Wednesday, February 21, 2018

When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

You’ve been at it since those new year resolutions, yet you still struggle with exercise. What happened to the feel-good hormones fitness is supposed to trigger …?

You don’t always feel like spending time with your closest friends. You aren’t always motivated to see a movie. You may not want to go out to dinner. And these activities are pure pleasure. If you don’t feel like exercising– which involves sweat and exertion and all kinds of effort—this does not signal failure with a sentence of life on the couch.

It’s Hard Work

Even for athletes, fitness is not always fun and games.
Even for athletes, fitness is not always fun and games.

People, especially those new to exercise, many not be realistic about the amount of work involved in maintaining a fit life. Even after your workout becomes a habit, it still requires discipline and persistence. It is not all about song playlists, new sneakers, and fist bumps with workout buddies. It is about exercising even when your family is settling in for a night of TV, your pants are still too snug, and you can’t seem to get beyond that tenth rep.

As a committed exerciser, you quickly realize there is a lot of effort behind the scenes before your debut of the new you. The struggle can be very real. But, you can be very tough. Choose tough.

Remind Yourself of Instant Motivators

If weight loss is your main reason for exercising, motivation may seem marathons away. It takes time to achieve goals, especially when they involve obtaining a healthy weight. Dropping one pound probably will not inspire you to tackle the Fitness Floor. This journey has to be about more than pants size.

Boost energy, mood, confidence, and weight-loss efforts with one workout.
Boost energy, mood, confidence, and weight-loss efforts with one workout.

You don’t need to wait until your next fitness evaluation to realize these perks:

  • You’ll be one step closer to weight loss, even though you won’t drop a size after one fitness session. A single workout can increase your strength and metabolism, both needed to obtain a healthy weight.
  • You’ll have more energy. From the start until immediately after exercise, functions like blood flow and cardiac output increase. Charge through the rest of your day or enjoy a more vivid night. The best remedy for fatigue is often a burst of movement.
  • You’ll be in a better mood. But, to experience those feel-good hormones, you have to get moving! An invigorating rush of endorphins kicks in at the onset of your workout. The mere thought of exercise won’t release them; otherwise, everyone would simply watch fitness-gear infomercials.
  • You’ll boost your self-confidence. Spend 30 minutes doing something positive for yourself that you didn’t feel like doing. (Spend 60 minutes!) This alone boosts self-esteem. If that “something” included physical exertion, overcoming obstacles, and a personal pep talk, the results are even more empowering. Your self-image will start to shine from the inside before you even sculpt a bicep.

Like any relationship, a commitment to exercise takes time, energy, and often a ton of work. It is worth this investment. And, after a while, your fitness experience will be like spending time with that close friend—fun and gratifying with just the amount of challenges to make results that much sweeter.

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