What you may not know about me is that I love, love, love to work out.
Sure, there are times where I’m guilty of the late Classpass cancellation but deep down I know that after working out I’m on a cloud of endorphins and have never regretted getting my sweat on. I’ve been a regular exerciser since university with a few drop offs here and there. As I’ve hit my 30’s and have had been in several conversations with my older loved ones, I understand the importance of exercise as we age.
I've been asked how I stay motivated to stay on the exercise wagon, I think it's a matter of habit, to be honest. To get to that level I have some ideas below:
1. Exercise regulates hormones and mood.
I’ve noticed that when I don’t exercise regularly I feel really out of whack. I get grumpy, restless, my head gets foggy with thoughts. I don't sleep as easily. To get extra pent up energy out, I exercise; it provides a release. I’ve had some of my deeper thoughts come to me whilst in the middle of a spin class and I’ve had amazing moments of clarity while running through the alleyways near my home. I don't think it's a myth that working out improves your mood - one word: endorphins. This is a pretty good starting point to wanting to work out, right?
2. Knowing my limit.
I know the importance of not pushing it too much. Those periods of not wanting to work out have usually come when I’ve pushed myself too fast and too far. I fall in love with a new workout regime and want to do it all the time, everyday. Then I don't and exhaust my joy for it. Even mentally I have been known to be very hard on myself if I'm not able to physically do something. Running was a big one; as soon as I started dealing with aches and pains due to long distance running (and *cough* not stretching enough after), I felt myself getting frustrated every time I couldn't go as far as I wanted. Now I know that it's important to take care of myself. That might mean skipping a day or two; taking a week long break, or focusing on doing my basic physio exercises instead of engaging in a major sweat session. Being healthy and staying motivated is combination of work and rest.
3. Make sure I'm challenging myself.
I'm coming up to 300 completed classes through Classpass. I think when I reach that number (which is about 8 classes away) I'm going to reward myself - with another class. In the two years I've been using the service I've gotten pretty good at spin classes and yoga. I know improvement is never-ending, but sometimes I just want a big fat challenge with a big fat learning curve. I believe this ensures I don't grow stagnant in an activity and I'm never too comfortable. That's when I hit a plateau.