I woke up today feeling like I was not up for my morning workout routine.
I did not want to get up from my bed. I just wanted to doze off and wake up when I felt like it. Perhaps, to wake up only when I felt hungry and go back to bed after eating. Such temptations! Sometimes, I do conform to such relaxing whispers of excessive opportunities. That’s called being human.
But more often than not, visualization gets the best of me, I daydream, just to remember why I love working out in the first place: 1) It makes me mentally sharp, 2) I feel energized and strong for the rest of the day, 3) My overall physical health is in check, and 4) I feel good, like in an empowered sexy woman kind-of-way afterward.
This is why working out is important to me. I try to make it a much-devoted activity in which I get to connect with mySELF. With my music and my favorite pair of sneakers, I am usually out the door by 6 AM. Working out makes me feel good about myself: mentally, physically, and even spiritually.
However, I do encounter Workout Blues. It’s a term that I created, meaning it’s the point of being when we just do not want to workout anymore. We are adamant, usually giving reasons such as, “I do not have time to do it today,” “I feel very tired,” or “I’m just really busy at work now. I will workout when everything settles down.” Yes, I am familiar with them because I have had my fair share of creating these exact excuses.
Workout Blues is when we do not feel excited, motivated, or determined to do our exercise routines even with the influence of people, good music, enough sleep, motivating gyms, and dedicated trainers. Workout Blues is a lack of joy with the opportunity of working out. The sad thing about this is how workout blues tend to last for days, weeks, months, and even years.
This is why it is important to beat this mentality.
Over the years, I have come up with my own way of removing my Workout Blues. I hope it might be of help to you as well:
1. Learn to Mix and Match your Exercise
That’s the thing. Working out does not necessarily mean that you have to stick to only one kind of workout. No way. You can do as many exercises as you want as long as you enjoy all of them. Don’t force yourself to like something you do not feel like doing such as doing Pilates when you actually prefer Boxing. That’s why there are many options, you just need to choose your own personal preference.
For instance, I love to dance. I do dance salsa, bachata, but mostly, I do hip- hop freestyle. So whenever I feel groovy, I drop the weights and head to my dance studio. In the mornings, I enjoy doing yoga and morning stretches. It just makes me feel connected to everything around me, especially when I do it outdoors while overlooking the sun rising.
As a former basketball athlete, I still do some shooting warm-ups and the occasional play. Hours will pass and I won’t notice it simply because I am having so much fun. Or sometimes I like to do gardening. You may not know it, but squatting and pulling those unwanted weeds, tilling the soil, or just watering the plants can burn a lot of calories too! I get to choose from these numerous choices.
One does not need to limit themselves to just doing their exercises in the gym and nobody deserves to do a repetitive, dull, or disconnecting workout for the sake of their own sanity.
Learn to mix and match your exercise.
2. Challenge Yourself (Unless you want to get bored…)
It is human nature to get easily bored with something repetitive. Or worse, when it does not challenge us anymore. Same goes with workouts, if you do not challenge yourself, you won’t be inclined to do it as much as you can.
That is why I made it my initiative to challenge myself whenever I workout. Running an hour a day is not enough. I need to feel like I am moving forward, improving, and getting better at something I am working on. So I would track the speed of my run and try to beat it on a daily basis. It becomes more exciting that way…
Learning a new step in dancing is challenging. You have to do it again and again, for hours, days, or even weeks before you can do it gracefully. And yet once you do it right, you feel like you’ve won the lottery! Imagine how sad it will be if one only dances a single kind of step again and again.
Whenever I shoot some hoops, I actually tabulate the shots that I made. That way, I get to compare them on the former days. To check if I am improving my shooting percentage. This made me determined, to be able to keep track of my progress.
It is for a purpose, an aim, that makes us want to get up and do things the right way and not the other way around.
Challenge yourself unless you want to get bored.
3. Eat Well in Order to Workout Well
True Story: I once fell asleep in the middle of a workout core session. I woke up, an hour later, my sweat all dried up while feeling groggy and confused. It wasn’t the best of my moments. Turns out, I have been working out for more than two hours and I have forgotten to eat my pre-workout meal. My body ran out of energy and shut off like an uncharged low battery.
Ever since then, I would prepare my meals before and after my workouts. It’s the only way to feed my vegan body. I had to eat good food so that I could function without headaches, crankiness, and energy loss.
My nutritionist, Dr. Juvy Martillos Sy keeps on telling me, “In order to be healthy, build muscle, and work out well, you need to find a lifestyle habit that is sustainable. You do not need to starve or go after fad diets.”
We also need to eat the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat while following our calorie counted meals. Eating too much of something conflicts our bodily functions. Drinking water should also be accounted for. Try to drink at least four liters of water every day, especially if you live in hot places.
Eat well in order to work out well.
4. Create a Meditative Energy Beforehand (and afterward..)
Don’t force it. Don’t stress it. Don’t hate it. “You need to do it but you should also want to do it.”
Sometimes I read motivating quotes or listen to upbeat music to get my mood right before working out but usually, I just sit, munch on something, and bond with my friends. It helps me feel at ease and motivated at the same time. So instead of feeling forced or obligated to do a workout, I feel pampered and I look forward to these rituals before working out.
As Chuck Norris said, “Exercise, prayer, and meditation are examples of calming rituals. They have been shown to induce a happier mood and provide a positive pathway through life’s daily frustrations.”
After my workouts, I take a nice long shower, eat my favorite recovery meal (avocados, sweet potatoes, and fruit) and continue the rest of my day with a positive and energetic vibe.
Create meditative energy beforehand and afterward.
5. Have a Support Group to Motivate you Consistently
I’ve tried using online apps to track my workout progress. I’ve also used all kinds of digital gadgets for every random detail. I’ve learned that these things do not create as much of an impact compared to having a support group of people with the same vision or goal.
I actually appreciate it when I can dance, run, or play with people who can push my limits by challenging me to do my best. They will watch over your progress when you have forgotten or lost touch of your priorities. You will receive reminders from them, “Hey, you’re gaining weight,” “Let’s go for a run tonight,” or “Come out! We will dance tonight!”
Everything becomes more fun, to work with like-minded individuals. I will always be grateful to have people who choose to motivate me to be a better person.
Have a support group to motivate you consistently.
Why have Workout Blues when you can enjoy working out?