Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration: 38 Top Tips

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Leo Babauta at Zenhabits asked his one million followers for tips on “how they formed exercise habits and made it stick.”  What works for me? (When it works.) Four strategies:

  1. GET YOUR WORK-OUT GEAR TOGETHER. Do it the night before. Make it easy to grab it and go.  Save yourself the agony of the rationalizing self-talk: I’ll do it later.  It’s too cold.  It’s too hot. I’m tired. Let me check my emails and then go. Or worse, Oh, just forgettabout it.
  2. DO IT EARLY. Period.  Or it doesn’t get done.
  3. GET STARTED.  Take the first step.  Walk out the door.  Step on treadmill. Put on your shoes.  Once engaged, I get propelled by the Zeigarnik Effect, the need to complete the task.
  4. RECORD RESULTS.  You are what you measure.  I record my weight and my work-out (dates, results) in a spreadsheet on Google Drive.  Then, when I look at it and find gaps (e.g., No workouts for days. Shocking Weight Gain.), I find myself shamed into re-firing the engines.  This works.

ZenHabits shares “38 Best Methods of Successful Exercisers.” Here are five of my favorites:

  • (2) Work out first thing in the morning. You get it out of the way and it provides you with an abundance of energy for the rest of the day.
  • (7) If I workout in the morning, before my day starts, I “earn: chocolate/beer/carb later in the day. Otherwise, no treats for me! (DK: YES!)
  • (9) Also: just put your workout clothes on. Once you do that it feels silly not to start. Just commit to 10 minutes. You will probably do more.
  • (10) Also: no one ever regrets working out. Is there anything else in the world you can do, and know 100% you won’t regret it.
  • (28) Don’t think about it, just do it. Even though I’ve consistently worked for over 15 years, it doesn’t mean I don’t have days that I just don’t feel like working out. I do have those days, but I push through it and do the work out anyway.

So, tell me.  What strategies do you use to trick your mind in getting off the couch?

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  1. I definitely get out the door first thing. I’m up, a quick cup of coffee, glance at a few emails, then OUT THE DOOR. If I don’t go first thing, I know my day will start and all of the other obligations will intrude.

    The other thing I do is visualize how I feel at the end of a workout–relaxed, energized, focused, mind “cleansed”– and then remind myself how I feel if I SKIP the workout–ansy, tight, edgy, oftentimes slightly irritable. Bottom line, it’s a mind game.

    This morning, I’m off to participate in a fundraiser at my gym, “Tabatas for Tatas.” Yes…that’s what I said. Stop laughing, David….


  2. I have a walking partner or I would not exercise at all–she gets me to go when I do not want to and I have to practically run to keep up with her, so our exercise is not just a stroll in the park, though even that is getting out and moving–all the Zen Habits you chose appeal or speak to me–


  3. What Lori said (though I’m not nearly as inspirational – no fundraising for tatas this morning) – get my gear on, curse slightly under my breath about how much I don’t want to go, and then get out the door. I also work with a trainer twice a week which helps me, because his income depends upon my showing up. The other day or two is on me – but I feel much better when I get myself out the door, than when I rationalize sitting here drinking coffee…
    And then there’s this fear that if I don’t keep this body moving, I will turn into the Tin Man.


  4. First thing in the morning and away from home. Getting up and out seems to be the right alchemy for me. I don’t have to think about it anymore. Now, doing my afternoon workout is different. It’s a newer addition to my schedule, I have to make a conscious choice to *stop* and *choose* it. But, I know I’ll be proud of myself when I’m done, and that I get to listen to all the great music you’ve recommended here!


  5. Alex Jones says:

    A cookie at the end of a long run?


  6. Early a.m. Or it is difficult at best to find the time. I agree with Mimi, I have got to keep this body moving so it can keep on moving!


  7. Why is it that we always hate the idea of exercising until we get into it and then it’s not so bad at all?


  8. Must be early in the day cause something always comes up. You are totally right…it is a mind game!!


  9. Reblogged this on mygym2streetblog and commented:
    Definitely early in the morning… start with a few minutes a day… set measurable, achievable goals… be your own cheerleader!


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