Getting to the gym and managing your workout schedule is challenging. We all have great intentions at the beginning, but sometimes life throws curveballs at us and tries to derail the process, leaving us behind on our schedule, or worse still, we feel like we just can’t be bothered anymore.
This happens to all of us at some point, and it’s a demon we need to know how to slay when it comes to haunt us. We must be on good terms with our workouts to keep the process going and reach our goals. Like any relationship, it can break down for various reasons, so let’s break down some common factors that tend to leave us in a bad place when it comes to exercise.
Some of us need an extra push to get off the couch or some reining in once in a while. Finding the balance between too much and too little physical activity comes easily for others. Below are a few things these people do differently.
1. Renew your relationship with food.
The exercise/eating balance must be addressed occasionally to ensure it doesn’t become an issue. It’s important that you eat to fuel your exercise and use the energy to power your workout. Suppose you are exercising to eat what you like. In that case, it’s not a particularly healthy relationship, and it can lead to eating disorders as food can be seen as a problem rather than a benefit.
A healthy relationship with food is when you eat to exercise rather than exercise so you can eat. Make sure you’re working WITH food and not against it.
2. Good pain rather than bad pain.
A lousy workout experience can put us off, especially one that feels physically painful. The trick is recognizing the difference between a burn and a pain that has pushed your body too far.
Post-workout feelings of aches and stiffness can make us feel optimistic about our exercise as we know we’ve ripped the muscles enough to repair and become stronger and bigger. Pushing things too far means we risk the kind of pain that results from injuries or potential injuries, so keeping the balance right is essential.
3. Make sure you take a break
A big mistake many people make when trying to bulk up is to take things too quickly. Many see taking a day or two off as a weakness when it’s the reverse. Be strong enough to decide to rest and take time off to ensure your muscles are fully recovering.
Failure to do so will result in potential strains and other forms of injury, which will set back your time plan. When planning a workout schedule, make sure you incorporate rest days and view them as time off that you can spend doing something different which you enjoy so you return to the gym refreshed and ready for action.
4. Workout with a friend
Some banter while you work out is excellent as it can take your mind off the seriousness of your workout and turn it on its head so it becomes more light-hearted. It also turns working out into a social occasion, which makes it more relaxing. A relaxing workout tends to be productive, so you win all around in this situation. You’ll also be there to encourage and advise each other, so the workout will likely be more productive.
5. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself
We won’t lie to you- not all workouts will be fun, and some days you’ll wonder why you even bother putting in the time. As long as we accept that things won’t always go to plan, we can avoid putting excess pressure on ourselves and allow ourselves some breathing space. Off-days will happen when we’re tired or mentally stressed, but if we don’t beat ourselves up over it, the workout journey will be far more enjoyable, and we are more likely to put more effort into it on the good days.
6. Mix it up
We know we have to work on the areas where we are less strong, and often, it tends to be because we prefer a particular type of exercise or workout machine. Our workouts can often center around the ones we enjoy, which is fantastic, but we all know that if we want to progress, we need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone.
This doesn’t mean we have to focus solely on these exercises; it just means we should mix them up a bit so we don’t get bored.
7. Think about the benefits to your mental health
When we think of working out, we associate it with the physical benefits, but it’s important to remember that it can also have positive mental health benefits. If we can use our workouts to project the benefits of exercise to ourselves and keep reminding ourselves of the long-term gains we will make, it will positively impact our workout sessions.
It can help to list all the positives on a piece of paper and stick it up somewhere you can see it. Positives such as the gains you’ve already made, the ones you hope to make, how much stronger you feel after each workout and how feeling stronger has positively impacted your life, such as reduced stress and anxiety.
8. Be in control of your workout sessions
By this, we don’t just mean how you go through your workout; it’s also important not to allow exercise to control you. Workouts are important if you want to make gains, but when they become an obsession, they can lead to problems. Decide when you will be working out and get the balance right with your personal life to get enough time for both. For many people, the whole purpose of their journey in the gym is to improve the quality of their personal life, so if the latter is being affected by spending too much time at the gym, you won’t get where you want to be. Balance it out to make the right progress.
Making sure your workouts don’t go stale and reminding yourself of the progress you’ve made and continue to make will keep your relationship with working out a healthy one. Keep it interesting and fun, and get the balance right.
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