I knew I wanted to go for a run yesterday, but in reality, I wasn’t jonesin’ for a run. I really just needed to do it. My body needed it. So did my mind, but when I’ve gone too long without cardio, my mind forgets that it needs it.
The thing is, while your mind can definitely have a positive or negative impact on your run and while your run can make your mind happier, your body can benefit from a run (or other workout) even if you are not in the mood. (There are studies out there that say that even forced exercise can improve your stress and anxiety levels…)
So, I phoned it in, at least for the first couple of miles. I was just out there getting in the mileage. Thankfully, around mile 3, the endorphins took over and I actually did speed work for the last two miles. As it turns out, it was a good thing I ran. I scraped the side of my nearly brand new car on a post in a parking garage last night. Pretty sure that if I had not gone running, you’d find me in a corner with a bag of cookies.
I’m sure I’m not alone, so here are some tips for getting in that workout when you just don’t feel like it.
1. Just start. Seriously. Just take the first step, even if you don’t want to. Chances are really good that once you start, you’ll keep going. I knew that if I didn’t run yesterday, the downward spiral would continue and the upward trend of the scale would as well. And even though my mind said it didn’t want to work out, on an intellectual level, I knew I’d be happier if I did it.
2. Get a little help from your friends. Plan to meet a friend at the gym or for a run. If nothing else, plan a meet up and walk there. Every little bit counts. If I have someone waiting for me, I’m not going to leave them hanging. (And I’ve totally blown off classes I’ve paid for, so that doesn’t motivate me, but maybe paying for a class would motivate you…)
3. Set a goal. Then do more. I always set a minimum and barring injury, stomach upset, or a hard time deadline, I always hit that goal. But I also try to always do a little bit more. Maybe just another 10th of a mile or one more push up or 20 more seconds of plank, but pushing past my goal always makes me feel a little more positive about the workout and that much more likely to do the next one. (And all those little extras add up! #wycwyc as Carla would say…)
4. Mix it up. I’m a huge fan of fartlek runs. Time passes so quickly when you are constantly changing pace! Sometimes I have to run with a purpose (AKA training plan) but when my goal is just to get exercise? I do whatever seems fun at that moment – sprinting the shady spots, really pushing it up the hills, play with my stride or cadence a bit… Some days it is just about exercising for health.
5.Try something new. Really, really, really don’t want to go out for that run on a hot day? Can’t stand the idea of one more minute in the saddle? These days, there are so many options out there! Zumba, Yoga, Pi-yo, Pilates, Spin, Crossfit, videos you can follow at home… Heck, you can even just go play at the playground (this works particularly well if you have kids to take with you LOL).
Bonus: Don’t rest on Monday! My “workout week” runs Monday – Sunday. If I take a rest day, that means I only have one more rest day the remainder of the week. Knowing I have a rest day in the hole is like a security blanket for me. I know that if I really need one (either because my body says it needs it or life gets in the way), I still have it waiting to be used. Also, from a psychological standpoint, exercising on Monday sets the tone for the week. So get out there and start your week off right!
So, those are the ways I get myself out there when being out there is the last thing I want to do.
How do you get out the door when your mind is telling you no?