I've had many, many people come up to me over the last few years asking how I find the time, energy, and motivation to work out all of the time. I say the same response every time. Believe me, it's not always easy for me to jump out of bed and workout, and sometimes after a long day at work I don't want to workout, I'd rather curl right back up in my bed. But I do it. Want to know how?
I have two secrets...
1. I find a workout I absolutely love.
Working out should not feel like a chore. You should not loathe the nights you have to walk into the gym, or feel angry and annoyed at other individuals in a fitness class. You should look forward to your workouts, whether they're at the beginning of the day or end of the day. I'm not saying you should be skipping to and from the gym, surrounded by rainbows, but you should at least have fun! If you aren't having fun working out, then change it up. Try a new fitness class like kickboxing, Zumba, or yoga. Now, one workout does not fit everyone - I, for one, suck at Zumba ... I am probably the most uncoordinated person in the world, and so I do not have fun... therefore, after I tried it once, I moved on. I absolutely love kickboxing, so much so that I've become a trainer. Find a workout that inspires you to keep pushing yourself harder each time and one that may even make you laugh!
2. I think of all the people that cannot exercise.
I work full time at a children's hospital, so it's easy for me to imagine my patients in their beds, unable to run, jump, and play outside. Thinking of them, and even some of my chronic patients, that have a long way to go with treatment, makes me motivated to kill each and every workout that comes my way, especially my runs. Sometimes I even dedicate a workout to a certain child. When I want to give up, when I want to stop at mile 1, I keep pushing and repeat in my head, "he or she is wishing they can run, but they can't so do it for them!" This can be done with anyone in mind... maybe a friend who broke her leg and cannot workout for a few weeks, or a grandparent who wishes they could walk without a walker. This should give you that extra push you need to get to the gym, and get your workout in, because there are people out there right now that wish they could!
Even using these two secrets, there are still some days that will be harder than others, and if you're really feeling sluggish and know that you will not have a good workout, then take a rest day, but not five. Give yourself a night to revamp and get your goals back into order, and then wake up the next morning and rededicate yourself to those goals. Listening to your body is super important, but unless you're injured, taking more than two days off to rest, is just going to push you back farther from your goals. You don't want to look back at all the days you took off, and look at yourself in that moment and think, "damn, I could've been that much stronger, or lost this much weight, or felt better about myself now, if I would have just taken the time out of my day to focus on myself - whether it was a workout or a healthy meal." A one hour workout is just 4% of your day. Set aside the time for yourself. Because there IS enough time in the day, and you CAN do it.