Getting energized and motivated can sometimes be tough for even the most gung-ho person. Here are 5 simple tips for when you’re having trouble getting over the hump.
- You’ll believe it when you see it! Many of us have long-range fitness goals. But few have short-term goals or any idea of what we want from each individual exercise session. This sixty-second visualization will help bring focus to your next workout. Right before you begin working out, close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly in and out through your nose. Gently push aside all invading thoughts and simply focus on the rhythm you create with your breath. In your mind, visualize your most productive workout session ever. See each detail, smell the sweat, feel the burn and how strong you feel. Revel in the sense of accomplishment you feel at the end of your visualized workout. This isn’t a simple daydream—it’s a roadmap to a successful workout session that will bring you closer to your long-range goals. Now get out there and make it real!
- Try this on those days when nothing has gone right and now it is time to go to the gym but you don’t think you have the energy. Use aromatherapy! Just like a dazed boxer uses smelling salts to bring him back to reality, you can use natural fragrances to bring back your energy and vigor. Just add a few drops of eucalyptus, lemon, camphor or peppermint oil to a cool, wet washcloth. Take several deep inhalations of the cloth, then turn the cloth over and wipe your face with it (Be sure not to get the oil in your eyes or apply it directly to your skin as it may cause irritation). This combination of cool water and invigorating aroma will kick-start you to a great workout.
- Don’t forget that exercise is cumulative, so take the opportunity to exercise at times when you might normally take the easy way out. For example, park at the back of the lot at the supermarket and increase your walking distance. Carry one bag of groceries in each hand and do biceps curls or lateral raises with those bags all the way to the car. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator (too many floors, get off a few floors before yours and take the stairs the rest of the way). Doing gentle stretches at your desk, or volunteering to replace the bottle on the water cooler are all great ways to add sixty seconds to your goal of one hour of exercise each day.
- We all have those moments when stress threatens to overwhelm us. Instead of reaching for the chocolate cheesecake or a glass of wine, just breathe. Try this simple yoga breath that melts away the stress. Breathe in through your nose for a slow 4-count. Hold that breath for a 7-count then slowly exhale through your nose for a 7-count. Focus on your breath and don’t think about work, family or troubles. Just breathe and allow yourself to feel your body. Release any tension you feel in the jaw, neck, shoulders or chest. Do this breath for sixty seconds or more. Slow, calm breathing will help bring back your perspective and make you feel centered.
- Low on energy? Try yoga Sunflowers for a quick rev-up. Stand up and begin to inhale as you reach both hands overhead, lengthening your torso and stretching your arms. Begin to exhale fully as you circle your arms out to the sides, bend at the hips and knees (in a crouching position) while continuing the circle until each hand clasps the opposite elbow. Begin to inhale as you reverse the circle and stand back up. Repeat 15 times.