I have a decidedly mixed relationship with exercise. There’s rarely a day where I actually feel like doing it. It’s usually an uphill struggle. Although there are some days where I can acknowledge that it will help me. But there are also the days when I don’t have the time, energy or frame of mind. It’s those days that I wonder if exercise isn’t the best idea. I’d certainly get the physical health benefits. But what about the mental health benefits?
For 7 Tops Tips for Exercise Motivation read here.
The Good Stuff
There are certainly valid reasons to workout when you don’t feel like it. If you’re anything like me, you may never feel like it. And working out has multiple benefits. We may need to push ourselves to make it happen. But we do need to make it happen by making it work for us. When we’re not quite in the mood, we may wish to give ourselves a break. But there are few things to consider before making this decision.
We know that exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins help reduce pain, stress and uplift ones mood. So, when we don’t feel like exercising. A quick workout could turn our day around for us. Making us feel better about ourselves and the world around us. So, don’t discount a workout if you’re mood is low. Secondly, we may not want to workout because we are tired. However, working out can give us more energy rather than tire us out. It’s important to think critically here. Are you physically or mentally tired? Will you do yourself more harm than good by pushing yourself? If you’re unsure, start small. If you’re starting to feel worse you can always stop!
For Your Guide to Creating an Exercise Routine That Will Stick read here.
The Why Not’s
I’m a firm believer where there are days we should cut ourselves some slack. And not working out on those days may be exactly what we need. I’ve definitely had days when I’m too tired to workout. I can already feel the ache and tiredness. And pushing myself to exercise is not what I need. But I force myself to do something for my health. Only to realise that what I really needed was rest. For my mind and my body.
Likewise, on days I’m not in the right mood to do exercise. Perhaps I’m feeling low, alone, angry or frustrated. At times a workout may move my energy around and make me feel better. But there have also been times when I’ve angrily pushed myself through. I recognise these times because I normally remain in a bad mood throughout the exercise. Instead of starting in a bad mood and gradually feeling my mood life. I also find my mood hasn’t improved by the end of the workout. This usually leaves me feeling frustrated that I wasted time working out. When I could have been resting. My thoughts are rather black and white at this point. Because, of course, even if I didn’t get 100% from my workout. There surely would have been some benefit and it wasn’t a waste.
For The Amazing Benefits to Exercising Outdoors read here.
The Exercise Takeaway
Baring this all in mind, there are times when working out can be a force for the good. Lifting us out of whatever mood we feel stuck in. Giving us newfound confidence, positive perspective or even help us rethink a problem. And yet, we also have to acknowledge that when we force ourselves to workout. And feel the worse for it; whether physically or mentally. We risk viewing exercise in an increasingly negative way. Making it increasingly harder for us to commit to exercise if it’s not something we enjoy.
Unfortunately, no-one can tell us whether we should or shouldn’t exercise at a given time. We have to learn to tune in to our bodies and minds. Ask ourselves whether we can’t bothered to exercise or if we have legitimate reasons. Perhaps a stressful week means we need to exercise more than ever. Or perhaps we’re so run down, that being kind to ourselves in a different way is beneficial. It’s a hard balance to strike but with every attempt we will improve. If we’re unsure, there’s no harm in doing an easier or more enjoyable kind of exercise. I try and save the workouts I like most for harder days. I’m more like to do enjoy then and feel better after. We don’t always have to go for a run or do an intense HIIT class. Why not try a walk outdoors or a dance class instead? And remember, if you’re not enjoying it or feeling worse, you can always stop!
What are your experiences of exercise when you’re not in the mood? Do you find it beneficial? Or not? As always, let us know below!