Serious question: how to motivate yourself to workout?

Google bogleheads
Apr 29 35 Comments

I'm a L6 manager, generally work 8:30 to 6pm. Then I reach home, have dinner, spend time with kids, help them with their homework, and sleep. Rinse and repeat next day.

I sometimes have time in morning to do some home workout (7 minute workout, etc) but find it hard to motivate myself to do it regularly. I'm not a "sports" kinda guy, and while I like occasional running, my physician has recommended me to avoid it due to weak calf. The little remaining time I get, I'm tempted to read a book or watch some television serial to relax my brain.

What are some successful strategies folks have used to get a regular workout rythm?

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TOP 35 Comments
  • Apple magikarp16
    better sex and better death are both great motivators.
    Apr 29 0
  • Amazon J.B.
    You are spending too much time at work!
    Apr 29 1
    • Honeywell / Eng that1guy
      Seriously. With your schedule you should actually me asking yourself “what would I prefer to give up to go to the gym 3 times a week”
      I would suggest not family and it looks like work could do with a little lessening up for 3hr a week
      Apr 30
  • Google bogleheads
    OP
    Just want to update, I've joined Orange theory fitness twice a week, I liked their trial session and was really tired at the end of it. I'll also try to find an activity on weekends morning that I can commit to: swimming during winter and hiking during summer.
    May 1 0
  • Microsoft JT907!
    I do regular swimming at the gym. Just some laps. It’s very easy on my weakened knee.

    I start out very easy and focus on developing a consistent habit. Just like two laps once a week. It’s hard to fail such an easy goal. I make sure going is a relaxing endeavor. The body needs to associate relaxation with swimming, otherwise it is pointless.

    Then after I feel consistent about it, 5 laps once a week. Then five laps twice a week. etc. until I had the frequency and intensity I felt was good enough for the long haul.

    Relying on motivation is not a strategy that can work in the long term. Motivation is fleeting. Habits require the actions to be self-sustaining. Working out should make you feel better once you finish, and you should in some way look forward to working out.
    Apr 29 1
    • Google bogleheads
      OP
      Thanks for the suggestion, this is very good and actionable advice. I'll find time on a weekend morning to go swimming.
      May 1
  • Ditch the running. Lift heavy. It's even more important as you get older.

    Keep it short and intense. You will love it.

    Benchpress, Deadlift, Squat as the heart of the workout.

    3 times a week.

    You will feel such a buzz after the first few times, I promise you!
    Apr 30 2
    • Microsoft / Eng Stack🖕flo
      go 'lift heavy' is terrible advice. How about go learn proper form and start from there
      Apr 30
    • Amgen Mrmephisto
      Yeah I mean you will feel a buzz but probably the wrong kind as in torn muscles
      Apr 30
  • Pinterest woxjendis
    You work too much. Also, you have kids. Of course you won’t have any energy left..
    Apr 29 0
  • Palo Alto Networks KTkC88
    Form a deep depression then try to cure it by doing exercise.
    Apr 29 0
  • Uber Guiliani
    Hire an expensive trainer. The fear of losing money if you don’t show up is a great motivator. I have been consistently doing 2 hrs of weight training two times a week for a while. I have had motivation issues in the past without a trainer. It costs about $30 a class and not showing up is pricey ;)
    Apr 30 2
    • Amgen Mrmephisto
      Only $30 a class? Which Gym? We have an on-site free gym here at Amgen and it was closer to $75 a class.
      Apr 30
    • Uber Guiliani
      It’s for group class with 3 plus people.
      May 1
  • Microsoft UseDeFeet
    Gym during lunch
    Apr 29 0
  • I feel like a lot of the comments here didn’t realize that once you have kids, your life ain’t your anymore! You do everything for them! Of course you won’t have any personal time left. You’ve only got 24 hrs a day. If you want to spend 30 min a day exercising you’ll have to trade it with 30 min of something else.
    Apr 29 2
    • Amazon Shelman
      juul guy!
      Apr 30
    • Google bogleheads
      OP
      Thanks, yeah having a demanding kid definitely is challenging but also fun to spend time with.
      May 1
  • Walmart.com Poppycock🧐
    Wear or bring athletic clothes with you to work. Includes wearing spandex underneath your work clothes. Once it’s time, you can cast aside your glasses and spring right into action.
    Apr 29 0
  • New udSE01
    Try blocking your calendar for gym right before lunch and use google facilities.
    Apr 29 0
  • Google / Eng ambyyyy
    Put it in your calendar
    Apr 29 0
  • Microsoft / Eng sonofa🍑
    I don't have any motivation to workout at home. I just leave office before going home, and exercise for an hour or two at gym.
    Start with something mild, run a mile or two, or play with equipment. Don't exercise too much, just enough to feel happy after the workout, not dead tired. If you start slowly, you'll have positive association with the gym, and wont try to skip it on a subconscious level.
    Apr 29 0
  • Orange theory
    Apr 29 1
    • Google bogleheads
      OP
      Thanks for the suggestion. I went for a trial session today and liked it. Enrolled for 8/month package.
      May 1
  • Microsoft / Eng Stack🖕flo
    Maybe its that extra 8 hours at work you do each week...
    Apr 30 0
  • SpaceX / Other
    Gay4Elon

    SpaceX Other

    PRE
    Google
    Gay4Elonmore
    Based on your injuries maybe it is good to get into a walking or biking habit. If you can involve family into the ritual (even just a spouse depending on kids ages) that would be a good plan. I live about a mile from a park and use it as an excuse to walk with the family every evening. It is not the same as hitting the gym but it's something, and you can spend time with family at the same time.
    Apr 30 0
  • Bossa Nova Robotics HalNTuring
    Sign up for a fitness studio that costs a lot, that you also like to do. Feeling like I need to work out to protect the value, and that I enjoy it, has made me lose 12 pounds.
    Apr 30 0
  • Seagate toti420
    Stand in front of a mirror and pull up your shirt.
    Apr 30 0
  • Amgen Mrmephisto
    Wake up earlier that’s the only way I can get myself to do it by making it a part of my morning routine before anyone’s awake: I bought an elliptical and some free weights and do it at home.
    Apr 30 0
  • VMware coc
    Book tickets to a pool party a couple of months from now.
    Apr 29 0
  • Amazon mUwn3e
    Lose the kids. There I freed up 7-11 for you to lift.

    But seriously tho, once you have kids I imagine it would be hard to have time
    Apr 29 0
  • Intel Thrive19
    Join a exercise group or find a workout partner that will hold you accountable. Even hardcore trainers workout with friends or others to keep them motivated. Also start incrementally, it’s the key to changing habits.
    Apr 29 0
  • Microsoft FireDash
    Nothing like a personal trainer/coach and dietician appts. World class athletes need coaches to push them beyond their limits. Students need teachers for the same reason. Stands to reason that a change as drastic as daily habits we're blind to requires perspective from someone who can help us out of it.
    Apr 29 0
  • Amazon bBEK78
    You just have to do it. Working out does more for relaxing your brain and centering you than tv or reading (they actually engage your brain). You need at least more than 15 minutes. I would suggest doing insanity if you have to do it at home in a short amount of time.
    Apr 29 0
  • Microsoft SheepSleep
    You will be best served by finding an activity that you enjoy. I exercise regularly but if I were forced to go to a gym I would always find an excuse not to go. (I enjoy the outdoors.)
    Incorporate something with your kids? Bodyweight exercises, have them time you, compete with you, etc. Something that feels more integrated into your current schedule.
    That or find something you actually enjoy enough to want to do it and then you will find a way.
    Apr 29 0

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