How to motivate yourself to exercise solo - Juice Daily
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How to motivate yourself to exercise solo No training buddy? No worries

If you’re really struggling to get motivated to exercise, a workout buddy can change everything. I signed up to my first ever bootcamp with a good friend who lived close by. There was NO WAY I wanted to let her down so even on those early mornings when I just couldn’t be bothered, I knew no-one cared, I felt gross or I just really, really loved my bed, I knew she would be waiting out the front of my house with a spare banana. We’d laugh, catch up, eat a banana each and over a 3 month boot camp course, we lost weight, toned up and never missed a single session. It was bloody marvelous.
She’s moved interstate now and my early mornings are too busy for bootcamp. I miss being accountable to someone for my exercise. I miss having someone to motivate me and compete with me.

Right now I have this fantasy friend.

She’s a babe. She calls me up and says, “Hey Yumi, whatcha doing?”

I say, “Hey Babe. I’m gross. I’m in, like, overalls, cleaning leaves out of the gutters. What you up to?”

She says, “Put that shit down and get your runners on! We are going down to the bay for some sprints! Wear your shortest shorts and a bikini top because the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day and we are getting a tan!”


“Bring water!”


“Guess who’s gonna be training next to us?”

“Um, Commando from The Biggest Loser?”


“…Ronda Rousey?”


“You won’t believe this: A visiting group of priests from Rome is staying in a hostel near my office and I know for a fact that they’ll be doing intervals at the park right near where we go IN THEIR CASSOCKS.”

“In their priestly robes?”


“Interval training?”


“Are they brown or are they black?”

“…The priests or the robes?”

“The robes.”

“Dark brown.”

“You’re making this up!”


“Hey but wait a sec. What makes you think that I want to see a group of priests in brown hessian robes or whatever, working out in the park?”

“…You mean, you don’t?”

“…No, no, of course I do. See you in 5 minutes.”

Unfortunately this person is not real. She doesn’t call me and it may transpire that we will never get to work out in the park next to a group of visiting priests in cassocks.

My real-life calls to exercise go more like this:

Me to Bestie: “Hey instead of lying around eating cheese like we normally do, why don’t you and I go for a run together?”

Bestie: “No fucking way! Have you seen the size of my tits? I DON’T RUN.”

Or this.

Me to Fella: “Honey, I’m thinking we should get a joint gym membership?”

Fella: “Hey guess what? ‘House of Cards’ Season 3 is out and I have a family-size pack of Twisties and icecream and Ice Magic and two spoons and ooh, look at this giant pillow.”

Top 5 ways to stay motivated when it’s just you

1. Set a time limit. I used to park outside my kid’s school half an hour before school pick up, then go for a run exactly 15 minutes in the wrong direction knowing I’d have to turn around and match pace to make it back in time for the bell.

2. Pretend Liam Hemsworth or the Canadian Prime Minister is watching. (Self-explanatory, really.)

3. Listen to obnoxious, embarrassing music. (Hello, Skrillex. Hello, Macklemore.) You can’t do this with your friends. Being alone has its challenges, but it has its payoffs too.

4. Dangle that carrot. If you were planning to buy yourself a new bag anyway, save it up to be a reward for your workout.

5. You’re alone. You can actually grunt, pant and groan aloud if you want.
When I make a call to exercise, it might be ignored. Sure, it is way more fun working out with someone else but if I’m prepared that my loved-ones may not wish to do lunges with me, I still have enough motivation juice to get out there. Just me and my trusted fantasy friend.

Yumi Stynes

About the person who wrote this

Yumi Stynes

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Yumi Stynes was planning to die young, leaving behind an unfit and bloated corpse until an epiphany sent her on a health journey that continues today. She's been interviewing rock bands, actors, chefs and other inspiring creative types since 2000 and most days can be found going for a run, cooking incredible food or trying to make someone laugh.

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