It’s been a long day and you’re tired, stressed, and just want to get home to veg out on the couch. However, for the thousands of Americans whose only time to hit the gym is after work, there’s a daily struggle. Should you give yourself a “break” and skip the gym, or should you muscle up and tick off that important task?
The good news is that there are a few ways to motivate yourself to go to the gym instead of the couch. For starters, make the commute itself a little more enjoyable. If you drive a clunker, you have zero motivation to spend more time in it than you have to. One of the benefits of buying used cars is that you can get luxury on a budget. Actually getting to the gym might be the most mentally challenging part, but here are a few more ways to make more post-work gym sessions happen:
- Reward yourself. What can you treat yourself to if you do go to the gym? Choose a healthy treat, like maybe that protein shake at the gym counter that you love. Maybe it’s getting to listen to an uninterrupted podcast episode that you don’t otherwise have time to. Bribes work, and they’re a good thing as long as they’re healthy.
- Pump yourself up. If you’re internally telling yourself you don’t want to go to the gym, that’s not helping matters. Tell yourself all the great things about working out and remind yourself how you’ll feel afterward. Visualize a good gym session. Very few people ever regret going, and changing your self-talk can be the boost you need.
- Have the right equipment. Treat yourself to gym clothes and accessories you love and will actually use. However, be careful with this habit. It should be practiced only when you have an established gym routine already. Otherwise, you’re at risk of over-preparing for a lifestyle change.
- Choose a gym that’s nearby. This isn’t always the case, but is there a good reason you keep going to the gym that’s tough to get to? If not, research options close to work. That way there will be zero excuses (such as traffic). If your work has a mini gym, use it.
- Get amped up on the way. Don’t listen to the news or anything else that will sadden you on the way to the gym. Make a pre-workout playlist that gets you excited to workout. Motivational music or other forms of entertainment are a huge part of a successful workout. That’s why some serious competitive runs don’t allow participants to listen to music throughout their events. It gives participants too much of an edge.
Getting to the gym isn’t always easy, and there will be days it just doesn’t happen. That’s okay. However, when you’re armed with tools that make it a little easier, you’ll be seeing more of yourself on the dumbbells and treadmill areas. Otherwise, you might want to rearrange your schedule when you can. It’s always best to workout when you’re naturally motivated to do so, be it morning or afternoon.