Have you ever had one of those days when you just don’t really feel like going to the gym or working out but you decide that you need to anyway? It can be really difficult to get in a good workout when either you don’t have the energy or the proper mindset.
If your body is truly exhausted and you are missing the important energy to workout it might be a sign that you need to rest and take a day off. Or it could be that you just need to get an energy boost before you even head to the gym.
So what is the best course of action?
First things first, decide if your body is overtrained or even sick. When you go to the gym it is to stress your system which incurs growth during recovery. If you are less than 90% for some reason getting extra rest is more important than getting in a session from the long-term perspective.
Next, fuel up. A good pre-workout meal should give you the energy you will need at the gym. If your wagon is dragging a few hours before the gym then get the fuel in that you need and see if that helps increase your energy levels.
Now if you aren’t sick or still recovering from a previous workout and you have given yourself the proper fuel we are down to a mental hang-up. Sometimes it can just be difficult to muster up the enthusiasm and focus for an all-out assault on your body; so don’t. Skip your normal workout and do something else.
One of the best ways to recharge yourself mentally is to do what your normally don’t do. Never be afraid to break from the routine. Try taking a class instead of lifting weight. Play basketball, swim, or do cardio. Really do anything that is active because physical activity does your mind and body good, but make sure you are doing something different.
Sometimes all it takes is doing something for a day or even a little while to break the mold and rediscover your focus. Switch the playlist around on the iPod and jump into something new that will challenge you because it requires a different mental focus than you are used to.
Now if none of those steps work for you then there is only one course of action; sleep. Obviously there is something affecting either your body or your mood and sometimes no matter how badly you might think you want to be in the gym, your body or subconscious disagrees. So take the day off, get home earlier than normal, and get to sleep earlier than you usually would. Much like rebooting a computer fixes tons of problems, getting a full night’s sleep can often cure a lot of what ails you.
If things aren’t better the next day plan on taking a few full days off from exercise and use that time for extra sleep and reassessing your diet and exercise plan. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at the big picture. But never force it if it isn’t there. You should look at workouts and the gym as a fun hobby that is a place to get away from things and release stress; not someplace you dread going.