The (Sometimes Irrational) Fear of Working Out

We all go through it – people who work out regularly, people who have never trained before, people who once worked out but stopped -- that [sometimes irrational] fear of getting one healthy sweat sesh in after taking a hiatus, no matter how small that break may be.

It’s especially weird to me to see how my mind works sometimes because this happens to me almost regularly. The last time this happened was on Monday. I went on a trip to visit my best friend in Jersey and I did not train for four days. Yes, only FOUR days. I also think it’s very important to emphasize how much my body needed this break because I have been teaching a ton of Flywheel classes regularly. I took the four days for myself. I did not lift a finger… minus a plank challenge that we did in my best friend’s living room on Cinco de Mayo in which I beat ALL the men in the house… you’ll get it next time Manny. Girl Power.

When I got back to L.A., I told myself that I needed to go for a run before I hopped back on the bike for a HIIT class. There was no pressure involved, it was just a casual 30-minute run/jog/whatever felt best. As the time passed, I started to feel more and more nervous about it. I started doing things to put it off. Things like eating, convincing my husband to watch a movie he was dying to see, tricking myself into thinking that I needed another rest day when I knew my body was craving this run. I know that everyone struggles with this. I know that it’s not just me.

Before I get into tips and tricks on how I overcome this I want you to know one of the most important aspects of this. If you happen to decide not to go out for the run or training session, it’s going to be okay. It’s okay to have days when you feel like not doing anything. It’s okay to be scared and to hold yourself back. It’s a part of being human. But the most important part of falling into a mental slump, of having this fear is knowing that it is mental, and that the only way to get out of it is if you make the decision to. Nobody else can make that decision for you. Take advantage of the small window of motivation you may receive from any of the below tactics and step out the door, believing in yourself.

1. Find an accountability buddy

This week, my husband asked me to join him on his run because if not, he said he would probably not complete it. We were both on the same boat. Knowing that my actions had larger consequences than just on my own routine motivated me to join him in order to help him achieve his goals… weird but that’s how my mind works. This next week, my accountability team will be my Lean and Strong Training Guide group who will be interacting via Facebook support group. Find a training group, running crew, best friend, even a grandma who will text you back when you tell her you are feeling unmotivated. Whatever works for you.

2. Start with something you genuinely enjoy

If you are complaining about doing something you actually enjoy, you’ll notice yourself going in circles with internal arguments that don’t make sense. For that reason you may find yourself coming back to the reasons that you love doing it. If you happen to love dance, Vixen workout, zumba or yoga, watching a motivating video relating to your workout that will get you in the feels! Since it is something you enjoy doing, you’ll quickly run out of reasons not to.

3. Get that stimulation on

Open your blinds, play some of your favorite upbeat tunes, drink some coffee. I’m not a fan of pre-workout but if you can find a natural one that works for you then hey, do what you gotta do. Keeping your blinds closed, laying in bed and putting on your favorite Netflix series that you are past due on binge watching is never really a good idea when you are trying to get things done (speaking from experience).

4. Go into your workout with open arms and no expectations

After performing all the above tips, you will be walking out the door on your way to your workout. If you are a person that gets easily discouraged, this is the most important tip of them all. Go into your workout with no expectations. Whenever I start back up, I just take myself through the movements for two weeks. I don’t really set any short term goals for myself (lbs to lift, time to beat, personal records to break), until after two weeks of being IN IT. This allows your body to have enough time to get used to your regimen and it allows you to create realistic expectations. If I would have gone on my run on Monday for time instead of completion, I would have had a much more negative feeling associated with it. I felt triumphant because I completed it. Because I did not set expectations. Because I was kind to myself.

For more on training follow me at @Milamarianaa

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