Sometimes finding the motivation to get up off the couch and make it to the gym can be difficult. I find it especially hard this time of year. The weather is changing, and when it is cold and rainy outside it makes the TV and couch look that much better. How can we overcome this? Here are some tips that might help you and your clients out.
- Make sure that you are well hydrated. I know everyone says the same thing. But it is really important. Your body uses water for over 50% of all internal chemical reactions and at just 2% dehydration the body’s work capacity decreases by 12%-15%. Water does not give you the energy feeling of caffeine but you will feel less energized when you are dehydrated.
- Eat healthy foods throughout the day. Eat fresh fruits and raw vegetables with all your meals. Nuts are also a great snack. Eat small meals with complex carbohydrates and complete proteins as well. When you have all the necessary nutrients present your body will be primed for your training session. I also enjoy having organic milk as a snack.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep is very important to how your body will perform. By getting adequate rest the night before you will feel better the next day. The amount of sleep will vary from person to person, but for most at least 8 hours is recommended.
- Caffeine. If you are a caffeine user, taking in a little bit before a workout will boost your energy and potentially increase your work capacity. There are downsides to caffeine, so be careful of the amount you take. Green tea is a good natural source of caffeine. It has many other health benefits as well. Add a little organic honey to your green tea and have the perfect natural energy drink. There are many energy supplements on the market as well. But do your homework on the ingredients in them to be sure that they are safe and effective.
Following these steps will prime your body for a workout, but what about your mind? As Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “The body is very important, but the mind is more important than the body”. After a long day at work, stress in your life and everything else in the world that seems to be conspiring against your attempts to get a workout in, how can you get your mind in the game?
I suggest some kind of stimulus. It can be an inspiring magazine article, excerpts from a book or scenes from a movie. I like to have visual and audio stimulation myself. YouTube has a vast amount of motivational videos. They can be of an inspiring performance, people lifting insane amounts of weight or just about anything that will get you pumped up. Often times seeing someone or something else that is inspirational will help you gain your own inspiration.
Lastly, have a goal for each workout and know exactly what you are going to do before you leave for the gym. Visualize each workout from start to finish while you are eating that last pre workout meal.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” –Jim Ryan