Monday, April 26, 2010

Make it Work Monday: Get Through Your Workout Even When You're Tired

I often start a workout with the best of intentions and, about five to ten minutes in, suddenly feel as if I just can't do it anymore. Generally this is related to eating crap for hours beforehand or having a coffee at the wrong time and having the caffeine and sugar drop off shortly into the workout, but sometimes it's just due to life and stress and general lack of rest. For years I thought that sinking, tired feeling was reason enough to quit working out and call it good for the day, but one day when I stubbornly stuck it out, I discovered that if I stick it out through the low point, my body gets the message that it's not over yet and presents me with some more energy. It's all a matter of tricking myself in order to make it through that low point until my body taps into my energy stores (mostly located on my inner thighs, I believe) and kicks it back into gear. If I use all my usual tricks and find that I am still feeling as if I'm at the bottom of the low point, I know that I am simply too tired and it's time to throw in the towel.

The key here is to figure out what it takes to distract yourself for a short time so that you are thinking about something other than the workout. I really enjoy daydreaming, so often I'll just sink into a daydream and that will do it. In tougher times, I use a combination of reviewing my to do list for the week and running through what comes up next in the workout, convincing myself that it's really not long until it's over. After I've distracted myself for three to five minutes, I usually have made it to the other side of the low point. That's not very long. Then I finish the workout and treat myself to a cookie a healthy snack.

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