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Archive for the ‘Brown bag challenge’ Category

Push It

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Every now and then, when work gets out of control, life gets crazy or things just aren’t going my way, I end up losing the desire to workout. I blame it on stress, exhaustion or a lack of time. Take yesterday for instance. I had a pretty hefty workout scheduled on my calendar – 45 minutes of cardio and either Core Fusion, Hot Pilates or Bikram. But I hit a wall around 4 PM – I was exhausted from working in the middle of the night (I had to handle a communications project in Stockholm from 12 to 2 AM, and from getting up at 6 AM for my usual responsibilities).

I really felt like I should workout – I even tweeted about it. 

I got some great suggestions, but probably the one that stuck with me the most was from Erica Miss America. Her advice? “Just go! once you’re there, you’ll get the boost you need :) ” It was exactly what I needed to hear. So I got my but to the gym and I pushed through both the cardio plan (5 miles in 45 minutes) and Hot Pilates. I left feeling better then ever. It gave me energy, strength and motivated me to get things ready for my vacation. For me, exercise is a like a drug, its euphoric.

But sometimes I still struggle to push through my workouts. Here are a few things that work for me:

Focus on goals

  • Simple but true, if you focus on why your exercising rather than the workout, its easier to get through. My goals vary depending on the workout.

Break it down

  • Sometimes when I’m on the elliptical or treadmill, I look down and realize that I’ve  only be working out for 4 minutes. To push through I break my workout into manageable pieces often using interval training.
  • If I’m listening to my iPod I base it around music. For one song I push myself to run hard and fast, then the next I go at a more manageable pace. In as little as four songs I realize I’ve finished.
  • Other times I have to go minute by minute. This is when I try to incorporate HIIT workouts. This makes the time fly and you can count on a shorter workout.

Switch gears

  • Sometimes I’m just tired – if I feel like that a normally easy workout is unusually tough I switch gears. Instead of heavy cardio I might go for a walk, take a yoga class or do light strength training.

Distract yourself

  • There are some workouts where I just zone out, I let my mind wonder to other things. I brainstorm post topics (how do you think I came up with this one?), make lists, plan the rest of my evening, and figure out dinner.

Last night I definitely distracted myself. I planned what I would pack for our trip to Punta Cana, what needed to be done before we left and decided that there was no way I was making dinner. ;)

And now for dinner. I was running around the apartment, doing laundry, packing our bags and cleaning. We didn’t have much in the house in ways of groceries so ordering in was fine by me. I had so much on my mind that choosing dinner was the last thing I wanted to do. So I asked Chubster to find something delicious and I ended up with this:

It was HUGE. I couldn’t even put a dent in that baby. Luckily, Jeff was more than happy to help me polish it off.

Other recent eats:

A homemade pita pocket with raw veggies.

Pita stuffed with a crumbled veggie burger, roasted zucchini and arugula and nutritional yeast. It was ah-mazing!

Vanilla Protein Oat Bran with Yogurt and Raspberries

In the mix:

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran
1/2 scoop Jay Robb Vanilla Whey protein
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup water
1/4 cup Voskos Plain Greek Yogurt
3 oz raspberries

Do you ever make excuses for exercising? How do you push through tough workouts?