How to Keep Up Your Workout Motivation When the Clocks Go Back

Taryn Davies
Published: October 24, 2019

In the UK, the clocks go back 1 hour at 2 am on the final Sunday in October. This year that day falls on the 27th October, meaning that this weekend you could get an extra hour of sleep. That's what many people do with the extra hour when the clocks go back. However, you could use this extra time as motivation to get up earlier and exercise instead. Research by the health and wellness app MINDBODY found that more than half of people who try to work out frequently are less motivated to do so in the autumn. When falling temperatures and reduced hours of daylight leave you wanting to stay in bed, here are some things to do.

Make a Playlist

Listening to the right kind of music can boost your energy levels, so don't neglect your earphones when you work out. Setting music as your alarm can set the mood for your morning, encouraging you to get up and get out there to exercise. While you're exercising, one of the best ways to stop your motivation from flagging is to play songs that motivate you. Songs with a high number of beats per minute and inspiring lyrics can help you to keep pushing. According to sports psychologist Andy Lane, music enhances your mood and prevents boredom while doing repetitive exercises. Try this playlist curated by MINDBODY:

  • Pinnacles - Four Tet
  • Freaks - Timmy Trumpet
  • Run Boy Run - Woodkid
  • Rapture – Nadia Ali
  • Losing It – Fisher
  • Differentology – Bunji Garlin
  • Higher Ground – TNGHT
  • Chameleon – Pnau
  • Play – Jax Jones
  • Old Friend – Elderbrook

Work Out With a Friend

When you have a workout buddy to keep you accountable, it will be a lot harder to skip workout sessions. Planning to exercise with someone else can motivate you to actually stick to the plan so that you aren't letting them down. If you're doing a particularly tough workout, having someone else doing it alongside you can make you want to work even harder and complete the workout. A 2018 survey by TLF found that having a workout partner increased motivation for 34% of gym-goers and improved the effectiveness of workouts for 24% of them. It is also a productive way of spending time with a friend with similar goals.

Change Your Alarm

As you now know, music really helps with motivation. Changing your alarm to a song that you love that gets you going could be the key to starting your day off right. Waking up to energising music could give you the motivation you need to get out of bed and get exercising, even if you're up before the sun. What you need to remember is that you should change your upbeat alarm song regularly. You might become desensitised to the motivating effects of the music if you get bored of it or even start to form negative associations to it. Keep your alarm tone happy and fresh and you should wake up feeling the same way.

Try a New Fitness Class

Everyone's personal fitness goals vary, but there is usually a class designed to help with every workout target. Check out the variety of classes available at your gym and sign yourself up for an activity that you haven't tried yet. The excitement and novelty of trying something new will motivate you to try your best and stick it out with the rest. Being surrounded by other participants might seem like a scary prospect, but there will be an instructor to guide and encourage all of you through it. Getting to work out indoors could also motivate you if you don't want to be out in the cold. You could try classes like Pilates or Spin.

Take a Break

Sometimes, the motivation to work out just really isn't there. Maybe you're exhausted from other sources of stress in life and just don't have the energy or commitment to exercise right now. That's okay, because getting rest and recovery in between is just as important as working out regularly. This doesn't mean just sitting at home and doing nothing for the day, though. Treatments such as massages, cryotherapy, water therapy, and yoga can be very restorative. Making sure that you get the proper nutrition can also help you to feel better. Once you feel energised again, you will be ready to get back on track and keep working out.