Most times when I exercise, I really enjoy it. I love to sweat. I love to increase my heart rate. And, I love the endorphins that get released into my blood stream as a result of my hard work. That said, there are definitely times when I do cardio (especially running outside) that I feel like the workout is too ‘painful’ or too difficult to really push through. I, as well as many others, have ways of getting past the feeling of ‘I just don’t want to run any further’ or ‘I’m too tired to keep going.’
Here are some ways to keep you motivated through the tough times of your fitness routine:
- Play that Funky Music: Music has a great way of motivating a person to keep going. Try to choose beats that are high energy and that even prompt you to want to dance. Often those types of beats give you the extra boost you need to keep pushing through. Avoid music that is relaxing or soothing, as they will tend to slow you down.
- Take in the Sights: If you are outside, focus on the scenery. If you are inside, watch a movie. Basically, stop focusing on what you are feeling and instead, focus on what you are seeing.
- Be your own Mentor:Although being mindful of your form during cardio is important, it doesn’t take as much focus as strength training, pilates or yoga. Use your high energy cardio workouts to sort out personal or professional dilemmas and to think through strategies to deal with difficult situations. Keeping your mind preoccupied will keep it from focusing on the ‘pain’ or lack of energy you might be feeling.
- Break it Down: Reminding yourself that you have to run for 30 minutes or 3 miles every two seconds is really self-defeating. Instead, make mini-goals that you feel are achievable. For instance, run until you have burned 50 calories or until you have gone half a mile. Once you do, set a new mini-goal to reach the next milestone. Before you know it, you will have run the 3 miles.
- Reward Yourself: There is nothing more motivating than the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you are really struggling, think of something you really want and promise yourself that if you finish your fitness goal for the day, you will reward yourself with the ‘treat’ you are dying to have.
- Pace Yourself: Some people, when they reach ‘the wall’, reach it because they started off with a bang and got tired too quickly. Slow down to a point where you feel your heart rate is in a good range and you can breathe properly. Once you feel better, pick up the pace.
Hopefully some of these help. Do you have any great ways to push through the ‘wall’?