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4 Workout Motivation Tips To Exercise Instead of Eat When You’re Stressed

We all know we should exercise, but many of us struggle with finding the motivation to workout.

Stress is a great motivation killer.

It’s a given that as you go through life, you will come into stress regularly.

The question is: how are you going to deal with it?

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably made a habit of turning to food and/or TV/streaming shows when stressed.

But you’ve had enough!

You’re ready to change.

A few simple things will help you find your workout motivation

You realize that exercise is a fantastic outlet, but you’re unsure how to change your eating habits and choose a workout instead.

I’m happy to tell you it all boils down to four simple steps you could take today:

  • Create a routine
  • Change your perception
  • Pause
  • Walk more

In his book “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg talks about how many people use this excuse:

impossible to change, it’s just who I am.”

However, it’s not too difficult to change a habit—as long as you understand the reasons behind them.

How does one do this?

With these four little workout motivation tips, you’ll begin to re-wire yourself to reach for your gym clothes instead of food when you get upset.

Here’s how.

4 Workout Motivation Tips To Exercise Instead of Eat

1. Recognize the routine.

Researchers at MIT discovered a basic neurological loop at the very center of every habit.

This neurological loop has three parts:

  • the cue (stress)
  • a routine (grab the food)
  • the reward (eating)

While we can’t change the cue, we can change the routine and the reward.

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It just takes a bit of thought and effort.

2. Change how you look at the reward.

With finding workout motivation, the reward from exercise is far stronger than the reward from eating!

When we exercise, we change our physiology by upping the hormone levels in our bodies.

Just the simple act of heading out the door for a walk, or hitting the weights at the gym, has a far stronger positive reward to our body and mind than grabbing food.

The key is to change how you look at the reward for the habit.

3. Before you head for food, pause.

Pause and write the first three things that come to mind.

I know what you’re thinking: has this dude lost his mind?

What does writing my thoughts have to do with workout motivation?

EVERYTHING!

These three things can be anything that comes to mind: emotions, thoughts on how you’re feeling, songs by your favorite musician, or random things.

For example, my thoughts would be a cute puppy, coffee, and happiness.

Now once you’ve written these three things, sit down (somewhere not near the food) and set an alarm for 15 minutes.

When it goes off, ask yourself if you still feel like eating.

This mental exercise may seem silly, but it does several things for us:

  • It allows us to notice what we are thinking and feeling.
  • This snaps us into momentary awareness.
  • The 15 minutes help us identify if you’re starving or just need to move (9 times out of 10, we need to exercise!).

4. Put on your walking shoes.

Or grab your gym bag/jump rope/TRX, or whatever, and get started on your exercise!

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If you’re stressed in the middle of work and can’t leave to go to the gym, then simply take a walk around the park or head to the stairs and walk up and down for 3-5 minutes.

Then come back to your desk.

Don’t put it off.

Begin the new reward right away!

Now is the time to get started on an exercise and drastically change your “automatic habit.”

Just those 3-5 minutes can help reduce the body’s hormonal stress response, allowing you to blunt the negative impact enough.

This is until you can leave after work for a long walk or head to the gym/park to get moving – instead of moving to the couch with a bag of chips.

You can do it

Don’t be fooled!

While these workout motivation tips are simple, they can be challenging to do consistently.

Consistency is the key to success!

Write yourself a sticky note or a reminder on your phone.

Be sure to read it twice daily: once in the morning and again in the evening.

This is to remind yourself that you are changing your habit of responding when upset.

This little daily reminder can make big waves on your journey to a NEW habit.

Finding your workout motivation can have an absolutely MASSIVE positive impact on many aspects of your life!

Having worked as the Exercise Physiologist for a Bariatric Surgery Group, as well as cycling, running, and triathlon coach, I have both helped and seen first-hand the incredible transformation that many folks have made happen by changing their habit.

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From 400lbs down to 205lbs and running a half marathon, or going from 265lbs down to 195lbs and racing bicycles, you too can accomplish incredible positive results.

This changes how you deal with stress and begins an incredible body and life-changing transformation.

Become a no-holds-barred champion, kick stress in the butt, and be a sharper, healthier, more confident version of yourself.

Finding your workout motivation can knock down that first “tough” domino, get your momentum going to unleash your full potential in the world, and unlock your ability to accomplish goals and aspirations.

I’ve seen it many times before, and the results are spectacular.

What are you waiting for?

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