If there’s one challenge we can all agree on, it’s not only finding time to exercise after work, but also motivating ourselves to do it. Especially if a morning workout is not an option. Not only that, some days may be so stressful that when you get home, all you want to do is curl up under the blankets and watch Netflix until you fall asleep. And sometimes, despite wanting to, you just don’t know how to motivate yourself. Forget bailing about the gym and your goals and instead read on to learn how to work out after work.
How to work out after work if you are feeling tired?
The last thing you want to do is hit the gym when you are tired after work. Especially when your energy level is low naturally. But did you know working out actually gives you energy? Really! Yes. Research consistently shows that exercise gives people energy and not the opposite. When we exercise, endorphins are released in our body, which helps to combat the feelings of fatigue.
There is a saying “the hardest part of the gym is getting in the door”. Once you are there, your gym gear is on, and are five minutes into your warm-up – that feeling of tiredness that was convincing you previously of skipping the gym vanishes. And you forget that you even were feeling tired in the first place. So stop procrastinating and leave work. Hit the gym after work.
But, if the promise of the natural adrenaline hit of exercise is not enough to give you the motivation to work out after work, you can always revert to Caffeine.
Caffeine will increases activity in your brain and nervous system increasing the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body making you feel refreshed and focused. (source).
Which is one of the reasons why pre-workout supplements are so popular amongst gymgoers.
Outside of supplements, there are other ways to motivate yourself to work out after work. And here they are;
Plan your workouts in advance.
Start out modest; aim for two or three workouts each week, and schedule them when you have the time. Whatever you do, don’t plan to work out every night after work.
Working out after work is all about building up the habit. Make the goal of working out after work realistic and easy to achieve. Also if you plan your workouts in advance, mentally you will be more prepared. Plan to go straight to the gym after work. This is one of the best ways to plan where you will actually go.
Tip: if you are not feeling like working out after work opens up Instagram and search for #fitspiration – seeing other people working out in the gym might give you the necessary mental push not to skip.
Bring a bag with your workout clothes with you to the office
As easy as it may sound, packing and assembling your gym bag to bring to work can increase your likelihood of going to the gym. Unbelievably, the preparation process solidifies the assignment and prevents you from coming up with last-minute justifications for why you can’t or aren’t interested in going.
Drive by your gym when you get off work
When you get up in the morning you might be motivated to work out after work, as you are feeling fresh. But later on after a hard day’s work, you might not feel that same level of motivation. And for that, you need to be ready. Passing a gym on the way home from work can act as a reminder of those early morning good intentions and help you get to the gym door.
Keep your eyes fixed on the prize
Having a goal is great, and sometimes, especially if you are not seeing the results you are looking for, it can be hard to work out after work. Keep your eyes on the prize and know, each time hit the gym and complete your workout, you are one step closer to achieving your goal. Most fit people are not fit naturally – what they have managed to achieve is consistency.
Consistency will help you achieve your goal. Keep that goal firmly fixed in your memory. To help you keep your eyes on the prize, display it in subconscious areas such as on your desk, on your fridge, or as wallpaper on your phone. Subconsciously these little reminders will hint to you the reminder that passing up on working out after work is not an option.
Do everything it takes to maintain your motivation. Using an app to log your exercises, before-and-after images, and the daily improvements you make will make this even better. And this will compel you to commit and not give up and make those workout sessions after work when you really don’t want to. Keep your eye on the prize. Keep going. You can do it.
Make going to the gym after work a habit.
To make habit, science has shown it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. Therefore, be patient with yourself and give yourself time to break the habit if you are not naturally athletic or eager to exercise.
One way to make going to the gym a habit is to find a workout buddy. A workout buddy can help motivate you to go to the gym and can help make working out more enjoyable. Another way to make going to the gym a habit is to set realistic goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, set a plan to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Finally, be sure to reward yourself for reaching your goals. For example, if you lose 2 pounds in one week, treat yourself to a new workout outfit or a massage.
And go easy yourself! You don’t have to start going to the gym every day after work, even if you have signed up for a popular five-day-a-week program. That is unrealistic, and forming that habit may be a bit difficult to start with. Breaking that habit may be easy – but if you commit for the first couple of weeks to at least twice a week – this will make a habit of going to the gym after work – much more accessible.
Don’t berate yourself
When you skip a day, what might occasionally happen is that you never get back into it because you view it as a failure. What’s the point, you ask? Okay, so skipping one day isn’t really a big deal, but it still occurs. Don’t let it discourage you. Missing a day is acceptable as long as you don’t give up completely!
Find a fitness buddy who can work out with you after work.
As mentioned above, a fitness buddy will hold you accountable.
A fitness buddy can help to keep you accountable for your fitness goals. You will likely stick to your workout routine and see results if you have someone to work with.
While some people like to exercise alone because it helps them stay motivated and focused, others prefer to exercise with a partner. This is because it increases their overall performance, helps them stay motivated during exercise, and frequently makes them feel like they are having more fun.
Finding your workout partner-in-crime is an excellent justification for getting into some friendly rivalry. That extra push might keep you going and help you achieve new heights because neither of you will want to fall behind throughout your workout.
In addition, research has shown that working out with a friend can improve your mental health due to social interaction with friends.
Benefits of working out in the evening after work
Morning and high noon tend to take top honors in the contest of workout hours. But you should consider all the advantages an evening workout offers before setting your alarm for the crack of the morning or skipping your lunch break for a workout!
Did you know peak muscular activity happens in the afternoon and early evening due to changes in hormone levels and core body temperature? (source)
In addition to a better hormone response from training, working out in the evening may help you sleep better at night. When you work out in the evening, your body temperature rises and then falls a few hours later. This can help you to sleep better because your body is already used to the lower temperature.
Another benefit of working out in the evening is that you have more energy during the day. Working out in the evening helps to increase your metabolism and gives you more energy to get through your day.
Finally, working out in the evening can help you to relieve stress. After a long day at work, you can use exercise to release some of the built-up tension in your body. Exercise produces endorphins, which are hormones that improve mood and make you feel good.