As the most motivated person I know, it’s disturbing to find myself wanting to pull the covers over my head every morning when I realize, nope, it wasn’t just a bad dream.
The good news is all my years of battling a panic disorder prepared me for this moment.
“See? It’s NOT safe to leave the house!”
The defense rests, your honor. I’d like to request a recess until 2022.
Yet, if you’re healthy enough to move, taking time to exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind as well as your body.
You know this, I know.
But you now have 8,000 inarguable reasons for not wanting to work out and no one will fault you for it.
But here’s the thing: Reasons for staying fit have shifted.
Exercising so you can fit into your pre-COVID pants or look great in a one-piece swimsuit lag far behind surviving a trip to the grocery store.
It’s about strengthening your immune system and giving yourself a fighting chance if the worst happens.
In other words: It’s literally life or death.
So with that in mind, how DO you stay motivated when the world is caving in around you like a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
Here are a few ways I keep myself going when the last thing I want to do is, well, anything….
Tell yourself you only have to exercise for five minutes. That’s it. This can be a few minutes of walking in place or around the house, with a couple of push-ups and squats. Chances are you’ll keep going for longer. But if not, that’s fine, too. YAA! You did it.
At the risk of sounding (more) like a crazy person, here’s something I found that works for me. I exercise in a room that faces my street. I keep the blinds open so I can see people walking outside. I feel as if we’re “in this together” and it makes me feel less lonely. Sad, but true.
If you’re stuck in a windowless room, bring in a laptop or other screen with a motivating visual, be it other people, a workout class, or whatever works for you.
Change into workout clothes. Trying to get motivated when you’re still in your PJs doesn’t get your head in the game. I put on workout clothes, workout gloves and earbuds, fill a water bottle and do all the things I used to do before going to the gym (let’s have a moment of silence for those days) to get in the right frame of mind.
I’ve said this a million times in the past, but it still stands as one of the best ways to git ‘er done. Before you open your emails or hop on Facebook, get your fitness done first. Check it off the list and move on.
Focus on the reasons you’re exercising whenever you feel like skipping it. Make a list of those reasons (e.g. living long enough to bug your grandchildren into their 30s) and post the list where you’ll see it often.
What about you? What makes YOU want to stay active when the going gets tough?
Let me know in the comments below.
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Your Ageless Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.