There is popular The old saying in the fitness community is that you never regret a workout. Meanwhile Generally This may be true, there are simply some days that your brain just doesn’t care and urges you to avoid anyway.
This is not only completely normal; It is completely acceptable. The idea that you must force yourself to exercise hard creates a bad and unsustainable relationship with exercise.
I personally fell victim to it: For days, I felt guilty or ashamed that I didn’t stick to the exercise I originally planned to do, or didn’t perform as well as I expected.
Despite what you see on Instagram, fitness professionals often feel the same way. So how do they honor that feeling and navigate it when it happens?
Read on for some of their best tips on how to maintain a routine while remaining kind to your body and mind.
Sometimes, they simply don’t succeed.
“I take days off and give myself permission to take those days,” said Kenny Santucci, a New York City-based coach and founder of Strong New York and The Strength Club.
Recovery is vital in any fitness routine. For Santucci, some recovery days might include trying to “walk or ride a bike or do something that gets me moving a little bit,” he said, noting that movement always gets him out of a mental clutter.
For other people, recovery can mean taking a break completely — and that’s okay. It’s all about listening to your body and not pushing yourself to a point where you end up hating exercise.
“Just as you wake up feeling good from a good night’s sleep, a rest day will give your body the same opportunity to meet your next workout with energy and enthusiasm,” Denver-based fitness trainer Jess Spellk told HuffPost previously.
They admit that their level of physical fitness can change.
What you were able to overcome yesterday may not be the same today. Along the same lines, your ability to exercise in your 30s is sure to be different in another decade.
Don’t be too hard on yourself because an “earlier” version of you could have done it.
“Your fitness will change. The way you take care of your body will change from the time you turn 20 to the time you turn 80,” Peloton coach and mental health advocate Kendall Tolle told HuffPost in May. “You will always have to take care of your fitness, but the way you move your body will change. The things your body can do will change.”
They remind themselves that fitness isn’t exclusive to a sweat session.
Your mind is as important as your body. Sometimes it may be better to prioritize that.
“We live in unprecedented times, and therefore, our stress requires a different amount of bandwidth. My fitness has evolved into a very holistic state that includes training, sleep, therapy, meditation, newspapers, and reading for relaxation,” said Kate Lemmer, senior coach at Barry’s Chicago. “It’s not just about exercise. It’s about your peace of mind and quality of life.”
They commit to doing just a few minutes.
Your workout doesn’t have to be long to reap the benefits.
“I’m going to do 20 minutes of either bike riding, running or strength training. It only takes 20 minutes to reset and make me feel so happy,” Tunde Oyeneyin, a Peloton coach and author of “Speak,” told HuffPost in an interview last year.
Finding a fun way to get your body moving for a short period of time — also known as exercise snacks — can be just as effective.
“It’s not just about exercise. It’s about your peace of mind and quality of life.”
– Kate Lemmer, Senior Coach at Barry’s Chicago
They wear an outfit that makes them feel good.
There is something transformative about a really good set of exercises. Oyeneyin said her outfits also give her a little boost.
“I make myself wear my workout clothes,” she said. “Getting dressed is the first step for me – it signals to my whole body that it’s time.”
They blast off some good music before getting started.
“I’ve definitely been known to have a personal dance party before my workout,” Peloton trainer Hannah Corbin told HuffPost in an interview in March.
Putting on some tunes that not only get you excited but encourage you to dance can put you in a good void and help you relax before a workout.
They don’t push themselves to get the best performance.
You won’t be setting a personal record on every exercise—especially on the days when you’re not mentally sane. That’s fine. Just keep it simple.
“If I’m doing bench press, for example, I start on the bench with just a bar and then I’ll slowly start increasing the intensity with weights,” Santucci said. “I can’t give 100% every day, so on the days I don’t feel good, I’ll be a little easier.”
They stretch or find a gentle way to move their body.
Corbin said she always prioritizes stretching and foam rolling, noting that it consistently makes her feel good every day. “I often use a foam roller and activate my muscles so that I feel really strong and grounded rather than in pain like I’m pulling my foot,” she said.
Gentle stretching exercises, such as the fourth form or hip stretches, are excellent for giving your body some fluidity if you don’t want to fully exercise.
They find a fun way to navigate that feels more like playing.
Fitness gets easier when it’s an activity that you don’t hate. For Noah Neiman, co-founder of Rumble Boxing and Rumble Training in New York, that means hitting the bag.
“If I only had a few minutes to train, my goal would be jump rope and box,” Nieman told HuffPost in a 2021 interview. “I believe in therapy [power] From fighting training a lot … joint treatment I call it “.
Spend some time discovering fun exercises that don’t feel like working in your favor. That could mean dancing around your living room with some good music, playing a hula hop or doing a class about a certain topic. Finding fun in exercise is essential.
Finally, they focus on themselves in the future.
“Do you remember you learned about inertia in science in middle school? Stay with me here. I think about it all the time. The act of continuing to remain in a state of rest, or regular rectilinear motion until you are affected by an opposing force,” said Lemerre.
“If I don’t want to go to the gym and skip a day instead of doing a planned training session, I’m breaking my momentum,” she continued. “The reboot procedure is often more difficult than the exercise itself. On the days when I don’t really feel like it, I don’t push myself to get the best workout, I encourage myself to move around for consistency, so the next workout is a lot easier.”
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