Coach’s Corner: How to Beat the Blues

girl running

If you’re reading this as a Twin Cities resident, then you know that we’ve been having terrible weather. It’s almost June and it’s 60 and cloudy?! What the…?

Despite the weather being bad, this should NEVER stop you from training. Here are some ways to beat the blues and stay motivated:

 

1. Exercise can improve your mood!
Studies have shown that exercising is a great way to combat depression and anxiety because it helps your muscle and your mind relax. Since working out puts “stress” on your body, your body responds by releasing endorphins, which as as natural tranquilizers. If you’ve never worked out before, start with 15 minutes a day of walking. Then go up to 30 minutes. Try to exercise daily, but if not then try to do at least 3 days a week.

2. Pay attention to your body!
If you’re feeling fatigued or lethargic, take a look at what you’re eating. Good nutrition is key to fitness and feeling great. If you’re skipping meals or eating fast and processed foods, chances are you’re probably not feeling like a supermodel. Be sure that you only eat when you’re hungry and don’t skip meals! Skipping meals causes your metabolism to slow down. It’s like a fire, if there is nothing to burn, then it will burn out. You have to keep “feeding the fire” in order for it to continue to burn. This is not to say that you should eat constantly, but you should eat between 4-6 small meals every 3 or 4 hours.

3. Get a physical.
When was the last time you had a physical? If it’s been more than 2 years, then you should probably schedule one soon. It’s can’t hurt to have all your levels checked to make sure everything is in working order. Just because you feel fine, doesn’t always mean the insides are fine. For example, I went in for a physical last year and they did blood work. They found out that I was showing signs of hypothyroidism despite the fact that I had no other symptoms. ┬áSo go see your doctor!

4. Rest to restore and rebuild your body.
Resting is really important for your body to repair and rebuild itself. Try getting into a habit of training every other day. Or every 2 days so your body has time to repair. This will also help mitigate the chances of you getting injured because you’re muscles haven’t been able to full repair.

5. Avoid harmful substances.
The obvious ones should be drugs and alcohol. Using these substances typically make depression and anxiety worse. Instead of reaching for a beer at the end of your day, skip the calories and go for a walk around your neighborhood. I guarantee that the fresh air and the movement will make you feel 10 times better than the calorie dense beer.

6. Comfort yourself with a support group.
Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people that have similar goals as you or that support your decision to get healthy and have an active lifestyle. These people are the ones that will remind you of your strengths and help you improve your weaknesses without making you feel judged. Try to connect with at least 1 supportive friend or family member at least once a day.

7. Use positive thoughts and self talk.
We are our own worst critics, this is true, and often times we’re the ones that hold ourselves back. When I’m feeling insecure about my abilities I always mentally tell myself, “Yes you can. Yes you will.” And I keep going. When I’m working out and I want to give up, I say that little mantra over and over again. When I’m laying in bed and I know I should go to the gym, I remind myself of the goals that I have and that going to the gym will not only make me feel accomplished, it’ll bring me closer to that goal.

8. Get outside! Even if the weather isn’t the best.
Even if the weather is a little chilly and cloudy, don’t let that stop you from going for a walk, run, or bike around your neighborhood. To be honest, I actually prefer to work out outside when the weather isn’t nice and sunny. Why? In part because I detest tan lines, but also because the lake near my apartment is way less crowded on crummy days! It’s on the nice days that everyone is out and about. Use bad weather days (aside from rainy or snowy days) to take advantage of parks and lakes. You might be surprised at how calming and relaxing being outside by yourself can be. For me, it’s the only quite time I have besides the time that I’m sleeping!

So what are you going to do this week to lift your spirits while moving and grooving?!

 

Best,

Coach Colleen