We’ve all had that moment when the minute your step out of the office doors, all you want to do is crawl home, eat dinner out of the freezer or a tin (worse!) and pass-out while watching a movie in bed. After sitting on a desk and attending back-to-back meetings for 10-hours, who would want to burst the butt on the treadmill, anyway?
I know… I hear you. We’ve all been there.
But sometimes, this de-motivating chatter is only in the head and not how you really well about breaking a sweat. Here are 8 foolproof ways to never miss a workout post-work. Follow them and I promise you’ll never utter the words ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, ever again. You’ll probably want to cook yourself a proper, healthy meal, as well. Phew.
- Keep lunch light: If you end up eating a heavy lunch, food coma will get to you and will make you lethargic. No matter how healthy a meal you eat, your blood sugar levels will hike up and then fall back down even more steadily, leaving you unproductive and lazy for the remainder of the evening. When choosing what to eat, go for light meals like a wrap or salad, something that high in protein and complex carbohydrates. Avoid refined sugar or carbs, as that will only make you hungrier by the time you hit the gym. Also, eat about four-five hours before you plan to workout, as the body will take about that long to digest your meal. You don’t want any uneasiness while you do your downward dog, now do you?
- Change into your office gear before you leave the office: This is an age-old theory that never seems to fail me, and I assure it won’t for you, as well. Don’t think about changing into your running gear at the gym – get into it at work (while you’re still up for a run) and notice how no wandering thoughts will curb your motivation to hit the treadmill. By doing so, you’re also making yourself more accountable to you and your co-workers. It’s basic psychology; after all, you wouldn’t want a change of clothes to go to waste.
- Have a workout buddy in the office: I’ve spoken about how important workout buddies are and why they’re a great motivational tool here and here. If you’re scheduling a catch-up with a friend over cocktails, turn that into an opportunity to workout too. Meet up with them over a Pump or Spin session and you’ll notice how much more inspiring and fun a post-work workout can be. Plus, you can go to a delicious sushi dinner after!
- Keep fitness inspiration on your work desk or on Instagram: You know how we all have that one inspirational outfit that we will fit into after reaching the goal weight? Don’t just save that for the closet, but move the inspiration to your work desk as well. Have your favourite fitness quotes up there to inspire you, and perhaps even photos of somebody whose body you admire. Sounds childish and high-schoolish, but when you see visuals of what fitness and healthy living means to you (look up the fitspo hashtag, if you don’t know what I mean), you’re more determined to set personal goals and more importantly work towards them.
- Want a treat, treat it as your motivation: If a glass of red or a small chocolate bar is your vice, then save it as motivation for when you’ve finished your workout. Studies have shown that if you look forward to something post a workout, even if it’s a small treat, you’re more motivated to go to the gym, plus you might work harder on the cross-trainer too. Double-win!
- Have a protein-rich snack in the afternoon: When 3:30-itis hits you hard, forget the sugar and instead reach for a protein-rich snack. My favourite treats around that time of the day: corn thins smothered with avocado, salt, pepper and lemon; 15-20 raw, organic nuts; green smoothie with spinach, frozen berries, coconut water peanut butter, yoghurt and chia seeds. Pre-plan and take all this with you to work, depending on what’s convenient and office-friendly for you.
- Go by the ‘only-5-minutes’ rule: If you’re really feeling blah about working up a sweat, tell yourself that you’ll workout for maximum five minutes. I promise those five minutes will decide whether you’re being temporarily busy or you’re really unfit for a workout. My bet – 9 times out of 10 you would want to continue after those 5 minutes and keep going until you feel good.
- Set your workout as a meeting on the calendar: My favourite and most important tip (one that I follow on a daily basis) is to set your workout session as a ‘meeting’ on your Google, Apple or Hotmail calendars – whatever it is that you use. If you get an alert for a bootcamp session on your phone, then you’re less likely to miss it or worse, be lazy about it. Try this for a week and note down how many ‘meetings’ you miss!
What’s your best tip or advice when it comes to post-work workouts?