6 Tips to Inspire You to Workout for your Mental Health

Working out and exercise in general, has never come naturally to me. I’ve always believed that. Ever since being a kid. But now I wonder, does it come naturally to anyone? Yes, I know there are people who genuinely enjoy sport. They enjoy playing it; they enjoy watching it. There are people who embrace the burn at the gym and revel in the sweat after a workout. And that’s fabulous. May it happen to all of us one day. But just because we find some enjoyment or silver linings. It doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. That there aren’t those days we just don’t want to.

I think the pressure that we put on ourselves to exercise can be toxic. It’s part of that supremely unhelpful narrative around being beach body ready, and the need to achieve a perfect silhouette. We need to reclaim the story when it comes to exercise. A reminder that it can help us go faster for longer. To be stronger. When society always tells us that if we’re not achieving or doing; then we’re not winning. It can allowing us to own our power and our space. In a world which encourages us, particularly women, not to take up so much space. To literally be less; to diminish ourselves physically. Do we want this to be the story that we buy in to? Or can we embrace or even rewrite a new journey. Where exercise doesn’t lessen me. It helps me be strong. Get confident. It makes me more.

For How to Make Exercise Work for You read here.

How To Get Moving

Photo by Cam Adams on Unsplash

I’ve written an entire post on finding the motivation to exercise. And at root it’s about defining your why. What is behind your decision to workout more. A powerful enough why can be the boost to get us going and keep us going. Often for longer than we could have imagined. But, it needs to be your own why. Not your family’s why. Or your friends. And not societies either. As with all life changes, it needs to be person-centred. Whilst we can be great at doing things for others. If we don’t have buy-in, if we don’t believe in it. It’s simply not going to stick. So, what’s your why? What has brought you to read this post today? What change are you trying to make?

For 7 Top Tips to Exercise Motivation read here.

My Top Tips to Workout

These are directly from my own experience. From the mornings when I just want to curl up in bed and keep the curtains closed. Not spring out of bed and getting the day started. They’re also from the evenings when I’m exhausted after a long day. And the last thing I want to do is drag my exercise clothes on. But they are what has kept me going, given me that nudge in the right direction when my workout has loomed larger than life. Casting a shadow over my day until it is done.

Be Prepared.

This one comes as no shock. Many people will tell you to have your equipment/clothes out ready for the next day. And that’s a noble goal. One I’ve yet to achieve. But something as simple as ensuring your workout clothes are clean and not in the laundry is a great start. Ensuring you have the right clothes and shoes for the type(s) of workouts you engage in. And the equipment to match. For too long I did yoga without a mat. Now I wouldn’t be without it

Be Ready To Workout.

If you workout at the end of the day; this one isn’t for you. But for those of us who like to get our exercise over with. Are more motivated in the morning. Or enjoy the energy it gives us for the rest of the day. Put your workout clothes on first thing in the morning. Then do whatever you need to do. But have your clothes on and ready. Some days I do child drop off in them. Other days it’s some chores. Or my morning routine. Most things can be done in your workout gear; just don’t do too much before you exercise!

Have a Plan.

Maybe this means booking a class ahead of time. Booking your slot at the gym. Making a plan to workout with a friend. Or planning an alternative type of exercise (more below). For me, I do a variety of different workouts throughout the week. So, I mix and match to suit my timetable. A shorter one for a busy day. A longer one on the weekend when I have more time. A break day for my busiest day.

Ignore Your Workout Plan.

Sometimes life changes. Something unexpected happens. Or you’re just not in the mood. A slow day gets busy. Your motivation or energy isn’t where you expected it to be. So allow yourself to chop and change. Do a different kind of exercise. Find a slower or higher pace to suit you that day. Just try to do something.

Embrace Unexpected Exercise.

It’s not all workout videos, gym classes and equipment. Go for a walk, with or without a friend. Walk around the house whilst on the phone. Have a work meeting standing up. Clean your house. Run around with your kids. Stretch! These are all forms of exercise which we often forget.

Just Don’t Do It.

Had a hard day? Feeling under the weather? Really don’t have the time. So, say no. Remember, it’s your decision and only you win or lose based upon it. On days when you’re not well or you’re incredibly busy or stressed. You win by saying no. Your body is telling you something. Listen to it. You may not have worked out but you’ve still won. But before you decide, check in. What’s best for me? Am I feeling subpar and need to take it easy? Or do I need to push myself today. Will a workout make me feel better or worse?

What are your tips and tricks to get you moving when you’re not in the mood? Do you like the sound of any of our suggestions? Let us know below!

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20 thoughts on “6 Tips to Inspire You to Workout for your Mental Health

  1. I am one of those that loves working out and loves watching sports and i love going to the gym and doing different sports! However there are days I don’t feel motivated but it’s just showing up and the consistency that keeps me going, I just go and get it done. I also have rest days and days I listen to my body if it needs a day off. The hardest part is starting and once you are into the workout it’s normally not as bad xx

    1. Thanks Gemma. I too find that the more I workout the easier I find it to be motivated and just get it done. But rest days are SO important! We need to give our bodies time to recharge.

  2. It is hard to exercise for sure–I have always been a person who just doesn’t want to do it and doesn’t want to do it. Some of your ideas are thought provoking, thank you.

  3. Exercise is something that requires effort and I have found home workouts easier than going to the gym. I used to get home and the extra travel to the gym and back put me off. Great article!

    1. I’ve definitely found home workouts easier to fit into my schedule! It means I can chop and change and be flexible when I need to.

  4. Exercise definitely does not come naturally to me! I really struggle to find the motivation to exercise so these tips are really helpful. I think planning ahead is a good one for me – and getting a friend a involved. No chance of backing out then!

    1. Me either! I’ve always struggled with exercise! I hope some of these tips help you. I’ve always found accountability a great motivator!

    1. That’s so true Amelia. I’m having to take two weeks of from working out because I’ve become physically unwell. It’s been quite hard to do because it took me so long to get used to working out. But sometimes you need to chop and change to look after yourself!

  5. This was really helpful and I think a lot of people could benefit from this kind of thinking. Working out shouldn’t be about losing weight to look good for everyone else, it should be about making you feel better, whether it’s getting stronger, faster, or just being happier in general.

    1. 100% it has to be about you and what works for you. That’s from what you want to get out of working out and why you do it. To the types of workouts you do and how you do them!

  6. The most life changing working out too forme was to stop thinking about working out as something that was going to completely tire me and make me miserable and sore. It’s such a great way to improve your mental health and there are SO MANY WAYS to work out. It doesn’t have to be HIT cardio. You can go for a walk, yoga or even swimming ! Make it something you enjoy, the point is just to keep moving.

    1. Agreed. I think we think about working out in a very polarized way which can be negative and off putting. It’s about finding what works for you.

    1. Same! It’s been a long journey for me to get going and be active. But I’m in a really good place right now and I hope it lasts!

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