Ever have days where you just don’t feel like working out? Maybe you are feeling stressed with so much going on, in the family, at work, or in the world. Perhaps the motivation tank is running low and you’re just feeling down. Believe it or not, I used to have bouts of “I just don’t feel like it” that were measured in months, not just days. So take it from me when I say one of the best ways to boost your mood is with regular visits to the gym. Notice how you feel better after a workout, even if it’s a killer workout? Why is that? What makes us feel so good after having worked so hard?
Stress oftentimes manifests itself physically in the body via tension in the muscles. Physical exercise promotes the release of chemicals to the brain called endorphins; these guys are your friends! Endorphins help trigger positive feelings in the body, boosting your mood. This in turn releases stress, causing you to not only feel more relaxed, but actually be more relaxed throughout your muscle system.
Anyone experience the power of endorphins? You walk into the gym feeling downcast, stressed or even irritated and you walk out feeling energized, positive and full of life. Those feel good chemicals are doing their job and they come because you made the choice to show up and get moving!
The season in my life where feeling low was my everyday normal is completely different now. What changed? I made the commitment to myself to sign up for CrossFit and attend the gym everyday, no matter how I felt. Through that process, somewhere in those first 90 days, my body felt like its emotions and systems came into proper alignment. I now get to live in a new normal because of the choice I made to show up, consistently, not just every once in a while. This I believe is the key. To make coming to the gym a habit.
I had a friend that used to say “motion moves emotion.” Meaning, if you are not feeling it, then get moving and the emotions will follow. Movement can boost our emotions. So if you are feeling low perhaps try taking a walk around the block to get the blood flowing. And when you don’t feel like coming to the gym, then I would challenge you that is the time you need it the most! Reserve your classes ahead of time, especially when you’re feeling good, and stick to the commitment you made to yourself to become a better you. See you in class!