Susannah Taylor: Stuck on a break from training?
Don’t let this little run turn into a marathon in your head
Lately I’ve not only stumbled, but fell straight off the fitness cart. I’ve exercised three times a week for years, but work, parenting, and the post-lockdown real life mania threw my fitness habits right out the window and, boy, did I notice. When I’m not exercising, I feel stagnant, my anxiety levels rise, and I feel overwhelmed. And I’m not alone – when talking to friends, motivation seems to be at an all-time low. Suffice it to say, I’ve used all of the tools I’ve learned over the years to get my fitness back on track. If you’re struggling with exercising, here are my top tricks …
Choose matter over mind
I know the situation well. You tell yourself that your going to run / hit the gym first, but when it comes down to it, you have every excuse to skip it. My trick is to stop seeing that your brain is the devil on your shoulder, put on your sneakers, and just do it (as Nike would say). Focus on the essentials (getting fit), not what your mind is thinking. Overwrite the brain chatter.
Go out the door
We all know those days when it feels like an invisible wall is keeping us from getting going. In this situation, put on your sports gear, go outside and close the door before you have time to think. You will feel too much of an idiot to repent. Note: If you feel really uncomfortable, skip it.
Lie to yourself
Sometimes we can base the idea of a run or a training session on the size of a marathon. The antidote is to convince yourself that you are going to take a short walk or do some stretching in the gym. When you get to it, you will undoubtedly do more. This is what fitness trainer Bebe Beachus (@bebefitnesscoach) does when she has a day off. “I don’t put too much pressure on myself,” she says. “I start with something easy or something I like and before I know it, I get in.” If she only does 20 minutes, that’s fine. “Every bit of fitness helps – it’s always worth it.”
Whether it’s Couch To 5k or a dress you want to return to, goals have been proven to hold you accountable. So commit to something and keep it in mind when your motivation wanes.
Upgrade your fitness clothing
Those gray leggings and holey t-shirt won’t inspire you to get fit. When I get dressed better (even at the gym), I feel better, which makes me feel more energetic.
“I’m too busy to exercise” must be the top fitness excuse. The reality is we are ALL busy, but the ones who prioritize fitness are the ones who stay on track. Pilates instructor Chloe Hodgson (@chloespilates) says she makes her workouts non-negotiable – she writes them down in her journal and doesn’t postpone them.
Download a new playlist
Even your favorite songs can be scratchy if you’ve heard them too often. So when your playlist is tired, it’s time to get a new one. Bebe says she uses music to motivate her both before and in the gym.
Hold on to the high When she’s not thrilled, Chloe (like me) remembers how good she feels after a workout. “I know I always feel great,” she says.
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