How awesome would it be if every workout session we had was our best one yet? But let’s face it. We’re human. We have our highs and lows. Our workouts—like life—can’t always be perfect. All we can do is pick ourselves up, try our best, and keep going on.
So what do you do on days when you feel like you don’t have it in you to even move a muscle? We’re here to help. (Spoiler alert, we’re going to ask you to get moving!)
But first, some real talk: When it comes to achieving your fitness goal, it’s only consistency that will get you there. This means that you’ll have to show up, even when you’re questioning if the effort is worth it at all. In fact, it’s those days that matter the most because it proves that you’re overcoming the toughest obstacle of all: yourself. And we promise, the more you do it, the better you will get!
Here are some tips you can use to make workouts easier on days you’re feeling awfully low:
If you’re dreading the discomfort that comes with exercise, a great starting point is to do something simple. Some stretches, warm-ups, or even a short-distance walk.
Switch to a workout you enjoy
While you may have a schedule planned for the week, chances are that your lack of motivation stems from a routine you don’t quite enjoy. So make that day an exception and indulge in something fun—maybe dance fitness or cycling outdoors.
Cut your workout time short
Sometimes, an hour’s workout may feel like a lifetime! So do a nugget-sized session for around 15–20 -minutes. And who knows? You may just feel like pushing yourself for a while longer when you reach the end. But even if you don’t, you’ll have the satisfaction of accomplishing the task!
Think of the end result
It could be your ultimate goal of shedding those stubborn kilos or simply reminding yourself of the happy post-workout feeling. Imagine yourself at the goal post and inch towards it.
Accompany your exercise with something you enjoy
Do you enjoy listening to music? Or talking to your friends over the phone? Indulge in these little pleasures while simultaneously moving your body. For example, listen to your favourite podcast while you take a walk around your neighbourhood.
Look for familiar company
If having some moral support helps, ask a friend to join you for a workout session.
Do easier variations of exercises
It’s a great way to get through a particularly tough workout. Find easier or beginner versions of a challenging exercise. For example, if your workout requires you to do a push up, do a knee push up instead.
Try low-impact exercises
Low-impact exercises are a great form of aerobic movement. They’re beginner-friendly, safe, and can get your heart racing. And the best part? They can boost your body’s endorphin production (your happy hormones)—even on days when you’re not in the mood to workout!
A list of low-impact exercises you can try
Low-impact jumping jacks:
- Keep your legs together and palms at shoulder level with your elbows bent
- Step your right foot out and stretch your right arm upwards
- Get back to position 1
- Repeat with your left side
Standing oblique crunches:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and both your palms touching the back of your head
- Lift your right knee up simultaneously bringing your right elbow to touch your knee
- Revert to position 1
- Repeat with your left side
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms resting on either side
- Lower your hip as if to do a squat
- Rest your hands in front of you, on the floor
- With your palms on the floor for support, stretch your legs such that you are in a full-plank position
- At this point, you can do a push up, a knee push up, or no push up at all—whatever you are comfortable with
- Bring your knees back towards your hips one by one
- Stand up and get back to position 1
- Start with your feet hip-width apart
- Hop sideways to your right, using your right foot
- Bring your left leg behind your right, like you would in a curtsy lunge
- Move your left leg to hop back into position 1
- Repeat, but on the opposite side
Squat to jab
- Stand with legs hip-width apart (or wider), with your toes pointing outwards
- Lower your hips to squat. Make sure your knees are out
- Stand up and throw a cross-body punch
Yoga can help you stretch your body, work on your strength, and develop balance. So on days when you are in the mood for something super-relaxing rather than energetic, a yoga routine is the way to go.
Go ahead and check this article on Yoga for starters!
The final word
If you find yourself missing a workout or two, it’s okay! It happens to the best of us. But remember that a healthy lifestyle is the result of little things that gradually lead to bigger impact. So start small, stay consistent, and watch yourself become a better you!