After a long day of work, it’s likely that all you want to do is come home, kick off your shoes, put on pajamas, and lay on the couch. Though this may be an ideal option in the short-term, chances are if you skip the gym to do so, you won’t feel great about it later. It can be almost impossible to drag yourself to workout after work, but doing so at least a few times a week will greatly improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Can’t seem to find the will to get moving after the workday? Follow OFFSITE’s guide to finding motivation to workout after work.
A great excuse for not working out after work is not having enough time. You say to yourself that by the time you get home, change clothes, get to the gym, workout, shower, and make dinner, it will be past your bedtime. While this could be true if you aren’t prepared, it is highly preventable if you plan ahead and prepare yourself for your post-work workout. One of the best ways to do this is by packing a gym bag with a change of clothes, sneakers, a water bottle, and whatever else you may need to go straight from work to the gym. At the end of the work day, grab the gym bag and head to the bathroom to change. This way, you can leave the office ready to exercise and head straight to the gym. Another key step to planning ahead for the gym after work is to have meal prepped for when you get home, so you don’t have to spend the night after your workout cooking.
Create Your Own Rewards System
While we’re not saying to make yourself a sticker chart a la elementary school, a good way to motivate yourself to workout after work is to create your own rewards system. This means allowing yourself a treat whenever you hit a particular fitness milestone during the work week. Some examples could be treating yourself to your favorite specialty latte if you go to the gym twice a week for three weeks in a row or going to happy hour with friends if you don’t talk yourself out of skipping the gym for a month. Having little pleasures to look forward to will greatly increase your desire to squeeze in a workout after a long day at the office.
Focus on the After Effects
Even though some people may claim they genuinely love working out, chances are, that isn’t the case for you. While struggling on the treadmill can seem like a special form of torture, it is essential to keep your eyes on the prize. In this case, that prize is endorphins and a sense of accomplishment. After you exercise, your brain has an increase in endorphins, which can significantly improve your mood. Aside from the happy feeling, you will also feel accomplished and good about yourself because you made it to the gym, despite having a long day. When you actually bring yourself to workout after work, you will be both happy and guilt-free.