Occasionally there’s that day when you’d rather do anything but exercise. Maybe you didn’t go to bed early enough the night before or maybe you had a draining day at work—maybe both. Whatever the case, the prospect of a workout seems daunting to you.
Don’t you deserve a break? Maybe. However, there’s a lot to be said about having the tenacity to stick to your plans despite not wanting to. Always remember that showing up is half the battle. Here are some great reasons why you should stick to your workout plans even if you don’t feel like it.
1. Feelings of Pride and Accomplishment
When you talk yourself out of a workout, you probably use many excuses such as “I already feel tired and emotionally drained; I don’t want to feel worse.” However, there is no greater feeling than completing a workout session you contemplated skipping. After finishing a hard workout that almost didn’t happen, you’ll be so proud of yourself and will have a huge sense of accomplishment. This will give you an immediate emotional boost.
2. Reinforcing Good Habits
In the moment, you might tell yourself that you’ll skip your workout only this once and you won’t skip one again for a long time. That sounds convincing, but if you skip a workout once, what’s going to stop you from doing it again? If you skip a workout, you’re basically telling yourself it’s acceptable to do so when you aren’t feeling up to it. This could create a bad habit that’s hard to break. Instead, reinforce a good habit of working out even when you don’t feel like it.
3. Reaching Towards Fitness Goals
It takes a few weeks of regular exercise for you to notice a difference in your fitness level but less than a couple of weeks of inactivity for your fitness and muscle mass to decline. Not fair, right? So don’t skip that workout, as you’ll lose a lot more from skipping it than you’ll gain if you complete it. Reaching fitness goals is hard work. Don’t give yourself an easy out. It will only put your goals further out of reach.
4. Avoiding Regret and Missed Opportunities
You can only regret the workout you don’t do. If you skip a workout, over the next day or two you’ll probably think about how you failed to get enough exercise in. You’ll feel guilty and remorseful. If you have a workout planned, don’t miss the opportunity you’ve created for yourself to improve your fitness. Just do the workout, and you won’t regret it.
5. Relieving Stress and Anxiety
One of the top reasons people skip workouts is that they feel too stressed or anxious. However, the irony of that mindset is that vigorous exercise reduces stress and anxiety and acts as an antidepressant. It gives you time to get away from what’s stressing you. During an intense workout, you focus on what you’re doing instead of life’s worries, and regular exercise makes you more resilient in your daily life.
You can’t prevent feeling averse to exercising, but you can change how you respond to it. When such a day comes, as it inevitably will, remind yourself of why you exercise in the first place. Think about how you’ll feel so much better after your workout. Think of ways to make your workout more appealing. If you need to, shorten it a bit so that at least you do something.