Finding the Energy Even When You Hit the 'Wall'
If you exercise, you've no doubt had a moment when, inexplicably, you hit the wall. Your energy drains away, your heart rate shoots up and it feels like someone secretly strapped 10-lb weights to your feet. At that moment, you have a choice: You can quit or you can push through that fatigue and finish your workout anyway.
Quitting may be the right choice, but, there are also good reasons to take on that challenge. It is in pushing your boundaries that you become stronger, both physically and mentally. So, how do you keep going when your energy is waning? A little mental maneuvering can help you get through a tough workout.
Remember Your Goals
I once had a client who wore a bracelet with the word "CELLULITE" written on it. When she felt like stopping, she looked at that bracelet for a reminder that every step brought her closer to her goal of losing weight.
If you're lacking motivation to finish your workout, use a visual reminder, like she did, or just mentally list your own goals:
You can even turn it into a mantra, repeating silently "I'm getting stronger" or "I'm losing weight" with each step forward. It may sound a little cheesy but, when you're in the moment, the right thought can be the difference between quitting and succeeding.
Visualize Your Success
Athletes often use this trick to get through their training because it can improve performance and provides the boost they need to keep moving, even when they're tired. Use this trick yourself by picturing yourself finishing your workout. Imagine how you'll feel - satisfied, proud of yourself, confident and ready to face the rest of the day. And don't just picture yourself finishing the workout, imagine you're gliding through it effortlessly. Visualize your body operating in perfect sync - shoulders down, breathing relaxed and stride confident. Just the thought of your body operating like a well-oiled machine can change your posture and, perhaps, even your perception of how your body feels.
Break it Down
If you've ever been on a cardio machine, you've probably experienced that horrifying moment when you look at the clock and realize you've only been working out for six minutes. Suddenly, another 30 or so minutes sounds like torture. Gym machines can be a little boring anyway, but there are those days when every minute feels like an hour. To push through that mental block, try breaking your workout into more manageable pieces:
We all have days when our bodies are simply tired. If you track your heart rate, you'll see signs of this if it's higher than usual. You can also pay attention to perceived exertion - if you feel that you're working unusually hard at an easy or moderate activity, that may be a sign that you need to:
It's great to be mentally present in whatever you're doing but, certain types of exercise, like running and walking, offer you an opportunity to let your mind wander as your body goes through the motions. This can be especially helpful when you're having a difficult workout. You can use your workout time to tackle problems in your life, organize your time or check in with yourself. Some ideas:
The great thing about this approach is that you finish your workout while also solving problems that may have seemed overwhelming before you got started.
Not everything works out the way we plan. If your workout is the pits, don't give up just yet. Pushing through to the end will prove what you're really made of and lessen any