PSA#7 – Motivation

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or fitness guru. I am sharing what I’ve learned through research and experience; you all must use your own judgment in deciding what is best for your and your own health, including checking with your doctor before beginning any exercise or dietary program.

This is a re-post from another blog I contribute to, especially for my friends who are stuck in an exercise rut and battling the winter blues.

Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It’s the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It’s getting out and running even if there’s a foot of snow on the ground, like my friend Julie. (Really, she went running in the snow.)  It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control.

So what do you do when you can’t find motivation?

Suck it Up, Buttercup.

You heard me. There’s actually science behind the grit your teeth and just do it philosophy! Psychologists have determined that our willpower is like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Richard Restak, a neurologist at George Washington Medical School, is currently treating a patient with damage to the prefrontal cortex, the result of a traffic accident. The PFC is the brain’s executive command center. “The patient has very limited self-control. He lashes out, yells at people, and is a compulsive shopper,” Restak explains. Based on his work with this patient and others, Restak believes you can improve the performance of the brain itself. “Increasing activity in the area that regulates self-control, for example by thinking twice before you buy something, enhances the functionality of this area permanently,” he says—and these changes are visible using neuroimaging. In other words, when you practice small instances of self-control, the brain bulks up. The next time you need to exercise self-control, it will be easier.

(Research data from Psychology Today).

So Start Small. Make a decision and follow through, for instance, saying no to sweets or bread for a set period of time. Once you do that, set another small goal, and so on and so on. A newby body builder wouldn’t jump into a gym and start benchpressing 600 pounds, would he? Of course not! He would start with smaller weight and build up to that 600 pounds.

You still don’t want to do it? Tough. Do it any way – take charge of your own brain. Fake that motivation until you feel it for real. Figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and get it done.

Suck It Up. Keep the Faith

EMail Anglea Pea

PSA #2 Repost- Exercising When Sick

Cover Your Cough!Hey Chickies!  Many of us – or our kids – have been sick during the past few weeks with the stomach virus going around or with our annual autumn colds.  I thought I would re-post this information, you know, just to be helpful.  I’m also avoiding my own workout as I sit here with a fever and feeling all achy and run over by a truck.  Thank you DirtBike, for sharing your germs with me.

Many of us are working our tails off trying to shed the body clutter and reclaim our health.  So what should we do when illness and exercise collide?  I wondered myself, so I did two things.  Checked out info over at MayoClinic.com and called my Nurse Practitioner. They both said the same thing.

As a rule of thumb for exercise and illness:

  • It’s okay to work out if your symptoms are “above the neck” — such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or sore throat. Be prepared to reduce the intensity of your workout if needed, however.
  • Postpone your exercise if your symptoms are “below the neck” — such as chest congestion, hacking cough or upset stomach.
  • Don’t exercise at all if you have a fever, fatigue or widespread muscle aches. (Gentle stretching is okay to help relieve the muscle aches.)
Mild to moderate physical activity is usually okay if you have a cold but no fever. Exercise may even help you feel better by temporarily relieving nasal congestion. If you choose to exercise when you’re sick, listen to your body. If your symptoms get worse with physical activity, stop and rest.
Yes, rest.  Your body is an amazing machine with self-healing super powers, but it needs rest to do its work. So if you feel like crud, don’t go running!  Resume your workout routine gradually as you begin to feel better.
Stay Healthy.  Keep the Faith.

EMail Anglea Pea

PSA #2 – Exercising When Sick

Hey Chickies!  Many of us – or our kids – have been sick during the past few weeks. Many of us are working our tails off trying to shed the body clutter and reclaim our health.  So what should we do when illness and exercise collide?

I wondered myself, so I did two things.  Checked out info over at MayoClinic.com and called my Nurse Practicioner. They both said the same thing.

As a rule of thumb for exercise and illness:

  • It’s okay to work out if your symptoms are “above the neck” — such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or sore throat. Be prepared to reduce the intensity of your workout if needed, however.
  • Postpone your exercise if your symptoms are “below the neck” — such as chest congestion, hacking cough or upset stomach.
  • Don’t exercise at all if you have a fever, fatigue or widespread muscle aches. (Gentle stretching is okay to help relieve the muscle aches.)
Mild to moderate physical activity is usually okay if you have a cold but no fever. Exercise may even help you feel better by temporarily relieving nasal congestion. If you choose to exercise when you’re sick, listen to your body. If your symptoms get worse with physical activity, stop and rest.
Yes, rest.  Your body is an amazing machine with self-healing super powers, but it needs rest to do its work. So if you feel like crud, don’t go running!  Resume your workout routine gradually as you begin to feel better.
Gradually is the name of my game this week.  Half of my household, including me, has been sick for what seems like the entire month of February.  Nothing serious, just a nasty energy draining mega snot producing upper respiratory virus that would not go away. It was bad.  I did not exercise.  I slept as much as possible, consumed gallons of fluids and let my body fight the germs and heal itself.  I started exercising again this week.  Slowly.  Even though I feel better and am no longer coughing up a lung, I’m holding back a little bit.  I pulled out my old C25K tracks and did week one pacing with walking and slow jogging.  Next week I’ll work out with Buff Chad, and then start ramping up the walking and running. 

EMail Anglea Pea