Psychology and fitness

RunnerNow that I’m working out again I’ve been thinking about how I’m coping mentally with high-intensity exercise.

I’m scheduling this post for Friday despite writing it on Thursday. Simply because I want you to read about fitness while I’m attempting a longish run. Also, this weekend I’m heading to bootcamp. It’s going to be amazing but also a bit of an eye opener.

I wanted to share what I’ve learnt from the ups and downs of working out over the past few years.

You can keep going

This is something I learnt from having a personal trainer. If you are on the treadmill for a nice long run and decide you need to walk to get your breath back, you probably don’t. That’s just your brain telling you that your body is under stress and that you should stop. It’s at this point where it’s even more important to keep running. You’ll push through that wall and will be able to keep going and going.

If you really are out of breath, as in, you can’t talk, then reduce the speed of the treadmill a little. Don’t walk, just run a little slower.

Just one more rep

Once you start to feel fatigued with an exercise – a bench press, for example – try and get out a few more reps. It’s at this stage that you muscles are reacting to the lift. A few more reps will help you to build and tone (and no, ladies, building muscle will not make you bulky).

Défier la gravité (2)

We tend to think that as soon as we start to get tired we should stop. Don’t. Push yourself, even if it is for one more rep. If you have someone spotting you, or are on a machine, go to failure. Do as many reps as you can until you get to a stage where you can’t physically do any more.

Listen to music

Some people don’t like to workout with music but listening to an upbeat song can really prepare you for that next set or a long run.

Should I exercise?

You might wake up in the morning and go through a whole series of reasons why you should and shouldn’t go for a run or head to the gym. Spending that time wondering if you should exercise would be better spent either sleeping or exercising. You’re already awake so just get up and get out there.

She Runs and Shine

I know it’s never that easy but if you realise what you’re doing you’re more likely to make that decision rather and um and ah over it until you actually run out of time to get your exercise in.

Adapt

Generally, if our situation changes we tend to struggle. Once you’re in a routine of breakfast-gym-work-lunch-work-home-dinner you’re not going to want to break it. This is the reason why a lot of people stop exercising once their situation changes.

I am so guilty of this. I’m no longer in the city, therefore it’s too difficult for me to get to the gym. What a load of crap, I can drive. Ben broke his leg, I need to look after him. Crap again, he can cope for 30 minutes while I go out for a run.

The quicker you learn to adapt and stop making excuses, the sooner you can get back into a nice routine. It took me two months!

No one is looking at you

A lot of people steer clear of the gym because they are worried about working out in public. It’s the same with running outside. Honestly, not everyone is looking at you. I’ve never had anyone talk to me at the gym or shout anything while I was running. I’ve never even noticed anyone looking at me.

At the gym everyone is in their own world. They’re not there to look at other people who are trying to get fit. Yes, you might get someone stare if you are wearing a crop top and very tiny, very tight shorts but that’s your own fault.

Is there anything the stops you exercising or pushes you to go a bit further?

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