Rather than bashing yourself for not sticking to your workout goals, listen to your body. Perhaps it’s trying to tell you something. The goal this month is simple, move. Move your body in an enjoyable way, regularly and consistently. However, to maintain your momentum and consistency, you must also respect the wisdom of your body and address your unique challenges.
When Your Body Speaks To You
I often hear that exercise hurts, or the individual is too tired or can’t wake up to work out. In these cases, your body is talking to you. Exercise is important, but berating yourself for being lazy or lacking self-discipline isn’t the most efficient road to the gym. Here are some other considerations for when your body is telling you not to workout.
First, invest in a good pair of shoes that fit you. Go to Fleet Feet for an evaluation of your gait and a shoe fitting. While you are there, ladies, get a sports bra that fits. Wearing comfortable clothes and shoes during exercise makes the experience more enjoyable and reduces your risk of an injury. Next, work with an exercise professional. Maybe your form is off, or maybe you are taking too much on to soon. In the meantime, find something that doesn’t hurt. Walking, cycling and swimming may be better choices for you.
Bottom line: Exercise shouldn’t hurt. If it does, ask why, and keep in mind the reason is not “Well, you are out of shape! What do you expect?” Figure out why it hurts and find a solution.
I’m too tired.
Fatigue is a common complaint in our overworked and stressed out society. If your fatigue is getting in the way of your workout, it’s time to investigate. Perhaps you are deficient in iron, vitamin B12, folate or vitamin D. Perhaps your thyroid is underperforming. Maybe your adrenals glands are becoming sluggish. Perhaps your gastrointestinal tract is not working properly and you aren’t absorbing the nutrients from food. Or maybe it is time to evaluate your life for a better balance between work, family, friends, stress and relaxation.
My “I’m too tired” story.
Here’s a personal example. I love to run, and usually I am a pretty decent runner. But earlier this summer my legs felt like a thousand pounds and I could barely run for 5 minutes straight. Rather than torture myself through my usual runs beating up on myself for not running like I usually do, I shifted to run-walking, increased strength training and asked why. It turned out my thyroid wasn’t where it should be and my zinc and vitamin B12 levels were also lower than ideal. Asking why allowed me to figure out what was really going on and correct the problem.
Bottom line: Fatigue is a canary in a coal mine. If you are fatigued, ask why, and don’t stop until you feel fantastic!
I’m too sleepy. I can’t get up.
Like fatigue, poor sleep is another sign that something is amiss. Maybe you have anxiety and your thoughts keep you up at night. Perhaps you have nutrient deficiencies contributing to restless legs syndrome or maybe you have sleep apnea and are missing out on deep restorative sleep. Maybe your stress level is so high that you get too few hours of sleep and you are restless during the night. In all of these situations, you must address and correct the underlying problem, not only for you to wake up and workout, but more importantly so that you achieve the good health you deserve. Adequate and deep sleep is absolutely essential to good physical and mental health.
Bottom line: If you are dragging every morning, hitting the snooze button and missing your workout, please take a closer look at sleep.
Simply ask “why?”
My point is that many people internalize their difficulties maintaining an exercise regimen. Not only is this detrimental to emotional wellbeing, but it also leaves symptoms and complaints unaddressed. Our bodies are meant to move. We are designed for walking, running, lifting and playing. In order to achieve good physical, mental and emotional health, ask yourself “why am I not enjoying exercise? The answer will pave your way to a great workout.
Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for personalized nutrition or health advice or healthcare. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read or accessed through this website.