MY FOUR MOTIVATIONAL WORKOUT WEAPONS
I find hilarious that it’s often assumed I love going to the gym, as if I wake up every morning, not groggy or exhausted at all but instead, sprightly and jumping with anticipation at the thought of hitting the treadmill. This is so far from the truth, my walk to the gym is more of a slump than a march and really, the only reason I work out in the evening is purely because I procrastinate all day. I believe in exercise in the same way I believe in waxing my increasingly prominent moustache, but that’s not to say I cherish either experience. Long ago, I defined exercise as a compulsory habit and very often it is the same force I use to go brush my teeth after falling asleep on the sofa that drives me to opening my locker at the gym. I must do it ; tell yourself that about anything and you will get it done. I promise. Now, don’t mistake me, I do enjoy my exercise rituals but the initial push in getting started is what I mostly struggle with, I think we all do. That simple action of getting up off our derrieres and and into gym gear is a mental argument we’ve all had with ourselves. Anyone who claims otherwise probably also endorses those ‘get skinny’ teas ; which is to say, they are lying. So with that said, I thought I’d share my top 5 motivation tactics for anyone who feels as lazy and lethargic as I do most days after work. I hope they help you.
1. MUSIC – THE CAFFEINE TO MY CARDIO
I watch in shock when people workout without headphones, just the sound of their rapid, heavy, breathing and feet loudly pounding the treadmill? Those noises are a trigger, listening to them makes me feel exhausted. They aren’t calming or stimulating sounds, but really, signs of the exertion I want to trick my mind into ignoring. Spend an hour compiling a good soundtrack; and don’t be a snob, I love the likes of the 1975 or Banks as much as the next girl, but their songs aren’t conducive to sweating. I find my music taste takes a severe turn for the worse when I work out, and yours probably should too. Any song you’d rambunctiously jump around to in a nightclub? Those are the kinds of tunes you want ringing in your ears as you sweat away. And be sure to blare a few loud, energetic tracks while getting ready, I promise the music will propel you. If there’s enough interest here, I’ll share my workout spotify playlists with you, but only after you promise to suspend all judgement should a Pitbull song play. If you can agree to these terms, let me know and I’ll publish a link.
2. ROBOTIC: MECHANICAL MOTIVATION
Our minds are our worst enemy when it comes to physical exertion, instinctively we are only moved to move should we need to hunt for food or if a predator is approaching. And I don’t mean down the block to the supermarket, but of a more primitive, cave-man nature that no longer exists in our lives. How often have you convinced yourself you are too tired or maybe getting sick as a means of skipping the gym? I’m guilty, minutes before the gym, I am an insomniac with several serious bouts of flu. My menstrual cycle is another candidate I rely on in excusing myself of work-out duty. I can convince myself of almost anything, we all can, which is why it is best to ignore or better yet, silence your brain. Push it on mute and just move. I often envision myself as a robot version of myself, mechanically programmed to move onto the treadmill or into the weight room. It’s a highly vivid fantasy, also involving my handsome scientist creator, Tom Hardy who rewards me with a kind, almost sexy hug every time I finish a work out. Your mind is a beautiful complex thing, but when it comes to exercise, it’s a liar. You aren’t too tired, it’s unlikely you are sick and a period is a monthly occurrence we’ve all been dealing with long enough now to know it’s not an excuse either. Ignore, ignore, ignore and move more. Be a robot. Also, if you’re anything like me, the robot fantasy will become a compelling enough story to overshadow the rota of excuses we all use in avoiding exercise. Who will your handsome scientist creator be? Make that the priority for your brain next time it tells you not to work out.
3. GRAVITY: IT PULLS US DOWN
Now, typically I don’t like to emphasize the aesthetic advantages of exercise, mostly because I hope to promote more than how physically beautiful we are, but also because I’ve been accused of being hyper-preoccupied with my appearance by many mean people on forums. But I will say this, it is a huge motivation and not just for me, for most women. I say that is a cause for celebration ; exercising rather than a foolish fad diet or at worst starvation in the pursuit of improving our looks is a turn in the right direction. I think we as a society are maybe hopefully beginning to see that strength is a stunning and sexy thing. And on the other end of that? Aging and the pull that gravity has on our bodies are undeniable forces ; not much can stop them but exercise does effectively slow these processes down. Envision your body as a car, it left unused for months on end, it will begin to deteriorate. If you don’t utilize your muscles in the way they were made to work, you will lose out ; by aging faster and gaining weight. I don’t care how incredible your metabolism is or how genetically skinny you are, eventually gravity conquers us all. I think of it like this; gravity is this enormous magnet pulling us down, it keeps our bodies stagnant and stuck. Exercise is gravity-defying, by physically propelling yourself, you are in fact going against this force. And with it you are fighting time too, an evil that steals our youth and tight muscles. This fight essentially makes you a more beautiful, stronger, age-defying warrior. And the best thing about it? It doesn’t matter what size or shape we are, we are all capable of battling against these forces and we will always look better for it. So, answer me this, do you want to sit and stagnate or do you want to fight? Ofcourse, you want to fight. You want to look better and you want to feel better and you are going to kick gravity’s ass. Go do it.
4. ENDORPHIN EUPHORIA
Whenever I have trouble sleeping, I think about how tired I feel when my morning alarm goes off and in simply recalling the exhaustion, I feel fatigued and happy to be in bed. The same situation works for the gym, at the end of a workout, I feel my absolute best ; better than any other moment of the day. The endorphins released are a euphoria quite like being drunk, I’m exuberantly happy, relaxed and suddenly I want to call all my friends, my parents too and I might even smile at my rude neighbours on the way back up to my apartment. Add in the undeniable bliss of a post-gym shower and I’ve melted into the most positive, amazing version of myself. Exercising for me is an endorphins chase and so often when I don’t feel like doing it, I recall how absolutely bouyant I feel afterwards. It’s a drug, but a good, soulful one and it’s wonderfully addictive, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m a junkie. A quick reminder of how good you’ll feel after will prod your inner addict and off to the gym you’ll go. I promise.
FEATURING: PRIMARK WORKOUT LYCRA TANK TOP, PRIMARK MICRO LYCRA SHORTS, PRIMARK REFLECTIVE AVIATOR SUNGLASSES & PRIMARK GREY CAP
I proudly collaborated with Primark on this post, I’m proud because I exclusively wear their workout gear ; it’s comfortable, affordable and durable even for a seriously sweaty woman like myself. Buy yourself a quality pair of free weights or a fancy gym membership instead of expensive exercise clothes, or so I believe, which is why I relentlessly recommend Primark, from a place of personal use but also from a refusal to spend wads of money on clothes that really should be drenched by the time they hit the washing machine.