Have you ever signed up for a gym membership only to stop going two days later? When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, it can often seem like the world is conspiring against you. A busy work schedule, demanding families and too few hours in a day can make it extremely difficult for you to squeeze in a workout. Even if you don’t have to contend with all that, you often feel demotivated from exercising. These eight everyday habits can be the culprit behind you putting off your workout.
1. You Spend Too Much Time On Your Phone
Your phone can be the greatest distraction you’ll ever face. Being engrossed in your phone, texting friends and going through articles can suck up all your free time. When you’re so absorbed in your phone, it can become difficult to tear yourself away from it to work out. One study found that the more time participants spent on social media, the less likely they were to exercise. So limit your phone use and try not to use it in the hour leading up to your workout time.
2. You Sleep Late
If you feel tired, you’re not very likely to exercise the next day. If you don’t have a fixed bedtime, it’s time you did. Being a night owl might have been the cool thing to do in college, but as an adult, you should know the importance of sleep. Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep everyday so you give your body a chance to recharge. When you wake up the next morning well rested, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout schedule.
3. You Sit Your Day Away
You might think sitting at a desk is a much safer job than working at a mine, but you’d be wrong. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to higher obesity rates, early death due to heart disease and an increased chance of getting diabetes. While you can’t escape from a desk job, there are plenty of ways to stay active during the workday. Always take the stairs, walk to your coworkers instead of messaging them and take short breaks often. This will help you sneak in some exercise and keep you active outside the gym.
4. You Let Pain Get In The Way
If you haven’t worked out in a long time, your muscles can feel sore the next day. Many people get put off by this pain and stop working out completely. Don’t be one of these people. It’s normal to feel muscle pain after a workout, but it does go away. Talk to your trainer about the pain and let them tell you how long to rest your body for. But never stop exercising for good as this can lead to more pain the next time you try. Exercise also alleviates symptoms of chronic pain and strengthens your body. So if you push through the initial difficult phase, you could be strengthening your body against pain in the long run.
5. You Think Housework Is Enough Exercise
While doing housework is a great way to burn a few calories, it shouldn’t be your go-to exercise regime. Unless you do really intensive cleaning and scrubbing every single day (and you probably don’t), the calories you burn during it aren’t very significant. Housework is important to keep a clean house, but to lose weight? Not so much.
6. You Let Your Work Rule Your Life
While your job is definitely important, don’t let it overrun everything in your life. Many people miss out on working out because they have so much work to do. But no matter what your work hours, there’s always a way to fit in a workout. Sign up for early morning classes if you often work late into the evenings. If you don’t have a lot of free time, opt for high intensity workouts which burn a lot of calories in a very short time.
7. You Socialize Too Much
While no one’s recommending you become a loner, socializing everyday after work can kill your fitness plans. It can demotivate you from going to the gym, because who would choose a gym over the local bar? Catching up over drinks and junk food every evening also adds a lot of unnecessary calories, which will take even longer to work off. Cut back on the after-work drinks and limit them to only a few times a month. You could even join a gym with your colleagues so you can all stay motivated together.
8. You Skip Breakfast Often
You’ve probably been told many times that breakfast is the meal of champions, but how often do you listen? Many of us skip our breakfast because we don’t have the time for it. It’s not uncommon for lunch to be the first meal of the day for many people. But skipping breakfast drains you of fuel, which can make you too tired to workout. What you eat for breakfast is also equally important. A stack of pancakes will give you a sugar rush only to bring you crashing down by mid-morning. Make sure you eat a high fiber breakfast every morning to stay energetic throughout the day.