Mommy's Favorite Things: 6 Tips to Push Yourself When Exercising

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

6 Tips to Push Yourself When Exercising

person in gray shirt holding black dumbbell

Exercising is challenging for everyone. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or someone just starting out, pushing yourself to your full potential is always difficult. Here are six tips to push yourself when exercising.  

1. Focus on your Surroundings

When your chest is pounding, and your legs feel like giving out, focus on your surroundings. That could be an interesting painting on the wall, a great song playing in the background, or even someone else hustling through their workout. It's essential to get out of your head when you're feeling fatigued and are trying to push forward to meet your exercise goals. Finding a healthy distraction that you can focus on as you move through the pain will help you achieve your goals with less effort.

2. Give yourself Rewards

When you push yourself successfully, reward yourself for all your hard work. Buy yourself something nice and practice self-love. You can even tailor your rewards to your fitness goals. For example, invest in shock absorbing shoes as a way to tell yourself thank you and to keep your cardio on point. Waiting until that one fine day when you’ve reached your fitness goals is not an effective way to stay on your game. You need to reward yourself periodically so that you can enjoy the process. The journey is the most important part.

3. Be the Observer

Mindfulness-based-stress-reduction techniques utilize the practice of witnessing thoughts as a third-party. When we look at our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations as someone on the outside, we are less emotionally invested, and as a result, can relax more completely. When you're exercising and exerting a lot of energy and effort to push yourself, try to see yourself as an observer. When you feel the pain, just notice the pain and allow any thoughts to simply float by in your mind without attaching to them or labeling them. When you disengage productively, you're able to commit to difficult tasks without so much emotion. 

4. Keep Things Moving

Pushing yourself as you exercise does not have to take forever. You can push yourself while exercising in small increments so that the effort you're exerting doesn't consume your entire workout. For example, if you're trying to work on your speed, work on sprinting short instances. You don't have to run as fast as you can for the duration of your entire run. Always keep things simple, for when you set small goals like this, you’ll feel more capable of accomplishing them because they take up less time.

person standing beside black weights

5. Never Give Up

If you try to push yourself and you fail, don't give up. There's always tomorrow, and success doesn't come overnight. The best way to push yourself when you're exercising is to know that you're always giving it your best shot. You don't have to beat yourself up or feel bad about where you are because the progress you make reflects precisely where you should be. Face your current physical limitations with acceptance, and you'll progress with less frustration.

6. Surrender to the Process

Surrender to the fact that exercising is demanding and that pushing yourself is even more challenging. Surrender to the understanding that achieving fitness goals takes time and that commitment to a healthy lifestyle is not as fun and as glamorous as it appears on social media. When you accept all that needs to be accepted to achieve your goals, you're more likely to embrace change instead of fighting it. The mental anguish you will have bypassed from surrendering to the process will give you more strength than you ever thought possible. You can use this strength to achieve your goals and to stay motivated when exercising feels impossible.

Achieving your fitness goals is no easy feat. But with the right motivation tools in place, you'll get there gradually, one day at a time. Keep going!