Over on the YBC® Facebook page, which has become much more active recently, I asked for some questions to answer on my weekly Desk Chats video which I post over on that page. One of the questions was asking how I get motivated to workout when I am completely drained of energy. I thought I’d answer that here and then send you over to the Facebook page to check out the other Q&A’s.
So, I firmly believe in working out when I feel physically good. I don’t know much about cars but I use a car metaphor when talking about my body and working out. Example: If your car is on the fritz, the last thing you would do is take it on a cross country road trip. What I mean by that is if you are feeling "completely drained of energy” I wouldn’t recommend working out at all. Because what good is that going to do for you? It’s only going to stress your body out and deplete you even more. You’re also more likely to get injured because you may not be 100% dialed in, focused, and as strong as you usually are.
Instead, if you’re completely drained of energy, start there. My check list usually goes like this:
Sleep: How is my sleep quality? How many hours am I getting? How could I improve upon my sleep? Sleep is tremendously important for recovery and repair, so that should be a number one priority.
Diet: Am I eating a varied diet with lots of micronutrients? Am I eating multiple small meals throughout the day? Am I getting enough fat, carbs and protein? What is the quality of my food like? Where can I improve? How can I better plan?
Rest: Have I been working out nonstop? That’s not good. It’s important to take breaks from the workouts/yoga every once in a while and do an active recovery instead like a short walk, restorative yoga class, a bike ride, bowling, a bike ride, whatever - it’s important to move your body but not to the point where you’re sweating profusely.
Recovery: How do I recover from workouts? When we sweat, we lose trace minerals in our sweat which cannot be replenished by water, so it’s important to take Epsom Salt baths or use a magnesium lotion to help replace those trace minerals. Our bodies best absorb magnesium through the skin, so a topical application or soak in the tub is an easy way to replenish. You also want to be sure you’re recovering with a high quality protein drink (I use Rootz - you can use code yogabycandace for a discount). And be sure that throughout the day you’re drinking water with something else in it like lemon or (organic) fruit infused water, so you are continually replenishing (here’s a great water bottle that makes it easy).
Mental State: Your mental health and physical health are intertwined. What’s my mental state when I am thinking about the gym or a rigorous yoga class? Do I think about them like punishments for eating something I feel guilty about? If so, that needs to stop right now. Instead, movement and physical activity should be coming from a place of joy because the physical exertion is a stress to your body (it’s normal, and totally fine, provided you are in good physical health - don’t worry) but if you are adding to your stressful state by working out from a place of guilt or anger or punishment, that’s extremely taxing to an already run down body.
But when my body is in good physical health, and I’m unmotivated, I use the following things to help jumpstart that motivation:
Remember the why: Why do I want to move my body? Am I trying to build strength so I can prevent injury? Am I trying to add more restorative yoga in my life so I can de-stress and lead a more stress-free life? Remembering the why helps to jumpstart motivation.
A Good Playlist: A new playlist really helps - especially if you have the time to put together one for the duration of your workout. And this doesn’t have to be a long one! I love Tabata workouts and they literally last under 5 minutes. Five minutes and you are DONE. How good is that?! So putting together a five minute playlist is super easy, but make sure they are songs that really make you want to get up and give it your all.
What gets you motivated to move? Let us know in the comments section below!