When my head rings and my stomach aches, I know I’ve gone too far. My career in college as a varsity athlete taught me that a body cannot perform well without a fit mind. On days the college workload would get too much for me, I would go for a casual run and beat music into my head to get away from it all. I’m a recent college grad, and can offer some help on how working out can help ease our anxious states of mind.
1. We’re No Alex Morgan
Most of our passions in life do not require us to work out every day, but our own expectations often reflect that. World-class athletes like Alex Morgan must hold themselves accountable daily, as maintaining their physical fitness is how they make a living. We’re not Olympic caliber athletes, so we only hurt ourselves when we expect to train as frequently and look as fit as an Olympian. These expectations have a tendency to paralyze us more than they motivate.
Our beginning expectations: workout twice a week.
2. Find More ‘Me-Time’
Maybe you have 5 days a week to work out, and you want to go full speed ahead so you can look better, faster. The idea behind a consistent 30-minute workout is that you will develop a routine with a break from the school and social aspect of things to get your heart going, get a change of scenery, and get to sweatin’.
When you choose which days you are scheduled to workout, your non-workout days, or off days, become intentionally scheduled periods to NOT workout.
You’ll be able to do homework or me-time without holding onto the guilty feeling of having not worked out.
3. How To Schedule My Workouts
You know yourself better than anyone. Are your weekends much more unpredictable than your weekdays? Then schedule your workouts in your Monday to Friday block. Do you just have way too much during the school week, and you can do your two workouts on Saturday and Sunday? Heck yeah, do it and chill for the whole week.
You’re not a scheduling-type person? Try things out. Maybe workout in the morning once. Did that fit with your schedule? Then do it again. Night time better? Try it.
4. You Have Two Options
If we begin to overthink what we’re going to do once we start working out, we can scare ourselves away from doing it in the first place.
Only give yourself two options: move your legs or move your arms: cardio or lifting. Cardio doesn’t have to be on the treadmill or bike. Play a sport you love.
5. Use A Physical Timer
You’re not going to work out more than 30 minutes because you don’t have the time, and you’re not going to do less than 30 minutes because you deserve that time away from it all.
Start your timer from the moment you lace-up your shoes. Once you walk through your door, your thirty-minute timer best be going off.
Staying on-time is an achievement. When you scheduled something and it went according to plan, that’s a small win in anyone’s book (even if you won’t admit it out loud).
6. Because You’re Worth It
You may experience growing pains as you navigate your own schedule. You’ll find out real soon that this is not an easy fix. And frankly, are there an easy fixes to dealing with stress? You’re worth the growing pains of finding out how to best take care of yourself because you’re the only one who can.