How to Work Out (When You Hate Working Out)
We’re not here to talk about “spring break bodies” or “being bikini ready,” because despite what Instagram (or every all-knowing advice-giver on the internet) might tell you, there’s truly no such thing. Every body is a bikini body—and we believe everyone deserves to sit poolside or frolic on a beach, regardless of gym membership status. That said, working out has some serious benefits besides just getting in shape. Whatever “in shape” means, anyway. So if you’re looking to get moving but don’t know where to start (slash don’t want to), read on.
GET GEAR THAT’S NOT THE WORST
We’re not telling you to spend your entire allowance on Outdoor Voices (although we’ve done it), but if you have running tights or yoga pants that you don’t detest, you’ll be way more likely to want to wear them. A supportive sports bra is a must, and if jogging is what you’re into, make sure to invest in a solid pair of sneaks.
DO IT DURING YOUR PRIMETIME
Think hard for a sec: are you the type of person who regularly hits snooze three times in the morning? Then the chances of you making it out of bed to hit the gym are slim to none. People can change, sure, but knowing when you’re feeling at your peak (i.e. when you’ll actually have the energy and stamina to work out) is a crucial factor for actually doing the thing. So if you find yourself wanting to take a mental break after work or school, the evenings should be your go-to time. Alternatively, if you love waking up early and getting the exercise out of the way, then embrace it. You just gotta do you.
FIND A REASON (OTHER THAN STRAIGHT-UP FITNESS)
Sure, you *should* want to work out to be healthy (and remember, healthy ≠ thin); but there are about a zillion other reasons to get moving. Scientists and casual joggers (and yogis, and gym-goers, etc.) all agree that exercise is great both for your mind and body. In fact, a recent study found that just 20 minutes of working out can boost your immune system, while short bursts of interval training (aka HIIT) instantly makes you happier. And a few downward dogs a week, plus some deep breathing, reduces stress—which, let’s be real, is something we can all benefit from. Endorphins are real, y’all.
FORCE A FRIEND TO COME
Whether it’s a quick game of tennis, barre class, or bootcamp, half of the exercise headache is actually showing up. The key to ensuring you’ll be there? Knowing that someone else is counting on you. A workout buddy motivates you, pushes you harder (64% harder, to be exact), and keeps you on track—particularly on days when you’re feeling ultra-lazy (who hasn't been there?). Bonus: You’ll always have someone to go get a smoothie with after.
BUT DON’T FORCE YOURSELF
Although you might have to force yourself off the couch, don’t force yourself to run if you hate running. Similarly, if spin class makes you feel anxious, or yoga turns you even less zen, find something you actually don’t mind doing instead of making yourself miserable for an hour.
You don’t have to sign up for a marathon or commit to a month of unlimited yoga to “work out.” You can literally go for a stroll, as long as the stroll is a little bit long and a little bit brisk. (Walking from your bed to your refrigerator doesn’t count...unless you do it, like, 500 times in which case, you're good.)