For When The Spark Isn’t Quite There
You know it’s time to start throwing your limbs around and kick the heart rate up a few notches, but for some reason you just can’t bring yourself to put your pants on and head downstairs.
Maybe wait till tomorrow. Then you’ll have your game face on.
This is the sort of crisis that we’ve all had at point or another during the lockdown, and it’s okay. You can always live to fight another day. One missed workout doesn’t change much in the grand scheme of things.
But that sort of thinking is generally a bad idea. Once you’ve set a precedent for lazy behaviour, it starts getting disastrously easy to wave off your fitness duties for another day. One day turns into a streak of five. They start to stack up. You now have to find other ways to make yourself feel different.
The best course of action is always to stick with the schedule. If you’ve decided to work out today, you need to follow through. But during these crisis days, it’s going to take a monumental effort to get going.
Here are some choice ways to whip yourself into action.
1. Find Your Best Time Of Day
First thing in the morning isn’t the be-all and end-all for being productive. Depending on which of the four chronotypes you fit into, your peak time could be much later in the day. So try and hit that sweet spot and train when free of cobwebs.
2. It Doesn’t Have To Be Long
The grand scale of what you have to go through can often be enough to put you off. Exercise doesn’t have to be stretched out over an hour in order to be beneficial. It could even be a quick 13 minutes if you’re fast enough.
3. Know What You’re Getting Into
Having a clear idea of what’s on the schedule will help a great deal, so it’s good to get your training down in writing. Otherwise, it can feel a bit aimless, and your head gets turned at the first distraction that floats past you.
4. Change Into Your Workout Gear
Get your sweatband and summer shorts on before you even think about exercising. You need to wire the brain to recognise the patterns, connect the dots, and shift up a gear in response. Exercise should feel like an occasion, and playing dress up will pay off massively in the long run.
5. Remember How Good You Felt After The Last Time
This only works if you’ve exercised before without breaking down into tears at the end. What you’re trying to do is seal the end of the habit loop, by visualising the reward that follows the action. When you exercise, you’re typically going to get a rush of endorphins and feel better about yourself by the end. If you can hone in on that promise, you’ll be more tempted to start.
6. Have A Strong Coffee
There’s a reason caffeine has held off centuries of competition to preserve the mantle of the world’s favourite drug. So why not combine it with one of its main contenders? You’ll feel sharper, maybe a little jittery, but ready for action.
7. Take A Walk First
If you’re trying to turn on the fireworks from a state of complete idleness, it’s not going to be a smooth transition. Sometimes you just have to get the limbs moving. A brisk walk gives you some much needed oxygen and vitamin D, and those alone will get you in a clearer state of mind. It might even feel tempting to break into a light jog.
8. Start With A Circuit
Another issue that comes up when you’ve been spread over the sofa for a few hours, is the fact that your adrenals will be taking the day off. Without adrenaline to back you up, you’ll be better off doing yoga instead. Beginning the session with any sort of interval training will force them up a gear, at which point they should be able to carry you through the session.
9. Get Your Favourite Playlist Going
Treat exercise as the occasion it deserves to be. You’re trying to heighten the senses and disturb homeostasis for at least a few minutes. So set up an environment that suits whatever type of exercise you’re getting into.
10. Think About The Haters
Sometimes it’s good to go for the old-school brute force approach to motivation. Think about whatever rustles your jimmies, dig up those skeletons from high school, and channel the resulting rage into your workout. There’s always a risk of stirring up your chronic anxiety instead, so tread here with care.
11. Realise That Future You Is A Slob
The typical idea of procrastinating is leaving the work for the future self to figure out. Once you understand that this guy is a couch potato with no prospects, then you’ll realise that you have to pull double shifts to make up.
12. This Is What The High-Flyers Are Doing
All these 30 year-old millionaires follow the same trick. Regardless of what side of bed they crawl out of, they stick with the schedule. Morning fasted runs, cold showers, meditation, whatever they are up against, they get the job done. Don’t focus on building the perfect day, channel yourself into creating the average day. It’s the sum total of the normal days that stacks up to get you that lamborghini.
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Carnivore Diet Coach And Personal Trainer