This week, I really concentrated on stepping up my mental game when it came to exercising after work during the week. I knew I had no actual obligations that would keep me from working out immediately after school, but I did know the week would provide me with plenty of mental challenges that could prevent me from getting my behind to the gym. Work was very draining, as I expected it to be since it was the last week of school for seniors, plus a very important week for me to get things I needed to get done done. I left school everyday just plain tired, both physically and mentally, so I knew I had to arm myself with plenty of strategies to get myself to the gym.
Here’s what I did to make sure I got at least some movement each day:
1) I reminded myself (and even visualized) how great and pleased with myself I would feel after my workout was over. I even ran mantras/phrases through my head like “the only workout anyone regrets is the one they don’t do!”
2) I guilt-tripped myself intentionally. In other words, I also reminded myself how lazy I would feel if I didn’t go to they gym to at least do something when I knew I had the time to go.
3) I rewarded myself. I usually go get my favorite tea only once or twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays when I can) from my favorite tea spot, Tealuxe, but this week, I told myself I could go one more time on a day I worked out. When Friday rolled around, I had no desire to exercise, but I did want tea, so I dragged my booty to the gym for an hour. . . and then bought myself a nice large Vanilla Rooibos as a reward!
4) I listened to what my body wanted to do. I absolutely did not want to run after school– I was way too tired for that kind of exertion. Therefore, I didn’t run! A few days this week, all I wanted to do was walk, so I did. On other days, I wanted to zone out on the elliptical, so I did. When I wanted to be outdoors, I did. . . but when I wanted the air conditioning of the gym, that’s where I went. This no pressure approach did lead me to get in some form of activity every day this week!
5) When I had the energy, I went with it! On Saturday morning, it was my time to run. I was energized, both mentally and physically, and I had the chance to exercise in the early morning, which as you know is my prime time. I went to the gym with the intention to run at least eight miles, but more if I could. When I got to eight, I knew I could get to ten, so I did. I took advantage of my less intense workouts earlier in the week in order to go all out on Saturday.
6) I told myself that changing out of my work clothes into workout clothes is literally the hardest part of exercising after school. Once I am suited up to exercise, I always do, so I told myself at the very least, I had to change into workout clothes at the gym. If I didn’t feel like doing anything, then I could go home. Without fail, I ended up exercising every time. And, on a personal level, I feel really silly thinking that I just may be so lazy as to not to even want to change clothes, so I always do, just to not feel like a total sloth.
7) I made sure I had plenty of entertainment. Jillian Michaels podcasts, new-to-me episodes of America’s Next Top Model, new songs on my I Pod– they all served as part of my arsenal to get through my workouts.
I really did use all of the above tricks this week, no matter how silly some of them seem, and they all really did enable me to have a fantastic workout week in my opinion. Here’s what I ended up accomplishing:
Tuesday, May 22nd: 5.05 mile treadmill walk, weightlifting for chest and back (6 exercises, 3 sets each)
Wednesday, May 23rd: 4.3 mile outdoor walk (leaving from and returning to the gym); 20 minutes on the crosstrainer
Thursday, May 24th: 65 minutes elliptical with handles; weightlifting for legs (6 exercises, 3 sets each)
Friday, May 25th: 65 minutes on the crosstrainer
Saturday, May 26th: 13.6 miles on the treadmill (10 run, 3.6 miles walked); 90 minutes beginners yoga
Sunday, May 27th: 10 miles on the treadmill (7 run, 3 walked); weightlifting for arms and shoulders (7 exercises, 3 sets each); 5.35 mile outdoor walk with the husband
Monday, May 28th: 9 miles on the treadmill (6 run, 3 walked); weightlifting for chest and back; 5 mile outdoor walk with the husband
This has been a rewarding week in the exercise department, but not because of what I physically did each day. Really, I am proud that I actually utilized the strategies mentioned above to get myself moving on those work days! I didn’t let the mental fatigue get the best of me, and for that, I am quite happy! Monday was a bit unusual for me since it was a holiday, so I was fortunate to get in another day of morning exercise and running that I normally wouldn’t do if it was a typical work day. Hey, I will take it!!!
What do you do in order to exercise when you just don’t feel like it?