It’s my first week back to school, which means I‘ve had to fit in my workout schedule back into my work schedule. And to be honest, it hasn’t been easy. How often do we skip out on our runs because we’re just “too tired” after work? I’ll admit I’ve done it plenty of times in the past. I’ve come to realize, however, that this only makes me feel worse. I get antsy and frustrated ON TOP of being tired and stressed out.
On my “About Me” page I share about my fascination with the mind-body connection. The mind can truly decide what the body can and cannot, will and will not do… which can either be a great thing or a horrible thing. In turn, the mind responds positively to chemicals naturally produced in the body when it is in motion. Ever hear of the “runner’s high”? It’s a real thing, and it’s pretty amazing. What’s more, that “high” sustains itself far longer than the short term gratification you get from sitting on the couch an extra half hour in your sweat pants eating chips before dinner. (Not that any of us have ever done that before or anything.)
To be honest, all unhealthy decisions are based on impulsivity and the desire for short term gratification. In fact, understanding this IS THE KEY to creating a paradigm-shift in your health and appearance. Think about it, those individuals who are least healthy are those who can’t seem to get past their need for “short term” gratification. That desire to gratify oneself by eating that crunchy fried food or sleep-in outweighs the desire to build the endurance to run faster or have your body look better in that bathing suite. Why? Because it’s easier… and because they just haven’t found the needed inspiration to do what their bodies and minds deserve instead of what their bodies and minds “want right now.”
As I’ve attended conferences and meetings this past week, I have been bombarded by inspirational quotes and ideas from motivational speakers, principals and co-workers. Their intention was to light a fire in us so that we begin the new school year positively as educators. As I reflect on some of the things that have been said, I realize that I don’t want this positivity to wear-off as though it were two weeks into January and I fell of the “New Year’s Resolution wagon”. I want my positivity for the new school year and my positivity about my personal, health and fitness goals to sustain like a runner’s high that keeps me wanting more. I’m not going into this for the short term gratification of it. I know better and I’m going to make the choices I need to find long- term spiritual happiness. My future is my inspiration.
Here are my tips for getting out there for your runs even if you are exhausted after working a full day:
1. If your schedule permits, wake up early and do your workouts BEFORE you even go to work: Once you leave the office and realize that you still have kids to pick up, dinner to cook, laundry to fold and phone calls to make, you wont have the energy or desire to do anything but shower and get comfy.
2. Prepare the night before: I pack my lunch, prepare my vitamins, get my clothes ready and pack my gym bag (if I’m going to yoga) before I go to bed the night before. You won’t make as many excuses if you’re already prepared and ready to go…
3. Buddy up: If you have someone waiting for you to exercise, it makes it that much harder to skip out. Avoiding humiliation has helped me follow through with a many workouts I would have preferred to skip out on.
4. Do what feels right: So, your training schedule calls for 5 miles at race pace today but you feel beat up from that zumba class you tried out yesterday. Don’t skip out completely! Do what feels right. Run the 5 miles slower (walk if you have to) but do SOMETHING. Being kind yourself will make it easier to get out there and make the effort.
5. Have fun: Don’t commit to a goal or exercise routine you don’t like (or flat-out makes you miserable.) Do what makes you happy and feels fun to you!
Are you ready to make that paradigm shift in your life? Are you willing to let go of short-term gratification and be willing to EARN the rewards of long-term happiness and satisfaction? How will you do it? What will be your inspiration?
I need to fuel my fire within! Please give me your feedback!!