If your exercise routine remains the same for a long time, at some point, you will feel a loss of spark that had been the driving force behind good workouts. At the very least, you’ll go through cycles, where you struggle to summon motivation. This is true in many aspects of our lives. It can be good to introduce variety into any routine, and it can keep your exercise plan rolling.
Dips in motivation can be triggered by many things, such as a family emergency, grief over loss and job demands. When you are raising kids, it adds layers of complexity and strain on your energy reserves. It can be tempting to just sit and relax rather than sticking to a workout plan.
Yet, through it all, your body craves movement, and as counterintuitive as it might seem, summoning energy to exercise actually creates new stores of both energy and patience to tackle life’s challenges! That’s why, no matter what, you should make yourself do something when you have a workout scheduled.
Next time you feel a lack of energy and motivation to exercise—make yourself start. Get into motion, and keep yourself going, no matter how lethargic you feel. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to release endorphins, which can reduce perceptions of pain and make you feel happier—a short-term payoff that can last up to 24 hours.
The one constant has to be consistency. In the recent past, I lost my mom and my niece, so every day is an unknown in terms of how I’ll feel. I pay attention to how I’m feeling each day. Some days, I want to push hard, so I lift weights or do cardio, and that feels good. Other days, it feels right to be gentler, so I run on the treadmill or do lighter weights. But I never miss a day of working out. I often think that after you’ve been working out for a while, your body and mind find comfort just from being in the gym.
There’s a big difference between the need for variety and giving yourself permission to skip workouts. At UpLift, we help our members learn how to use resistance training as the foundation of fitness because it’s the most important component. We also teach stretching, high-intensity training (HIIT) and more.
Our bodies were not meant to sit at a desk all day, followed by lounging on the couch all evening. Even when you lack motivation, your body is secretly craving motion. Give it what it wants, and everything in your life will become easier.
Jill Strand and Chris Radke are owners and certified trainers at UpLift Guided Fitness in Woodbury. 651.209.6778