The Toronto Star, January 29, 2009
Staff Reporter: Paola Loriggio
They say the trick to keeping fit is making exercise a habit.
Once you get in the rhythm, collective wisdom says, your body starts to crave activity, and you're far less likely to go back to your lazy, spud-ish ways.
Still, even confirmed athletes – like the ragtag bunch of runners I train with – have days where they'd rather get a root canal than lace up their sneakers.
"Sometimes it's just burnout from the constant pressure of trying to stay on the performance edge," says my friend and running buddy Toby Cockcroft, an Ironman-in-training. That, "and really rotten weather."
When the usual pep talk fails, it's time to bring out the big guns: bribery and deception.
The fastest way to feel better is to make someone else suffer, so get a friend to work out with you. Even better, stir up some friendly competition – loser has to wear a Speedo in public. Nothing motivates like the threat of humiliation.
Tell yourself you can quit after 10 minutes. By the time you break a sweat, the endorphins will have kicked in. Otherwise, tell yourself you'll just do another 10 minutes. Repeat until your workout is done.
Try something new, something completely different from your usual workout. You can't watch the clock when your body's bending in ways it's never bent before.
Bribes can get pricey, so start small. Pick a machine by the TV and watch Tyra, or whatever show you're too ashamed to watch at home. Or buy a new magazine – the trashier, the better. No one expects you to exercise body and mind at the same time.
Need a bigger prize? "Pay" yourself $5 for each workout. At the end of the month, use the cash to buy some cute workout clothes or a new sports gadget. (This is advanced trickery, because you'll have to work out to test your new gear.)
If after all that, you still can't get moving – time to pick out a Speedo.
Paola Loriggio is the queen of self-deception, and has the race medals to prove it.
This is what I DO!!! I always say that I only go to workout class for the coffee afterward, but I LOVE the idea of "Paying" myself $5.00 each time I go to the gym, and getting a new outfit. Of course, if you shop at LuluLemon, it's going to take at least six weeks before you can even buy new pants, let alone the whole outfit! Since I'm not averse to either bribery or deception, I'm going to try this tactic, it's the only one mentioned above that I haven't already "exercised".