SHAPING UP: The nudges you might need to get off the couch and to get motivated

Finding the motivation to exercise when you're not in the mood is tough. Especially, now the darker mornings and nights are creeping in.

But, it's the difference between being a couch potato and being in good shape.

The people who motivate themselves to get their workouts done, are the ones who get results.

However, getting off the couch when you're feeling lethargic can be very hard, so here's some techniques you can use to give yourself a friendly nudge, and get you off to the gym.

1 Get changed into your workout gear


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Getting off your backside and getting changed is half the battle when it comes to getting your workout done. Being kitted out in your favourite workout gear can be enough to get you out of the house.

2 Disguise your workout

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to motivate yourself you just can't be bothered to workout. On these occasions, find other ways to get active that don't feel like a workout but still kind of are.Walk home from work, go for a swim, clean the house - anything that increases your heart rate and gets you a bit sweaty is better than nothing.

3 Make sure you're held accountable


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Never underestimate the power of a fitness buddy, or a trainer. If you fail to show up, not only are you letting yourself down, you're letting down your friend/trainer too.

4 Listen to upbeat music

Music gets your blood flowing, it can wake you up a little, and make you feel ready to take on whatever comes your way. Create a playlist of your favourite upbeat songs and play them next time you're feeling lethargic.

5 Recruit Your Dog


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If you have a dog take it for a walk or run - they will love you for it, and you'll be reaping the benefits of getting active.

6 Utilise your competitive streak

Whether you compete with other people or you compete against yourself, some healthy competition really helps to motivate.I always compete with myself. If I ran 5km in under 25 minutes last week, I'm going to beat it this week. If I lift 50kg today, I'm going to do 52kg next week.

7 Reward yourself


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Set a goal you'd like to achieve, and designate what you'll treat yourself with when you get there.For example, if you manage to exercise four days a week for a month without fail, allow yourself to buy something you really want. Alternatively, it can be shorter-term goals: if you work out this morning you can go for a beer with your workmates in the afternoon.

8 Sign up for a competition

Most races and fitness events have been cancelled because of the coronavirus, but virtual running challenges are a great substitute. I’ve recently completed a 100 mile a month challenge. It’s a great way to stay motivated. Just google ‘virtual run’ and lots of events will appear.

9 Set practical goals


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Setting really ambitious goals may seem like they'll be great motivation, but they can be really hard to stick to, and often have the opposite effect. Instead of telling yourself you're going to go to the gym, do an hour of cardio, then stretch, then get stuck into the weights, then go for a swim, then walk home - give yourself a more attainable goal. It could be to just complete four 10-minute HIIT workouts a week, for example.

Finding the motivation to exercise can be tough, but ultimately totally worth it in the long run!