It would be really great if we all loved going to the gym. Think how often you’d exercise if an evening at the gym was as much fun as a night out with friends. But unfortunately, even once you’ve set up an exercise that works well for you, it can be hard to make yourself follow through.
What does work? The truth is, your best bet is to trick yourself. Experts call it “temptation bundling” and one study found that those who did it doubled their regular excercise. What it means is that you allow yourself to indulge in a favorite pastime or other treat only when paired with a workout. Here are 8 ways to tempt yourself into fitness.
1. Stretch out a soap. Have a guilty pleasure like a soap opera or reality TV show? Only let yourself watch at the gym.
2. Tempt yourself with treats. Indulge in a delicious post-workout snack that you only get to have when you exercise.
3. Boogie the night away. Trade your girls’ night out for a gym night in and sign up for a salsa or zumba class together.
4. Play like a kid. Sign up for the climbing wall, trampoline room, or an aerial circus class.
5. Get podcast-addicted. If you’ve already binged both seasons of Serial, try its offshoot S-Town, or any other sequential series with cliffhanger endings.
6. Get gym-ready for bed. Go to sleep in your workout clothes so you’re dressed when you roll out of bed – but you’d have to change to go to work.
7. Zap yourself to fitness. Play an active video or virtual reality game that keeps you moving.
8. Savor spa time. Join a gym with a hot tub or sauna, then don’t let yourself use it until after you work out.
9. Relax the back. Schedule a post-workout massage.
10. Double your fun. Go the gym with friends, with a bar-stop on the way home.