You can do anything with the right mindset.
There’s no question—2020 was a crazy year! Not sure how you feel, but I’ve found myself oscillating between hope and anxiety. Some days, I’m full of energy and others, I’m completely drained!
To save my mental health, I’ve turned to daily exercise (even when I don’t feel up for it). After years of relying on movement to help boost my spirits, get through breakups and repress negative self-talk, I’ve identified 3 recurring scenarios that tend to derail my health and fitness goals.
In this article, I’ll discuss these scenarios and provide 3 strategies to get you through your next workout even when you don’t want to.
How to Work Out When You’re Mentally Exhausted
Whether you’re having relationship issues, are emotionally drained from searching for jobs or are mentally exhausted from caring for your children, your body needs movement. But in times like these, the last thing you want to do is work out.
The good news is, if you can just get through a quick sweat sesh, your energy levels will spike and you’ll boost your mood.
Here’s how to get moving, even when you don’t feel like it:
Keep it simple. When you’re mentally exhausted, skip the hardcore HIIT class and tricky cardio moves and opt for a quick and simple workout. Explore Gymondo and find a wide variety of low-impact programs, from yoga to Pilates, barre and more.
Pump up the jam. Sweat it out to your favorite workout playlist. Research suggests that listening to music increases the enjoyment of exercise by up to 28 percent. You can now pair your favorite Gymondo workouts with Spotify to stay more motivated than ever before.
Find your happy place. What special place brings you peace? Is it your living room? Maybe you prefer to be outdoors. Wherever it may be, you’re much more likely to start and finish a workout if you choose a spot that brings you joy. So, choose wisely!
Remove the metrics. There’s a time and place to compete against yourself and others, but on days when you’re mentally exhausted, PRs should be removed from the mix. Instead, opt for an untimed run, a gentle yoga class or a walk through the park without worrying about your pace. You’ve got a lot on your plate, so make these days stress-free.
How to Work Out When You’re Physically Exhausted
Some days, you may feel great mentally, but your body is less energetic. You might be sore, tired, overworked or hampered by injury. On days like this, you need some low-impact exercises to get your body moving without placing too much stress on your joints.
Take it down a notch. Instead of running, take a long walk. Replace HIIT with a low-impact cardio class. The most important thing is to listen to your body and choose an activity that won’t wreak havoc on your joints.
Keep your mind active. Your mind is strong today, so take advantage of the situation. Listen to an audiobook or podcast while completing your workout or focus on foundational movements to improve your technique for certain exercises. Whatever you do, try to engage your brain.
Stay social from a distance. Your mental energy is strong today, making it the perfect opportunity to engage socially. Invite a friend—even virtually—to join you for a walk or light jog. Research indicates that having a workout buddy holds you accountable and increases your likelihood of success.
How to Work Out When You’re Both Mentally and Physically Exhausted
You’re completely drained, both physically and mentally. All you want to do is crawl into bed and sleep. But you know if you do this, you’ll feel super guilty. Here’s what to do instead:
Keep it super light. Think light yoga, foam rolling, meditation or mobility work. Your body will thank you for doing something good for yourself.
Go for a long walk. Walking can do wonders for your mental, emotional and physical health, especially outdoors. So, get moving! I promise, you’ll feel much better afterward.
Treat yourself. Show yourself some love through self-care. Take a hot bath, stretch your body or de-stress through meditation. Whatever you’re into, today’s the day to do it!
Movement is the most cost-effective way to alleviate stress, boost your mood and renew your energy. But it’s not for everyone. If just thinking about working out brings you extra stress, honor that. Instead, focus on something that serves you better, whether it’s a healthy meal or a self-care day. The key is to get to know yourself and listen to your body.