Recently I had a client ask me a very good question.
“Do you have any tips for those days when it seems so hard to push through a 30 minute workout?”
Let’s be honest, we ALL have those days, yes, even me who enjoys working out. There are days I get on the treadmill and after 10 minutes I turn it off. Granted it doesn’t happen often but it does happen. We all know we need to move more than we probably do. We all sit more than we ever have, but listening to our bodies is extremely important and beneficial.
Here are some tips when struggling with your next workout.
1. Don’t think about it, just move. Sometimes we think so much about what we are going to do or how we don’t want to exercise that we talk ourselves out of it. Even when I don’t “feel” like it, I put my shoes on and do something. 99% of the time I’m happy I did. I’m a better me when I move. For some they put their tennis shoes out so they put them on right away in the morning, for others they need to sleep in their workout clothes. Whatever it is for you, just do it. When I first started working out (25 years ago, not sure how that’s possible since I’m only 27 ;), I put my gym bag in my car in the morning and went to the gym after work. I created that habit of going right from work to the gym. Create a habit for you.
2. What’s your week been like? If you’ve had a hard week (high stress, not enough sleep, etc.) listen to your body and your energy level. Some weeks walking and stretching is all our body can handle. Most of us are able to do a 20 minute walk 3- 5 days a week.
3. Manage your expectations. What are you expecting of yourself? Are you expecting to do the workouts you did 10 years ago? Sorry to break it to you, but we all have hills and valleys through our life (aka seasons). For example, sometimes running is no longer what our body is enjoying at the moment. It tells us this by having back, knee or hip issues. So this might be a season to get a lot of walks in.
4. Something is better than nothing. Sometimes just doing a few exercises for 5 minutes (here’s a home workout you can do right now) is all you can handle mentally and physically. It’s amazing what 5 minutes of movement will do for you. Consistency is key. Doing a little something every other day is far better than doing a 60 minute workout once a week.
5. Exercise should give you energy. Whatever type of exercise you do, it should give you energy for hours to come. If you are exhausted and drained from the exercise you are doing, then it’s not the right fit for you at this time. Not to mention getting sick or injured, then you might want to look at what your exercise routine is. Exercise is stressful on the body. If you’re already tapped out and then you push yourself hard in a workout or do high intensity training, that just creates more stress on your body. Lifting heavy weights slowly, walking, stretching, and/or doing pilates are all great exercises to do if you’re in a stressful season of life. Hang in there, it won’t be forever. You can even learn something about yourself during this time if you choose to reflect and journal about your thoughts and feelings during this time. I know, journaling isn’t my thing either, but the more I make time for it, the more it helps me better understand myself.
Don’t live by feelings. Do what’s right, true and healthy not what’s fast, easy or cheap. Read how wellness starts with your mind.
I hope this helps. Remember, you are your own project throughout your life. We are all different. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Learn to listen to your body. Learn to be nice to it and rest when you need to rest. But, also learn to move it. Your body was designed to move. Not to live in the gym. Not to overdo it, just to move. The more you move the more your body will want to move.
As my client said “Here’s to good workout days as well as happy pj days.” 😉