Can’t get your behind up off the couch? It happens to the best of us. Here are 5 ways to trick your brain and body into getting that workout in.
Motivation doesn’t always come easy, does it? Some days you’re up before the less-than-melodious chimes of your phone alarm, other days you’re barely functional after three cups of morning coffee. Try tricking your mind and body into getting out the door with these handy hacks:
1. Get Pumped: Create a Playlist
Love Beyonce? Or maybe you’re more of a pop-punk person? Either way, music is a powerful motivator. It increases mental arousal which means it’ll help amp you up to workout (and assist in staving off fatigue during tough sessions). So update your playlist with some new material—like these top-100 running songs—and not just for listening to on the run but for a few minutes before you run to get pumped up.
Sign Up: Commit to a Race
You’ve probably heard that the secret to happiness is to have someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. So do this: Register for a race so you can look forward to having a good time and running a good time. You always floss more the week before a dentist appointment, right? Same idea.
Make Friends: Get an Accountability Buddy
Scheduling runs with friends not only makes running more fun but also ensures you won’t bail because someone’s counting on you to join them. A good conversationalist who runs close to your pace is ideal but not essential. The main objective is that you’ll be accountable to each other to get your run done. Think about friends, neighbors and colleagues who run—or find out which local running clubs host group runs.
Embrace Apps: Track Your Progress
On days when a solo run is the only option, let tech come to the rescue. Strava lets you track and record each run and even awards “challenge badges.” FitSnap posts your run info over a running photo of your choice and optionally shares it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Charity Miles donates money for every mile you run to good causes.
Reward Yourself: Good Job, Me!
Running offers numerous rewards, from better health to a fitter body, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re feeling tired or unmotivated. So promise yourself a reward for getting your run in. Make it something better than an online “badge” or a charity donation—maybe new running gear after you hit a certain amount of miles for the month. Or a much need pedicure after a particularly intense marathon training long run.
Author bio: Bob Cooper is a former executive editor of Running Times and a former contributing editor to Runner’s World. The finisher of 45 marathons and ultramarathons currently runs, bikes and kayaks in San Anselmo, California.
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