Before you mentally checkout of the gym for the weekend, with the resolution to head back on Monday, consider the following. What happens when the time comes to actually do it? You may hear a little voice in your head saying, “I’m so tired from the weekend, I would much rather head home after work and sleep, than exercise." Or "um, maybe I could go tomorrow.”
Skipping your workout may seem like the right decision, especially if you’re sick or injured. Other times, that voice in your head just won’t stop and finds a way to win the battle. So today, before you mentally decide to skip your workout this weekend, here are a few questions to ask yourself that may help you make the right choice:
Am I going to regret not going?
We won't lie. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, it totally feels good to stay in bed and sleep. However, how will you feel later? Instant gratification can be rewarding, but that good feeling often wears off, leaving you feeling guilty and wishing you’d made a different choice. If you are the type of person to put yourself through the guilt trip of not going, then perhaps it's time to change the way you think about excercise:
- Exercise is a choice, not a jail sentence. Knowing you're in charge of what you do may nudge you in the right direction.
- Exercise is a commitment you make every day. Some days the struggle is real, so draw on your discipline to get you out the door.
- Every day is different. You may have to work harder sometimes to get motivated - chose three songs that are guaranteed to pump you up and out the door for your work out. Kind of like a ritual. As soon as you hear those songs, prepare, pack your gym bags and leave.
How much have I exercised this week?
Look back at what you’ve done this week and ask yourself, if you can afford a day off from exercise. If it’s the end of the week and you’ve worked out every day, you may need a day off to let your body recover and reenergize. If it’s been a few days, however, ask yourself if skipping a workout is starting to become a habit. Will skipping another workout make it even harder to get back on track the next time?
TIP: Start an exercise calendar to keep track of your workouts. Print out a monthly calendar and write down the workouts you’ve done and the workouts you plan to do. Keep it nearby and refer to it whenever the urge to skip the gym hits.
How will I make up for my missed workout?
So you missed your scheduled gym time due to something unexpected. Now ask yourself, how will you make up for it? Will you head there later in the day? Maybe after a cup of coffee? Or perhaps before bed? Or will you get up early tomorrow and workout extra long? Visualize that and ask yourself if you’ll really do it -- OR if you’re setting yourself up for failure.
If you do happen to go off shcedule, we have a couple of ideas on how to get back on track. Had to step into work on Saturday morning unexpectedly? Well for post-work exercise, pack your gym bag before you leave or get out your equipment and clothes so you can change as soon as you get home.
If you’re exercising the next morning, put your workout clothes next to the bed and write down your workout plan. Put the note on top of your clothes so you won’t skip it the next day.
It's okay to give yourself a day off
Sometimes, skipping a workout is the best idea. If you’re sick, tired or injured, you may need to just rest. If it’s a matter of motivation, think about or write down anything that might motivate you such as:
- Imagine all the people working out right now. If they can do it, so can you
- Think of how good you’ll feel when you’ve finished your workout
- Getting started is the hardest part. Commit to doing your warm up. If you can get that far, you'll keep going
Will missing this workout affect my goals?
If you’re trying to lose weight, how important is this workout? Exercising burns calories, builds endurance and improves health and strength. If you skip it, none of that will happen. Maybe missing one day won’t hurt BUT remember, it’s the accumulation of your workouts that leads to success.
- Get some support. Get a gym buddy that goes to the gym the same time as you. They don't necessarily have to do the same work out, but sometimes having that person to nudge you out the door is half the battle.
- Have a friend email, text, call or pigeon bird a workout reminder to you. Sharing your goals and being accountable to someone that you know will push you is great, especially when you are trying to get back into the swing of things.
Bored of working out?
If you’re dreading the coming workout, having something to look forward to may get you moving. Some ideas:
- Try a long warm up. Knowing you’ll have plenty of time to get ready for exercise may make it easier to get started.
- Download a new playlist. The right music makes any workout more fun.
- Change it up - do an aerobics or spin class once or twice a week to kick yourself back into gear.
- Try a long cool down. Spend extra time stretching after your workout to end things on a good note.
Now we don't mean reward yourself with an entire cheesecake but if that is what calls to you, a little reward goes a long way towards motivation. While you're getting started, thinking of the reward can help you get through your work out. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Sitting in a hot tub or hot bath after your workout - with PLENTY of bath salts and aromatherapy.
- Time to read your favorite book or watch your favorite TV show
- A massage
- A healthy green juice from one of the many juiceries that have made a home in Hong Kong
- A night out with friends
- Going to a movie
- Buy yourself a new workout outfit
You deserve a reward for working hard and if it motivates you to finish your workout, it's worth it.
At the end of the day it all boils down to will power, so don't psych yourself out of a work out. If you aren't injured, over tired, sick or stuck on a desserted island - go workout at least once this weekend.