The Secret to Exercising When You Don’t Feel Like It

By LaDonna Spivey
I have a friend who loves to workout.  I mean really, really LOVES to work out.  I distinctly remember one of her Facebook posts that went something like this: A hard day is over.  Now I’m looking forward to a HOT date — with the gym.  She’s had other doosies like: There is nothing that excites me more than the clanking of dumb bells; My whole day is ruined if I miss my work out; and my favorite – Exercise is my drug and, girl, I’m about to get MESSED UP!”

Yes, she is serious.

It’s easy for someone like her because, to her, working out is fun and exciting.  It’s not so easy for the rest of us.  As a matter of fact, I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t share this unadulterated enthusiasm for “feeling the burn.”  It’s hard to wake up an extra hour early in the morning — especially if we don’t get to bed on time.  And after a long day at work, most of us just want to finish our household demands and find a place that does not require energy exertion.  Sometimes we just don’t feel like it.  I get it.  Even though I usually aim to get in some type of exercise 5-6 days a week, the truth is that I would much prefer to curl up on the couch with some Häagen-Dazs ice cream and watch a good movie.  Doing that 5-6 days a week? No problem.

But, I know that’s not healthy for my body, mind or spirit. And, I know I would literally and figuratively grow to regret this course of action.

So what are we to do?  We know we should exercise, but often we just don’t feel like it.

Well folks, just for readers of this column, I’m going to give you the secret for exercising when you don’t feel like it.  It’s a method I’ve used myself and I can guarantee that it works.  Best of all it’s not complicated and you don’t have to send me five payments of $39.99 (although I do accept cash, money orders, MasterCard and Visa should the Spirit move you to do so).

The Secret? Do it anyway.

This is going to be a profane statement to some, and a reminder to others, but sometimes how you feel doesn’t matter. Televangelist, Joyce Meyers has a book, “Do it Afraid.”  Basically she says it’s ok to feel afraid, but you can’t let fear stop you.  In the same way, it’s ok to not love exercise.  You can whine to yourself the whole time you change clothes, as you lace up your tennis shoes, as you head out the door to get moving.  Just get moving.  I once saw an interview with Tony Horton of P90X fame.  In it, he said exercise should be like brushing your teeth.  You don’t stop to think whether or not you feel like brushing your teeth, you just do it.  It’s a part of your morning routine.  If you neglect this vital part of oral hygiene you will pay the price down the line.  The same applies to exercise.  If you work to make it a part of your daily routine — even if it’s just 30 minutes a day — it will become a habit you just don’t skip.  Irrespective of how you feel.  You might not ever salivate at the thought of a “Hot date at the gym” or even a walk around your neighborhood.  But both of these activities reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and depression to name a few.  Aren’t you worth a little inconvenience?

So that’s the Secret.  I claim no royalties. Feel free to pass it on.
Next Week:  The Secret to learning to eat healthy foods (you guessed it — this one is free too!).


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