Lazy: unwilling to work or use energy. Synonyms: idle, slothful, shiftless, inactive, under active, sluggish, lethargic…
How do you go from lazy to active? It’s probably safe to say that we all know what it’s like to be lazy now and again. Sometimes laziness slowly creeps into our days, and then our weeks, and then our months, and suddenly we’ve become lazy all the time. It can happen to us without even recognizing that it’s happening, and there are a plethora of different reasons why it happens. In this post, we won’t get into the why right now, but we will get into a few steps you can take to initiate the move from lazy to active.
Start by making a time commitment.
Sometimes the hardest part of changing a routine is finding the time. If your workout plan has been non-existent, start transitioning from lazy to active by simply setting aside the time before jumping into a regular workout routine. If your goal is to exercise in the morning, first get in the habit of waking up earlier than normal, and just do things around the house. After a couple of weeks, when your body begins to get used to the earlier start to the day, begin gradually incorporating that as your workout time.
If you don’t want to leave your couch, then don’t.
If you’re really quite partial to your couch and just can’t muster up the motivation to leave it, then don’t. There’s plenty of exercises you can do in your living room that will be a great start in your effort to transition from lazy to active. Check out this sofa workout from nhs.uk.
Don’t force yourself to do something you hate.
If you really despise a certain exercise, don’t do it. The lifestyle shift alone is challenging enough. Coercing yourself to do something you absolutely dread will only make it that much more of a challenge. For example, if you loathe the treadmill but enjoy walking, try going on a hike outdoors or make an effort to walk your dog or with a friend more regularly. The more you enjoy the activity, the more your brain will associate the activity with positivity, which will make you more likely to do the activity again in the future.
Stop focusing on the numbers.
Some numbers are great. Others, not so much. Perhaps you don’t like the number on the scale today. Or you’re constantly tapping your watch while you exercise to see if the battery died because there’s no way you’ve only been working out for five minutes – it has to be longer than that!
Putting too much emphasis on numbers can kill your motivation and drive. The quality of your workout doesn’t necessarily depend on how long your workout is, and the number on the scale doesn’t necessarily reflect the improvements you’ve made in your health efforts of evolving from lazy to active.
Numbers can definitely help you track your progress, but when you’re first building your new, healthy habit, focus instead on the amount of effort you put forth rather than the amount of time you spent. And measure your gains (or losses!) by the way your clothes fit instead of stepping on the scale. You can give numbers your attention once you’ve developed a strong, steady routine.
Go into every workout with a plan.
Once you have successfully motivated yourself to exercise, you want to make sure you make the most of it. The best way to do this is to have a routine in mind beforehand. This way you’ll be able to go through the workout without stopping to figure out what you should do next. Not only will this help keep your momentum going throughout the routine, it will also give you a goal to work toward through each workout session. You’ll know exactly how much time you will need, and you’ll be rewarding with achieving your session goal by completing the entire plan.
When you’re really low on motivation, just keep moving.
If you’re having a really low day, just move. It doesn’t matter how slow you move, or even what you’re doing, just move at whatever pace you can stand and don’t stop until you’ve completed your regularly scheduled “workout.” Even if it’s walking around the block while you chat on the phone with your mom, it’s still something.
Power down an hour before sleep time.
This is a tough one, we won’t deny. Put your phone, tablet, laptop – anything electronic – away an hour before you plan to hit the hay. Research suggests that the blue light emanated by gadgets can disrupt your sleep and impact performance the next day. Getting enough quality sleep is mega important to your health. Our best suggestion in the sleep department is to power down at least an hour before you go to bed, and just as you worked yourself into a workout ritual, you will be able to work yourself into a bedtime routine as well.
Be kind to yourself.
Realize that paths to success don’t happen overnight. And they certainly don’t happen in a straight, easy line. There will be days where you struggle and there will be days where you don’t follow through with your plan. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just accept that life isn’t always perfect and prepare yourself to do better the following day. Change and transformation is hard. Going from lazy to active is most definitely attainable, and you WILL make it happen. So when you snag a hitch in your plan, just walk around it and keep your eye on your goal!