Anyone who has held onto a fitness routine for any length of time knows that slumps are unavoidable – those days or weeks when you would rather be doing anything other than working out. So when the down days come, here are 6 mind games you can play (and win) to get yourself back into the groove and into the gym.
Take a stroll
Research shows that all you have to do is look at a picture of nature for five minutes and your blood pressure will lower. When you actually get out there and start taking in nature, you’re giving you body and brain a big boost. If tension and stress and feeling like you’ve got too much to do to fit fitness into your routine is what’s keeping you locked out of the weight room, take five and take a stroll.
Take a swim…more specifically, take a float into the pool and chill
Sven-Ake Bood, Ph.D says that, “floating produces a deep state of relaxation in the body.” This isn’t just great for your mind it works wonders for your body too. Floating in a quiet pool for 20 minutes can reduce pain and speed healing – not to mention give you a much needed break. If an injury has halted your workout, grab a raft and head for the pool.
Dr. Stuart Brown studies the health benefits of playing. He says that playing games improves your immune system and speeds healing from illnesses. So if you are continually grounded by a cold, the flu or other illness, get out the Pictionary and play a few rounds!
Give a little love
When you get close and touch the one you love (or would love to love) your body releases a hormone called oxytocin that “has been shown to reduce stress, improve immune function and increase cardiovascular health,” according to James Fallon, Ph.D.. So cuddle up, hold hands, hug it out and hang on. This boost can be just what the doctor ordered if you need a little inspiration to get you back on track and feeling great.
Take a little love
While you’re handing out love, don’t forget to compliment yourself. When you feel bad about yourself you are more likely to be sick – which makes you feel worse. In a recent study, women who felt good about themselves were found to be sick about 30% less than those who had low body image and self esteem. Weight had nothing to do with the way the “healthy” women viewed themselves. It was based on an appreciation of what they were capable of, had accomplished, were going to accomplish and how they wanted to feel. So go ahead and face that mirror and let yourself smile. You’re a one-of-a-kind and there’s no replacement for you.
Hold that smile.Now that you’ve started to smile, keep going. Smiling may be our most amazing natural resource. When we smile it changes everything about us from the outside in. Write yourself a note, or a few dozen notes, to remind yourself to smile. You’ll feel a boost of energy zap through you. When you’re almost to the exit for the gym or the park or the track, bust out a smile and hold it! It will get you there and keep you there, which really gives you something to smile about.