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How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise

September 2016Words by Mr Jamie Millar

Illustration by Mr Patrick Leger

Nothing drives one to exercise quite like the prospect of disrobing under the harsh glare of the summer sun and your fellow beachgoers. Unfortunately, the converse is also true. Darker, colder days and wearing more, thicker clothes all serve to make your workout motivation plummet in inverse proportion to your consumption of starchy carbs. Before you know it, your winter layering includes an insulating blubber bodysuit; instead of making “bare gains”, you’re bulking like a hibernating grizzly.

Gorging on Instagram “fitspo” will only do so much, and can even have a negative effect. Instead, take positive action – for example, by scheduling your workouts for a week or month into your calendar ahead of time, so that other appointments don’t intervene with your best-laid plans. Another tip is to buy your workout gear exclusively in black, grey and white, so that a kit clash is never a valid excuse to skip a session. (It never is, but that hasn’t stopped us using it before.)

If all else fails? Then deploy some Mr Derren Brown mind tricks – or resort to bribing yourself with rewards. These psychological hacks will strengthen that weakest point: your willpower. Then when the warm weather returns, you can take a well-deserved, unapologetically shirtless break.