June 23rd, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Have you fallen out of your exercise routine?  Do you need a figurative shot in the arm when it comes to your workouts?  Are you afraid of getting your hopes up and then dropping out of a new class or new plan?

You aren’t the only one.

In fact, you are so completely NOT alone that people write about it in nearly every fitness magazine out there.  They write about it because it’s a fact of fitness life: our minds can work against us.

Runner’s World included a tip list in their May 2011 issue from runner Kara Goucher about how to get started and stay strong when it comes to running.  I of course know not all of you are runners, so I’ll include the tips I think are multi-disciplinary in their approach(Did you forget I’m a lawyer?) 

Talk It Through

New runners think it’s not “real” running unless you’re gasping for breath.  Not true.  If you can’t talk, slow down.

AG: I say, if you’re working hard, you’re exercising.  Try to go faster on some days and always push yourself, but don’t worry about actual speed and try to keep at least 80% of your workout where you could have a conversation of at least 5 words at a time.

Take Pride

A lot of people think they look slow, or fat, or sweaty.  Don’t let any of that stop you.  Among runners, you are golden.

AG: How true how true.  Do you care what someone else looks like when YOU are exercising?  Didn’t think so.  Get out there and be kind to yourself and the work you are doing!!

Have a Key Word

Use your key word when things get tough during a run.  Or use it before your run if you don’t feel like heading out.  Say it to yourself, mantra-like.  A word I used during a really tough time in my career was fighter.  That was what resonated for me, and it worked. 

AG: Have a phrase or way to encourage yourself and keep your mind strong during any workout.  Anything encouraging will work.  I have used “keep going” “you can do this” and always smile at “suck it up Buttercup.”  (Like I said, anything encouraging will work.)

Focus on Yourself

If you think about other runners, you’ll end up thinking, She looks faster than me. Keep things inner directed.  Be aware of others, but keep yourself front and center.

AG: You aren’t exercising for the person on the stationary bike next to you.  You aren’t exercising for the person with the locker next to yours.  You aren’t exercising for anyone else’s body: keep yourself and your goals front and centerYou are there for YOU.

It’s easy to let what others are doing get to you.  It’s easy to compare your blood glucose or A1c to that of your friend’s.  It’s easy, and it’s potentially damaging when something your body does or needs differs than what someone else does or needs.

Take the high road on this one, challenge yourself, be kind, and reap the rewards of your efforts.

You can do it, Buttercups!

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