You know those times when motivation for a healthy lifestyle is low?
Today is going to be a more personal blog where I share my thoughts and pushing through those times and still having fun working out and eating mindfully.
The last two personal blogs received positive comments and I have to admit it just feels good to write down my thoughts of the day. I didn’t have a diary as a kid, so this is all new to me. Sometimes, when a thought comes to my mind, it can stay there literally all day long. Maybe blogging will help me to “free my mind” and contribute to my mental health … .
Today, I would like to talk about motivation, especially for working out. My family is amazed how I always seem to be motivated to work out, no matter how tired or stressed I am. However, today I had to really dig deep to get excited to exercise but I did it in the end and that’s all that matters.
The background story: Unfortunately, the plane flight made me really sick. When we arrived home, we had to go to the grocery store. It was hot, I was tired, starving and my head felt like it was going to explode. Anyways, after eating a nice meal and laying down for a bit, I was slowly feeling like myself again.
I had not planned a workout for today, as I already had an amazing leg session yesterday and I knew the flight would leave me tired. I decided to start with a warm up and a ten minutes Pilates Workout to improve blood circulation, which has been proven to help with nausea and headache.
As I put on my workout clothes (my bikini, nothing else works in this heat), every muscle in my body seemed to protest. I didn’t want to move at all. My bed looked much more comfy and I could barely keep my eyes open.
Then, I kept saying to myself “You are just going to do that Pilates and nothing else. You love Pilates and you will feel so amazing afterwards. Then you can lie down.” I repeated that over and over through the whole Warm up till the start of the Pilates Video. And then the magic happened: I was able to properly activate the muscles that I could barely move before and my thoughts changed to “Oh my god, this feels so good!“
To me, the feeling after a great workout is addictive. Every time I work out, I compete with myself. Will I be able to lift heavier, go through the video without taking a break, complete more repetitions?
Once I was done with the Pilates Workout, I was thirsty for more! So in the end, this was my workout of the day:
I would like to point out that I never force myself to work out. Being motivated to work out does not mean that I grind my teeth and lift heavy although I can barely feel my legs. In fact, I have been through that phase and I am happy I do not see exercise as a “duty” anymore. The turning point was when I injured my hips because I ignored my muscle imbalances and pushed through the pain.
Nowadays, the term “motivation” expresses my commitment to health. This dedication has its roots in the positive effects exercise has had on my well-being. I am sure that it is possible to get very motivated to work out for solely aesthetic goals too. But anyone who has experienced pain and was able to reduce that with exercise, will understand how I feel.
The scientific background to this is the synaptic connection in the brain. In my case, “movement” is connected to “pain-free”, thus I get a secretion of dopamine and serotonin (hormones that make you happy), whenever I work out.
To sum it up: If you struggle to motivate yourself to exercise, try to link “exercise” to something you enjoy.
- Like to interact socially with others? Work out with your friends.
- If you enjoy listening to music, turn on your favorite beats and work out to that.
- Would you like to enjoy a treat (I do not like the word “cheat“)? Tell yourself you can only have that after your workout.
- Tell others about your workout plan for the day or post it on social media before you have done it. That way, you are forced to do it because otherwise you would be lying to yourself and others! 😉
Don’t forget, it is fine to take a few days off if you are mentally or physically burned out. This is meant as a general inspiration to help you motivate yourself on days you could work out, but your mind would rather do anything else …
Now it’s your turn! What are your tricks and tips to motivate yourself? (It can be related to something different than fitness and health too!)
With that said, it is time for me to finally relax on my comfy bed. I definitely earned it today! 🙂
Be back tomorrow to publish my next series of fitness tips focusing on muscle activation!