Get out there! 10 ways to get motivated to exercise outside

September 10 2015


Spring’s just sprung here in New Zealand. We’ve not exactly been basking in balmier weather though – it’s been so blustery that the squalls have ripped the tender pink blossoms off a tree five houses away and plastered them all over every car and building down my road. Nature’s street art? The turbulent weather is not so conducive to getting outside though…so how do you get motivated to get up off the couch?

1. Get your gear all ready beforehand and put it somewhere prominent. Then it will look at you when you turn on the light in the morning. Or park it all in the middle of the coffee table on top of those tempting magazines. Even stack it on the bench by the kettle so that it can shoot you an accusing ‘excuse me?’ stare if you’re thinking, oh just one more cup of tea and THEN I’ll go…


2. You may be thinking, relaxing cup of tea? Read a MAGAZINE? What is this woman on, I’m lucky if I’ve got time to brush my hair in the morning let alone any of that stuff, I’m just too busy! If you find life is hectic, you may need to schedule in your outdoor exercise fix each week. Make firm dates with yourself. Put it into your calendar. Then feel the satisfaction as you cross out what you’ve done with a big old X.


3. Have a goal. Write that little ripper down. Then it’s up to you if you frame it and put it next to your bed, hide it in your sock drawer and bring it out in a secret, all-too-rare moment of peace, or turn it into a meme and publish it online for the universe to hold you accountable…the main thing is that by writing it down and turning it into a tangible thing, it simply becomes more real for you. When it’s more real, you’re more likely to DO IT.


4. Try something new (preferably with a mate). The excitement! The planning! The feeling of achievement! There’s nothing quite like pastures new, and you never know, it may just turn into a new outdoor addiction…sailing, sea-kayaking, soccer, surfing, SUP…I’m sure there are others that don’t begin with S…



5. Treat yourself afterwards! Promise yourself a new pack of gorgeous herbal tea, give yourself a manicure, or delve into that travel mag that’s been beckoning…although I often find that escaping from the drudge and doing something lung-filling outside is just the treat I need – to have some time to myself! Sigh.

6. Don’t discount a late night adventure. If 8.30pm-9.30pm is the only free spot in your day, you could walk with a friend, or pull on some warm gear and do some yoga on the deck under the stars, or terrify the neighbours by turning on the outside lights and doing a quick 30 minute HIIT workout in the garden using an app like PT in my Pocket or a YouTube vid…


7. Group goodness. Yup, get together with others outdoors and you KNOW you can’t let the team down.


8. Some people like to enjoy the sounds of nature while they’re outside, others may get bored on a walk or run, or start thinking, ‘man, I’ve got so much to do…’ – if this is you, maybe try listening to podcasts while you’re out and about. They’re available for free on just about any topic you could imagine, so learn something new, or use it to escape for a while. Just do a search on iTunes, what you find might surprise you!


9. Gratitude goes a long way. Some people struggle with motivation to exercise because they think of it as a chore they ‘have’ to do. But if you can turn your thinking around to things like, ‘I am so lucky to have this healthy body to take me out for a run’ or ‘I’m so thankful for some time to myself and the freedom of the outdoors’ you’ll have those shoes on and be out the door in no time.


10. The endorphins you get from being active and being outside will seriously boost you for the rest of the day. If you’re in a bit of a slump and the little voice inside is all ‘Nah, don’t wanna. Don’t feel like it. Can’t be bothered. Feeling blah’ then I can GUARANTEE that actually doing something will make you feel so much better afterwards – get out there! Stomp on that little voice and enjoy the rush of being outdoorsy!