Logo NHC

Workout Wednesday: Mental Prep for Workouts


Let’s face it–the idea of regular workouts can be downright daunting sometimes, especially when your life is filled with family, work, and social commitments. Many of us feel we have little time for regular exercise, and we may not look forward to it. I know I’ve definitely been there before. Many times.

The good news is that your need for a healthier life and regular exercise routine doesn’t have to be a difficult journey. All you need to do is adopt a routine of mental preparation, and while even that feels intimidating, it’s fairly simple and straightforward.

3 Factors That Lead to a Healthier You

As I mentioned, the idea of working out can be pretty frightening. I’m sure you could come up with at least five other things you’d rather be doing. Washing the dishes, doing laundry, yard work–all things we rarely want to do at any other time, but when it comes time to work out, they seem like the best activities ever.

Your workouts matter, and even though you think you might be all set to work toward creating a healthier lifestyle, you can’t do it if you don’t exercise. That’s where these three factors come in.

  1. Find your motivation.  This is probably the biggest problem most of us face when it comes to establishing a regular workout routine. Always remember to ask yourself why you’re getting ready to exercise. Determine whether it’s for yourself, your family, or for another reason. This is important because it’s what will keep you going, especially on those days when you’re ready to give up. Find your motivation for improving your health, and always remind yourself of it.
  2. Set your goals. One of the most important parts of getting ready for any workout is to set attainable goals. Fitness goals should always be discussed with your healthcare provider before you start any fitness routine. Your goals can be as simple as running for 30 minutes on the treadmill, biking 10 miles, or lose 15 pounds. The goals you set are up to you. Just remember to set them before you begin. Having something to work toward is important.
  3. Remember humility. This is something a lot of us forget. Watching younger people at the gym can be inspiring, but much of the time, it makes a number of us feel pretty awful. It’s important to remember your age when you’re working out. Many people tend to go all-out on their first workout because they think their bodies can take it. The next morning, those same people realize that they made a mistake. Listen to what your body is telling you, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Doing so can cause injury, which can set your goals even farther back. Just because you can’t run 10 miles on the first day doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Go at your own pace, and you’ll hit your goals sooner than you think!

Remember Protein & Hydration, Too

You might think that protein consumption and proper hydration after your workouts is a no-brainer. Well, maybe it should be, but for many people, it isn’t. Part of your mental preparation for your workout should include these things, too.

It doesn’t matter if your workout is light or intense. Your body still burns calories. You still sweat. Do the right thing and help your body recover properly. Grab some water. Replenish your electrolyte levels. While you’re at it, grab a protein bar or mix up a shake.

If you’re looking for some great products, check out the ones I use in the list below:

Sticking to a fitness routine to improve your health isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard, either. Give the tips above a try, and let us know how your workouts are going. Leave us a comment below!

Featured Image Credit: Jared Polin via Flickr.