Body Blog: The Real Reason You Didn’t Work Out
You know those days when, no matter how much you know you should workout, you just can’t bring yourself to put on a sports bra and sweat for an hour or two? You’re too tired. The futon is too comfortable. And those Project Runway re-runs need to be watched again so you can analyze the way Heidi Klum says “Yooah in, oar yooah owit”…
Well, don’t be too hard on yourself – you only have so much willpower. Literally.
According to a recent study at McMaster University, you have a limited amount of willpower. Whether you’re avoiding the cookies your roommate baked, or forcing yourself to concentrate on finishing that essay that’s due in a few hours, you use up your willpower throughout the day. You can burn up your stores of willpower mentally or physically. And as the test subjects demonstrated, loss of willpower causes you to work out at a lower intensity, work out less often, and makes your workout less effective.
So looking back, you might think that you were justified by not working out. “Oh well. That’s all of the willpower I had for today!” Well, woman, that is not the case.
We are completely capable of replenishing and strengthening our willpower, which is good news for your cardio sesh and your health. Here are some great, simple tips to help boost your willpower and get you on that treadmill no matter how much will-power you spent that day:
1. Listen to positive, upbeat music. I suggest “Blow Away” by A Fine Frenzy. It makes me smile every time!
2. Drink some juice for a quick sugar boost.
3. Set a specific date and time for exercise. Grab that cute planner you bought from Barnes & Noble and pencil in a date with the free weights. Better yet, Sharpie that. Your body will get used to this schedule and you’ll be ready to go when the clock strikes “workout.”
4. Challenge yourself to strengthen your willpower. Won’t…eat another…chocolate chip cookie!
5. Plan exercise beforehand. Will Wednesday be focused on abs or quads? Running or biking? Pilates or yoga? Decide and stick to your guns, woman.
6. Get yourself in a good mood. Now I actually have a good reason for watching the “Can I Have Your Number?” MadTV skit again!
7. If you’re really worried, drag that butt out of bed before class and work out in the morning. Not only will you have plenty of willpower that early in the day, but you’ll feel fantastic all day long.