Focus On The Mental And Emotional Benefits Of Exercise

Anyone who's tried to stick to a workout routine knows what it's like to have those days when you just don't feel like it — when you feel like you haven't gotten any results from your exercise, and you wonder why you even bother. That can be depression (or laziness, depending) talking, and a surefire way to push through that fog and get your running shoes on is to focus on how you'll feel when you're finished.

Photo by Andrey Burmakin (Shutterstock).

Even though it seems counterintuitive, you'll feel more energised when you've finished even a short walk or workout. You'll feel better about the workout — and about yourself — when you're finished, and the folks at BodyHack offer up a few ways to tell if you're just depressed as opposed to feeling lazy, and how to work through it. In addition to preparing for those days by making a schedule and trying not to think about it and make it a habit, they suggest you focus on how good you'll feel later as a kind of carrot to keep you motivated.

The idea itself isn't new — we've mentioned rewarding yourself as a way to keep exercise interesting, and the idea is definitely sound — if the feeling of accomplishment and the endorphins aren't enough to get you up and onto the treadmill or exercise bike, maybe treating yourself to something nice when you're finished will do the trick. How do you stay motivated to work out on those down days? Share your tips in the comments below.

5 Hacks to Stick to Exercise Through Depression [BodyHack]


Comments

    Why do people keep saying they feel good after exercise? That it invigorates them? It just makes me feel completely drained and wrecked and exhausted and worse for some reason. I have always been this way.

    Even after giving it a very good try (9 months straight of going to the gym 2-3 mornings per week before work, doing light-moderate exercise), the days that I would go I would be completely useless for the rest of the day, so drained and exhausted that I was barely able to function. This is on top of a healthy diet and the assistance of a trainer. What's with THAT?

      The people that are invigorated by exercise ar the ones doing an activity they enjoy. Your attempted method for exercising does not sound appealing to me, but if I do an intense dance class or some yoga I feel great.
      You might just need to find a new trainer/excercise socially/take a class/join a soccer team/the options are endless?
      Experiment, you might fond something you enjoy. If you do, stick with it. :-)

    Haven't read the article but personally I prefer to run without music, this way I have a bit of time to think and just focus without any distractions. A lot easier to keep pace too without music.

    My personal theory is that humans are not built to sit in front of a computer for hours at s time. We are running machines. We feel good doing this because of endorphins and because our blood is meant to pump and our hearts are meant beat quickly and flex. To live happy I believe exercise is critical:)

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