For the past several weeks I have been squeezing in a 3-4 mile run between my early morning boot camps. It starts my day off energized and since beginning this routine, I’ve felt great. It’s a mini workout I’ve grown to love.
But yesterday, I felt tired. I ran on both Saturday and Sunday to train for the BIG Palmetto 200 race this weekend, and I knew my body was requesting a break.
But while my body was telling me it was tired, my brain was telling me to run.
Telling me things like:
–> You know you’ll feel better if you do it.
–>You know you’re trying to shape up from the winter… it’s not going to happen by itself.
–> If you miss this one run, you’re going to feel gross.
–> Just do it.
My response? I wanted to punch my brain and tell it to shut up.
And that’s what I did… well, I didn’t really punch it. But I did take the “lazy” route: I slept for 30 minutes instead.
Sometimes deciding to be lazy is harder than getting a workout in.
You’re Not Going To Get Fat From A Missed Workout
Here’s a piece of advice that not many trainers will tell you…
You’re not going to get fat if you miss a workout. You’re not going to wake up 5 pounds heaver and unable to fit into your clothes.
Just like eating one slice of pizza won’t hurt your figure, skipping out on a run or a lifting session because you’re physically exhausted isn’t going to make your endurance or your strength plummet.
–> Have you ever felt guilty for missing a workout?
–> Have you ever worked out even though you knew it probably wasn’t a good idea?
It’s funny, exercise is suppose to make us feel good. Yet, sometimes we get to a point of dependence. A dependence so strong that it causes anxiety and fear if we don’t get our fix.
Tips To Take Control Of Your Love Of Exercise
It’s all a mental game.
It’s your brain that tells you that you have to workout. That the more you workout, the better you’ll be as a person, the better you’ll look, and the better you’ll feel. If you don’t workout… all the hard work and results that you have seen will disappear and you’ll start back at ground zero.
I understand not everyone has these feelings, but many women do. In fact, I’ve been there. All of those thoughts, were thoughts that have, at some point in time, popped into my own mind.
Of course exercise can help all of those elements and of course it’s great for you. But there does come a point where you have to step back and say… okay, I need a break.
You have to be in charge, you have to control the thoughts that pop into your head so that you continue to have a healthy relationship with fitness.
1. Skip your workout.
Do you remember the last time that you missed a workout? If not, perhaps now is the time. I recommend to clients all the time, if they haven’t missed a workout in at least 12-weeks, take a mini vacation now. Take off 3-5 days to allow your body time to fully recover. You might just start back with a new mental outlook.
If the idea of taking multiple days off from the gym is scary, start with just one day. Skip today. Take a deep breath and play hooky.
Can’t wait to get back into SUP to change things up!
2. Try something new.
If you’ve been doing the same thing for quite some time, it’s definitely time to change it up. You’ll get a different perspective on your fitness and your relationship with exercise that can really make a difference.
Try a new class at the gym, enroll in a boot camp, or even try online personal training!
3. Journal your fitness emotions.
Not sure if you have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with fitness? That’s okay! Find out by keeping tabs on your emotions. Use a journal to keep track of how you feel before and after workouts. Write down the emotions that would swell up if you missed a workout.
You might find that working out is just part of the routine, but if you missed a day, the day wouldn’t be ruined. Or you might discover that your love of exercise needs to take a little break.
4. Listen to your body.
When we were kids we ignored our parents advice all the time, now looking back we often find ourselves saying they were right after all.
The same is true with your body, it knows what is good for you and what isn’t. If you feel tired and run down, take those feelings as a sign to chill out. Instead of a structured planned workout, go for a walk or take a yoga class. Be active without burning your body out.
5. Know the hard work is done.
This is more for events that you’ve been training for. If you have a big race coming up and you’re just days away… the training is done.
Take the last few days to allow your body to rest and recover from that training so that you can succeed. Trying to cram in a few more miles or few extra lifting sessions aren’t going to benefit you as the body doesn’t get stronger during a workout but during recovery. Those benefits won’t happen until after the event is over and done, the only thing you’re doing is jeopardizing your performance by going at it with a tired body.
I know that this post might not relate to you. But for many women, exercise becomes more of an addiction and a matter of fear (not wanting to go back to where we started). For those women, remember to think about what being fit is really about… being healthy, being energized, and being confident.
It has taken me a very long time to love exercise not because it burns calories but because it makes me a better overall person. But yes, I am finally there and hopefully you are too!