Have you ever experienced a period of time where you just couldn’t find the motivation within yourself to get a workout in? Maybe you were really diligent in your exercising for a few months and then it seemed as if you hit a brick wall, losing your encouragement to workout and exercise. Then you felt disappointed because you weren’t actively working toward your goals, but no matter what you tried to do, you just couldn’t get yourself up and inspired to run, do your extensive cardio workout, or strength train to your max like you’re used to doing.
In the fitness industry, the recent conversation has all about, “What you can do to motivate yourself to keep yourself from giving up?” The industry has been saying that if you are finding yourself in an exercise rut, meaning you are having a difficult time getting back into the gym after many months of very intense exercise, then you simply aren’t committed enough to your own goals and your own success.
However, this conversation is dangerous because there is a powerful reason as to why you might be finding yourself in an exercise rut: You might be exhausted.
And your body might be telling you to take a break because it needs to take a break.
Rest If You Are Drained
As much as we would like to consider ourselves to be, we are not machines; we are humans. It is natural to our biology (and to our health!) to need a break, to rest, to recover, and to rebuild ourselves in body, mind, and spirit.
Yes, it is important to work hard, but there comes a time when we have to take care of our bodies, giving ourselves some needed rest and recovery time.
With the recent trend in fitness to work as hard as you can, pushing yourself to pain where slogans like “pain is gain” is the motto many of us live by, over time, we are actually not doing our bodies much good. Since we are pushing ourselves to the max, we are reaching new levels of exhaustion, opening ourselves up to injury and illness, let alone diminishing gains.
And if you want to be successful in your workouts, in your fitness, in your exercising, then you must get proper rest, and not just sleep, but even lowering your exercise intensity for a week or two or taking a break from working out for a few extra days. It is essential to protecting yourself from injury. It is essential to keeping yourself healthy. It is essential to the gains you want to achieve.
Focus on Positive Intensity
Intensity in your workouts can be used safely and in a wise, beneficial manner.
Positive intensity comes from pushing yourself a little harder than you are used to. If you are strength training, positive intensity results in striving for another rep in an exercise with a weight that is challenging for you. If you are cardio training, positive intensity results in going a little faster or a littler longer than your norm.
Negative intensity results from overexerting yourself. Negative intensity is found in the extreme exhaustion your body and your mind is feeling after months of strenuous exercise when you want to take a break for a few days, but you don’t allow yourself to.
At this point when this negative intensity occurs, it is vitally important to listen to your body. Listen to what your body is telling you (and only you know what this feels like; only you know what your body is saying). Because when you don’t listen? Injury occurs. Poor emotional feelings occur. Stress occurs. And you just might become so exhausted that you won’t ever want to set foot in to the gym again.
Take Care of Yourself
So, do yourself a favor: Work hard, but when you need to take a break, take a break! Don’t be ashamed to! It is important for you to do so.
Take care of your body, take care of your mind, take care of your spirit.