When You Don’t Want to Exercise

Sometimes, I wake up and I know that I just don’t want to exercise.  Today was like that.  I woke up and was already tired.  I was also a little sore from my personal training yesterday.  But, to be honest, it was mild and not really a valid excuse.  Today was a day when time seemed to pass very quickly, but I didn’t seem to accomplish much.  I thought about exercising this afternoon, but told myself I didn’t feel like it.  And, I rationalized taking the day off from exercise because yesterday was a heavier day for exercise (80 minutes) and tomorrow will be as well.

And, truthfully, maybe Tuesdays would be a good day to have as my planned day off exercise.  I usually plan to have one day off and then maybe take off another day if life intrudes or I don’t feel well.  But, in this case, I took last Saturday off, so I really didn’t want to take today off from exercise.

Except, I did want to.  I just didn’t want to do much today.  Later in the day, I went out for awhile and took my daughter shopping.  But, then I was home and was reading.  And, I was really prepared to just do that the rest of the day and end up burning about 1400 calories.

So….what do you do when you don’t want to exercise?  One thing that helps me is to have some “rules” that kick in during this type of situation.  They aren’t inflexible, but can help me to keep from having to make a choice each day.

Rule One is:  Don’t take off a day from exercise unless you exercised the prior 3 days (unless there is a good reason — life intruding, being sick, etc).  Rule Two is:  Being tired alone is not a good reason not to exercise.  Rule Two is really huge for me.  I used to often not exercise if I was tired.  What I’ve learned is that if I ignore the fact I’m tired (this is only when I’m not sick), then I usually feel better after exercising and feel less tired.  Rule Three is:  Not wanting to start exercising isn’t a good reason not to exercise.  I usually don’t really want to start exercising.  I know there are people who really look forward to it.  And, there are situations where I look forward to it (like when I go walking in the neighborhood with my husband).  But, walking on the treadmill is not usually something that I’m actively looking forward to.  Still, I know that if I do it, I feel better after I’ve done it and I will enjoy it.

So, while all this is kind of percolating in the back of my brain (while I’m telling myself that I am not going to exercise today), I get up and take my iPad over to the treadmill.  I got my water and then read for an hour while walking on the treadmill. This was not a super intense walk, but Fitbit says I burned 288 calories in an hour.  I’ll take it.  And, I know I will end up burning somewhere a little over 1600 calories today.


  1. says

    Well, you persevered, and that is a great thing! You know, even 30-40 minutes would’ve been acceptable, too! Have you tried dancing? It can be fun, if you choose the right music to do it to. (I’m so old-hand at it now, I watch recorded tv shows while dancing. I need no music. LOL)

    Yep, some days the motivation just isn’t there. Good girl for sticking with it, though!

  2. says

    Over time I’ve learned to accept the days when I just don’t have the exercise mojo in me. One thing I’ve figured out is that it’s usually not that I don’t want to exerciser, but that I don’t want to do the planned exercise. On those days I’ll just switch to something else.

    I’ve also noticed that there are times when my body seems to want a break after 3-4 days vs a week. I just roll with that because it still means I’m working out regularly, which was my goal all along. 🙂

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