Patients ask me on a daily basis, "What can I do to feel better overall?" My answer almost always involves the suggestion of movement, physical activity or being outside in nature soaking up some sunshine.
Often times being active or "working out" seems like a struggle. While some days motivation will be easier then others generally being active should feel like a great break from your day. If it doesn't, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to figure out why your workout doesn't feel wonderful:
1. Am I bored with my fitness routine and do I find myself putting in more time than effort?
If the answer to this question is yes, CHANGE IT UP! GO OUTSIDE, go kayaking, find a new class on Groupon, look for new work-out videos on YouTube if you are pressed for time. TRY SOMETHING NEW. Trying something new changes the brain the moment you begin, you create new neural pathways, and both your body and your mind change becoming both healthier and happier.
2. Do I have trouble taking time for myself, do I feel guilty for taking time to keep my body healthy? If so, why?
If you answered this question with a yes, realize that if you are unwell, or inactive you won't be able to help care for others. It is crucial to take care of yourself, not only do you feel better but many things in your life will get easier. Having boundaries and a personal care routine can work wonders in your life even if it is only a few minutes a day.
3. What can I do to change my activities to make being physically active more enjoyable? Do I need more water? More intensity? Less intensity?
A big part of the answer to this question is realizing discomfort or inconvenience. Does working out or being active feel like a chore because of HOW you are going about it? Is your gym 15 miles away from your house when you would rather be running outside? Do you go to group classes when you feel like you would benefit from one on one training. What do you want out of your workout or out of the process that you are not currently getting? How can you change that to help change your outlook on something that is wonderful for your body, and amazing for your mind?
Today spend 10 minutes answering these questions, and at least 15-30 minutes being active preferably outside. You will be AMAZED at how much better you feel when you wake up tomorrow.
Don't be afraid to take care of yourself by making your workout work for you.