(Picture above is from my bike ride this weekend.)
It was an amazing spring day. It was around 75 degrees when we started in Portola. About halfway to the turnaround point on Canada Road the air turned chilly but the sun stayed warm and bright. We passed this beautiful lake with fog drifting across the mountains. What a dreamy ride!
I kept gently pushing to go my regular pace, promising myself I’d back off if it felt like too much. I already told Denis to expect less from me in terms of performance. He was ready to slow down when I needed. But, that didn’t happen.
Not only did we complete our regular distance on that ride, but we went 20% further. I ended up doing more miles than I’ve done in the past 2 years. Who would’ve guessed?
As it turned out, even though I felt exhausted my body had energy that I didn’t know was there.
Flash back to the past two weeks: I was on the East Coast for 2 weeks working with LuciFit clients and trainers there. On the weekend I traveled to New York and Pennsylvania to visit family. When I’m on the other coast it’s not only about making appointments, its also about scheduling trains planes and automobiles to get me where I need to be. It’s a non-stop challenge of moving parts and people.
I scheduled my exercise time and stuck to the plan just like I teach clients, so I kept up 4 days per week of exercise even though I was booked to the max.
When I came back to California, I jumped into a 4-day business-building seminar with Brendon Burchard from 9am to 7:30 pm and half day on Sunday. It was an incredible experience.
And I was exhausted by Sunday afternoon.
No, I was exhausted by Friday. But, I kept up the pace til Sunday afternoon when the seminar was over because I didn’t want to miss out on anything.
I promised my sweetheart I’d go on a long bike ride with him after the seminar on Sunday. I didn’t want to let him down. I also wanted that ride for myself because it was a beautiful day and it had been a while since I’d ridden.
But, when Sunday rolled around I left the conference early because I couldn’t keep myself going any longer. Not to mention, if I met anyone new they’d just get an overtired version of myself.
I needed a serious nap.
I told Denis we could do the ride but we’d need to go slower. I wasn’t sure if I could do it at all to tell you the truth. I took half an hour nap, packed some Clif Bloks and some water, and off I went.
It turned out to be a fabulous bike ride, and a great day.
Have you ever finished a mentally exhausting day (or week) at work, and felt as though you couldn’t possibly do the workout you planned? We all do. But, it can become an endless cycle: Skip your workout because you’ve had a long day. You say you’ll do it “tomorrow”, and then tomorrow comes and you feel the same kind of exhausted.
I’ve had clients tell me that this is how every day of their life goes, and now they’re 30, 40, 50lbs over weight, and they need some help.
If you’ve been skipping your workouts because you’re exhausted, try this:
- Take a step back and ask yourself: Am I physically tired or mentally tired? If you haven’t been doing physical work that’s the equivalent to an exercise session that day, then you’re mentally tired.
- Allow yourself to do a small workout. Tell yourself that you’re just going to do something because it’s good for your body to move.
- Approach your workout in a kind way. Before you start promise yourself that you’ll only push yourself to what feels comfortable for you that day.
- Test yourself regularly throughout. Allow yourself to start slow. Continue to check in with your body to see if you can go any further or harder. If the answer is “no”, then honor that. If the answer is “yes”, then pick up the intensity a little more and see if it feels O.K. to stay at that level.
- Repeat until you’ve finished your workout time.
I can’t count the number of times that clients and I get together for a workout and they tell me I shouldn’t expect much from them. We follow my above guidelines maintaining an outlook of kindness to the body, and we push to a limit they’re comfortable with that day. By the end of the workout they’ve done more than they thought – and they feel great for doing it.
There are times when I feel too exhausted to exercise too, as you can tell from my story above. I don’t always break my own records in time or distance on those days. Most of the time it’s a regular day at the office, and a regular day at the gym. But when I feel too tired for my scheduled workout, I put on my exercise clothes and tell myself I’ll just do what I can. More often than not an hour later I’ve done more than I thought I could do and I’m feeling incredible because of it.
If you’re getting stuck in a rut, feeling tired and missing workouts, give my process a try for a while and see what comes out of it. I’d love to hear how it works for you in the comments below.
Getting to your workouts on a regular basis is a huge game changer in how you look and feel. Whose already with me on that? Sound off in the comments below.
Thanks for your thought-provoking posts, Luci! My workouts after work give me energy, and help me sleep better. Great way to release the mind from the juggernaut of work-related thoughts. Sometimes I opt for a long walk instead of regular workout when I’m really beat.
Great share, Sharon! All great motivations for getting your movement even when you’re tired. The long walk idea is a great one. When I lived in DC if my work day was too long for any other workout, I’d drive to the monuments and walk around meditatively until it got so dark I’d have to go home! Loved that walk.