On January 6th, I turn 35-years-old.  The strange thing is, I don’t feel 35-years-old at all.  Maybe I’m just crazy immature, but sometimes I feel like the real adults are going to show up someday and take away my car keys and bank card.  I look around and think, “am I really in charge?” all the time.  Reeeeeeaaaaaally? 

And I don’t feel 35 either.  Even though I’m slightly out of shape, I still feel about 25.

Unfortunately, it’s all out of my hands.  And getting old sure beats the alternative, am I right?  Still, I want to be young and badass for as long as humanly possible.  And at this point, I plan to stay as young as possible with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

But there’s a problem.  I absolutely hate exercising about 99% of the time.  I’m hyperactive and easily distracted, so it’s extremely hard for me to focus for long periods of time.  With that being said, I am dedicated to my physical fitness, even if it means forcing myself.  Here are a few ways to force yourself to exercise when you really don’t want to:

Have Your Spouse Leave You Somewhere

This tip comes courtesy of my sister who apparently loses motivation when jogging through her own neighborhood.  She recently confided in me that she sometimes has her husband drop her off a few miles from home when she wants to get in a good workout.  That way, she has no choice but to jog X number of miles and can’t simply turn around and jog back home because she’s bored.  Genius#

Be Active With Your Kids

We’ve always been pretty active with the kids, but we recently stepped it up a notch when we got the kids a used wii off craigslist and a few active games, including Just Dance.  I wasn’t sure it would count as a real workout, but Just Dance actually kicks my ass!  My entire body hurt the first time we played and has continued to ache every day since.  And yes, I love whooping my five-year-old at What Does the Fox Say and Dark Horse.  I’m competitive like that.  Eat it, poser!

Mow Your Own Yard

I almost hired someone to mow my lawn last year.  That was, of course, until I realized that it had become part of my exercise routine.  Since I have a push mower and a pretty big yard, not hiring someone to mow our yard forces me to exert all kinds of effort and keep my heart rate up for 45 minutes straight.  It’s sad that I have to trick myself that way, but it works.

Clean Your Own House

I have cleaned my own house for years, partly because I’m cheap but also because it’s pretty good exercise.  Mopping, dusting, cleaning, bending…all of those moves add up!  I recently hired someone to come and clean once per month but I am going to continue cleaning at least once per week.  It not only saves money to do so, but it also keeps me active.  And let’s face it – I need all the help I can get.

Get Some Cool Tunes

I did it.  Even though it took me a long time to pull the trigger, I finally broke down and bought a new iPod.  And yes,
I totally broke out all of my old CDs to load music onto it.  Fortunately, we also got a total of $30 in ITunes gift cards for Christmas this year which meant that I got to download some new music too.  And what a difference it makes!  I am much more tolerable of exercise when I can listen to some of my favorite music and space out.

It’s weird how motivation works.  I’m the kind of person who can get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to work if I need to or work weekends and evenings if I need to meet a deadline. But for some reason, that motivation just doesn’t translate over into my physical life all that much.  Simply put, I have to force myself to do it, and I always have.

Still, it’s better than nothing, right?  And if the end result is me feeling happier and healthier, I’m all for it.  I just wish I wanted to exercise.  Until then, tricking myself is the only strategy that works.

Do you ever force yourself to exercise?  How do you stay motivated?

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