps you feel better mentally and stronger physically, but it can help regulate your blood sugar and decrease insulin resistance too. Even if you are only pre-diabetic or show no signs of diabetes whatsoever, forming a habit of daily exercise is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to improve your health.

Everyone knows exercise is good for us. The trouble is actually doing it. Between work, school, kids, and maintaining a social life, it can be difficult for anyone to find time and energy to do something that's intentionally exhausting. So how do we do it even when we're ready to drop before starting? Here are some tips.

1. Find Your Reason Why.

One of the best ways to motivate ourselves to work out is to have a good reason for it. The reason can be as practical or silly as you want, as long as it will motivate you. Do you want to lose 20 pounds before your wedding? Do you want to gain 20 pounds to look like a superhero? Do you want to run a marathon, lift 300 kilograms, or just look good naked? Whatever the reason, remind yourself of the end goal when you don't feel like working out. Close your eyes and visualize yourself pressing your high school nemesis over your head and then throwing him like a rag doll. Then go to the gym and do some cleans.

2. Start Small.

If you have never exercised before or you are returning to exercise after some years away, remember that you can do something easy. Go for a short walk. Do 10 minutes of yoga. Lift 1 set of nothing but the bar. Will this be a SHREDDING workout for EXTREME MASS? No, but it is better than doing nothing. Doing a small workout will still get you some results, even if you aren't guaranteed to be a hulking mass of muscle in 90 days or less. What matters is forming routine daily activity. Once you have the habit, you can slowly work your way up to more vigorous workouts. Small daily habits will amount to much more than an extreme program that you start in January of each year and forget about by February.

3. Do Something Fun.

Who said that working out has to suck? Who needs the pain to gain? If the gym isn't your thing, you can go for a jog outside. If you don't like to exercise alone, get a pal to play tennis with you on the weekend. If you like the outdoors, hike on some trails as much as you can. There are endless ways to exercise, so there's no reason to get stuck in a routine you hate. Many sports require a relatively small cost upfront, so it might be worth trying something new as many times as it takes to find something that sticks. We like frisbee golf, throwing shotput, and hiking as our almost-free ways to work out.

4. Get a Partner.

Going alone is an easy way to avoid going to the gym, just like never having a relationship is an easy way to avoid cleaning your dorm room. Getting a partner invites accountability into your routine. If you have plans to meet your friend at the gym and then get coffee afterward, you won't bail and let your friend down, will you? At the same time, you get to support your friend by keeping them from bailing. If competition is your thing, you can turn your workouts into games or long-term contests to see who can run the most miles, lose the most weight, or set the best pr. Or you can turn your exercise time into mini-therapy sessions and discuss each other’s problems. Getting a partner makes working out more enjoyable for both parties.

5. Find Some Inspiration.

There are a million fitness influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, so it's easy to find someone whose style will give you some motivation. If Dwayne Johnson can work out four times a day and still find time to sip tequila, we can do it too! We can watch former Olympians like Lindsey Vonn hit the gym every day and get inspired to do the same. Some influencers will post workouts, programs, or recipes you can follow if you want to replicate their lifestyle exactly. Even if you choose to pursue slightly different goals in your workouts, filling your social media with other people pursuing fitness can encourage you. Seeing the successes and failures of other people offers a sense of solidarity on our fitness journeys.

Working out isn't always easy, and there are off days for everyone, but the important thing to remember is that exercise isn't something we have to do; it's something we get to do! Working out and moving our bodies can be a real pleasure as long as we remember to make it something enjoyable, instead of simply going through the motions for a vague idea of “health.” Ultimately, it's as fun as we make it, so why not make it fun?

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