Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to Overcome Workout Obstacles

Lately it seems everything is against me getting in a good workout 4-5 days a week. It's very frustrating. However, it's important my mental (and obviously physical) health to maintain a relatively normal workout schedule so... I must overcome obstacles. Here are some of the obstacles I have dealt with lately:


I doubt there is anyone out there who doesn't struggle with the "time to workout" issue at some point in life. It's not that I really have NO spare time, because that's not true. But a lot of my spare time tends to be at night, when I don't have much energy to get in a good workout. For some reason, I mostly subscribe to the belief that once I eat dinner, I'm probably not going to get a work out in after. It seems obvious that I should then work out in the morning before I start my day. I have definitely gone through phases of doing that, but right now I can't seem to do that either. You see, I am most productive in the morning with everything. This means there is a lot demanding my time in the early morning. I tutor a child 2 days a week early in the morning, and the other three days I get to work as early as possible so I can get a lot done. I could potentially wake up even earlier so that I can workout and get work done in the morning, but I already go to bed by 9:30 every night and I'd really rather it not be earlier than that. Losing sleep is not an option for me either.


I don't know if it's because I work with children or what, but I'm either sick or fighting sickness the majority of the winter. I am pretty good at letting this be an excuse for not working out, which it simply cannot be for the amount of the time that I feel not 100%.


If you read this blog you know that injury has interrupted my work outs more than once. This is probably my most frustrating obstacle.


Then there are those days where none of the above excuses are relevant and yet.... you just don't wanna.

How I Beat My Own Excuses

1. I schedule my workout in my calendar. Although afternoons are not as productive for me, they do tend to fill up quickly with obligations (part of the reason why the mornings are more productive for me at work). If I schedule an afternoon work out in my calendar, I'm more likely to do it.

2. I schedule a work out date with Eric, or a friend. Then I'm more likely to do it.

3. I agree to do something quick. If I tell myself I will only do a yoga video for 20 minutes, I'm more likely to do it. And something is better than nothing.

4. I put on my work out clothes. Sometimes if i really don't want to work out I'll tell myself I'm just going to put on the clothes. But once I do, I'll probably at least do something!

5. If I'm sick or injured, I will often change my work out plan and expect less of myself, but not skip the work out completely. There are times when rest is the only option, but for the majority of the winter- it can't be! Walks and quick yoga videos are my go-to exercises when I don't REALLY feel like exercising.

6. Sign up for a race or challenge. When I couldn't run, I did an Elliptical Challenge and a Bike Challenge to try to motivate myself. Lately I've been signing up for races and I will be doing a 5K the next two weekends, which I really hope I'm ready for! I'd like to do a Yoga Challenge at some point, but my studio only does 30 day-in-a-row ones, which I've pretty much decided I'm never going to do. I need a little more flexibility in my challenges.

The past few weeks my motivation and time have been lacking, but I've been pretty good about fitting things in. The other day I go home from work and I was starving. But I decided instead of skipping my work out, I would bring my yoga mat downstairs and do a quick yoga video while my dinner was cooking. Sure, I didn't really get in the zen mode while I was listening for my water to boil in the next room, but at least I did something!

What workout obstacles do you most suffer from and how to do you overcome these obstacles?


  1. I suffer from the "I don't wanna" syndrome. I will have really good weeks where I work out 5 days and I feel so proud, then the next week its like 2 days and I feel like a sloth. I've been forcing myself to do it though, by putting it on my calendar and scheduling my rest days. Therefore, I tell myself if a rest day is not scheduled and as long as I'm not injured or sick in bed, I'm doing it. It seems to be working.

    Except when those Damn "I don't wanna" days pop up!

  2. I'm the same as you - SUPER productive in the mornings so sometimes I struggle with whether I should get up in the morning to workout or use my productivity spike towards something more useful, like work. I also HATE working out after work and unless I am meeting someone or go straight to the running path/yoga studio after work I am very unlikely to do it.

    I find meeting someone has been HUGE motivation for me lately. I've been running with people 90% of the time the last few months and when I have plans to meet someone/a group for a run I am way less likely to bail! I also find that scheduling it in my planner helps a lot!

  3. I over-commit alot of the time and will have weeks where I have so many evenings commitments, so getting runs in is very difficult. Last summer I was good about getting up early and running before work, but my schedule isn't as flexible now that I work in an area that is driven by the opening of the financial markets... So for me, I try not to schedule things more than 2 nights a week so I can try to get 5 workouts in. And I have to work out before I eat dinner, otherwise it is not going to happen.

  4. I have the HARDEST time working out after work. I know time isnt an issue for me since I am off work by 4:30, but that seems like the hardest time for me. Im just so tired from the day.

    I have started working out with Matt so he can hold me accountable. Plus he knows a lot about working out (since that is all he did in the Army) and I can use him for his expertise.

  5. Not to be completely annoying, but I really don't find it hard to get a workout in. I think it's because I only workout 5 times a week, as apposed to many who workout everyday, and find it absolutely necessary to do so. I also tell myself that if I HAVE 30 minutes to do something, I will work out. And I always have that 30-minutes, even if it means not doing something else that needs to be done. My workouts always come FIRST! LAtely I've also been working out with Nick (one of your tips above) and this has been more fun than I could have imagined.

  6. I find that as the week goes by my motivation goes with it! I think maybe I go too hard in the beginning....who knows! You're right though it is all about getting it done! Good luck this week!

  7. I too am more productive in the morning, so I struggle with the fight of going to work early or working out sometimes. Usually working out wins for the mornings because then I have more energy to keep me at work a bit later to accomplish things. The school is so quiet after 330pm, so I try to stay until 5 a couple days a week or so. After school meetings take a toll on me and usually I am reading to leave right afterwards, those are usually the days I workout in the after noon. It's definitely a balancing act, and looking at my week's schedule on Sunday helps me figure out my workouts. Sometimes getting to the gym is half the battle and I tell myself 30 minutes of cardio is definitely better than none and I can almost always find 30 minutes. :)

  8. I am in such a workout rut! I ran once over the weekend and on Friday, but that has been it for the past 10 days or so! It's awful, but I feel the same way--not enough time, too busy, no motivation once I get home....I need to fix it, yet I just feel like it is the last thing I want to do these days. I need to just make myself hit the gym, but I have homework to do, a bedroom to clean, lessons to get ready...Craziness!

  9. My big tricks are waking up super early when I have a busy day, or telling myself it only has to be a quick workout when my motivation lacks. But I haven't had big problems fitting in workouts yet, I look forward to that.