It’s 6:30 a.m and you are at the gym. You get on the treadmill for that 3 mile run you do every other day. About 10 minutes in it feels like someone took a 75 pound weight and put it on your back. Your muscles are tired, and you just say to yourself “I really do not want to do this today.” What will you do? Will you work through it or just quit? It’s important on days like this you do not let your mental block stop you from your workout.
One way to make sure you do not stop your work out is visualize your goals. Is your goal that little black dress? Envision yourself in that dress , going out to dinner with your special someone. Or is your goal to drop your blood pressure? See yourself getting your blood pressure taken and the doctor congratulating you on your lowered blood pressure. If this doesn’t seem to work you can keep repeating your goal to yourself. Just say to yourself over and over I am getting stronger, faster, fitter or healthier. Whatever works for you.
If you are listening to music while working out, just do the one more song trick. Tell yourself that you will keep working out for one more song, or start out smaller. Tell yourself you will work out for ½ a song then move on to the whole song. This will help you feel accomplished and satisfied when you complete what you aimed to do. If you are outside running, you can use anything as your goal, you can use one more mail box, one more house or one more tree. Again, tailor this to yourself, use what works for you.
Distract yourself from your work out. Let your mind wander while your body is going through the motions of the work out. You can make your shopping list, your meal list for the week, or even tackle that difficult decision you have to make at the office while you are working out. This will help keep your mind off the daunting task of exercising. Now we are not saying try to solve world peace while working out, we don’t want you to get stressed by this technique. Just try to think of something that maybe needs a little bit more mulling over.
Then of course there are days that we are just tired. Track your heart rate. If it’s higher than usual, this may mean your body is run down and just needs a rest. Take a breather, its ok to rest. Simply cool down slowly. Go from a brisk walk to a medium walk, grab some water and do some deep breathing. If you slow down too fast your blood pressure can plummet and cause bigger problems. Try shifting gears, mental fatigue is just as bad as physical fatigue. Try that new machine that your gym got the other day, or try a different class.
We are here at the Y to help you fight through those mental blocks while working out. For more information, call us at (570) 253-2083, or visit us online at ymcawayne.com.