Couch Laziness

Lazy adult American bulldog sitting on brown leather couch with pillows

When Exercising Is The Last Thing That You Want To Do

. . . is when you have to push yourself the hardest to get off that comfy couch and jog straight to the gym! You think that couch wants you to get off? You think those beers want you to stop drinking? You think your girlfriend wants you to stop paying attention to her? When exercising is the last thing that you want to do, you do it anyways!

It’s so much easier to come home from work and crash on your furniture; just lay back and browse the internet or surf your cable packages. But within 20 minutes of relaxing on your couch and decompressing after a long day’s work, you begin to experience a nagging feeling within your mind, “get off the couch and head to the gym!”

You then begin to contemplate whether going to the gym is even worth it, “I have to jump in some comfortable clothes, actually get there and then put some effort on the machines or free weights, all while experiencing a crowded environment in-between the hours of 6-8 pm.” On the other hand, the little red bastard demon on your left shoulder is whispering in your ear, “forget that BS! Grab a beer or a fat J and kick back and relax!”

Sometimes you give in to the flesh and do just that. But if you want to improve as a person and lift yourself to the next level (no pun intended), then you have to get off your behind and go lift some weights! It actually doesn’t take that much effort after you develop a consistent routine, and you end up feeling better physically and mentally.

It’s easier to take the lazy and comfy route in life, but are you expecting to gain long-lasting results that way? The harder routes are the ones that pay off dividends in the long-run. But many people lose patience and don’t want to put in the work for that long; these are the folks who never learned or applied the concept of delayed gratification.

When exercising is the last thing that you feel like doing, then you go ahead and do it! It’s as simple as that.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Passion To Exercise

Silhouette of three women running on concrete road outdoors under blue sky

Only You Can Motivate Yourself

Let’s face it . . . we all wish to some extent to be more disciplined in our workout routines. Maintaining consistency from week to week is a difficult task for many people, especially for those who are not involved in sports or lead busy careers in totally different industries. But regardless of where we stand, we can always find some time to hit the gym or the jogging trails.

Part of the reason that many people do not maintain a consistent exercise routine has to do with motivation. Motivation or the general desire or willingness to exercise has to come from you! Motivation is difficult to maintain because exercising is not an easy task; for many people, it does not come naturally.

Some hope that by paying a personal trainer to motivate them once or twice a week, they will suddenly see a significant difference; don’t bet on it. Either one of two things will happen:

  • You’ll enjoy it for a while but give up later by canceling your trainer
  • You’ll keep paying your trainer but not see any significant results

Your trainer cannot improve your physique if you’re not motivated in the first place! Anyone can go ahead and sign up with a trainer, but not everyone can give 110% during their workouts. Your personal trainer is most likely not going to yell at you because you’re slacking; the guy or gal wants to keep you happy and not scare you off!

Without motivation, it’s likely that you’ll stop seeing your trainer in the near future. And when that’s done, you’ll most likely stop exercising altogether. Motivation is the root of all good things that have the potential to come into your life. It cannot be given to you; you have to create it within yourself.

On the other hand, there are many people who casually exercise while maintaining a decent level of motivation. These are not the people who are jacked like Arnold Schwarzenegger or fit like Cristiano Ronaldo. They are the people who are fit enough to look good and feel great!

And that can be you! You see, motivation can be built upon with the maintenance of a consistent exercise routine. That’s because the more results that you observe in the mirror, the more motivation that you’ll continue to receive; hard work rewards you with happiness and motivation!

Are you DSM Fit?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Exercising After Thanksgiving

Two people enjoying pie and bread during Thanksgiving

Relying On Exercising To Take Away The Guilt

The idea that some people plan on exercising for the first time or more intensely, immediately following Thanksgiving shows you the desperation that runs through their limbic system. The limbic system is involved in motivation, emotions, learning and memory. Guilt is a common feeling following feasting and exercising immediately after does nothing at all in the long run.

There are some people who believe that exercising after consuming a lot of food on a given holiday, will help them to lose weight. If you don’t already have an exercise routine year-round, it will not do anything except maybe help take away your guilt. But what good does that do, if you are still overweight or out of shape?

Exercising after a holiday is based on false hope and guilt. Guess how long these routines end up lasting? Maybe a week at maximum. People who don’t have a consistent exercise routine will not suddenly maintain one, right after a holiday like Thanksgiving. Establishing an exercise routine should have nothing to do with holidays; it’s about wanting to better yourself in the first place.

You’re actually better off enjoying Thanksgiving and feasting, than feeling guilty and running to the gym immediately afterwards. The latter situation only plays with your emotions and reinforces your lack of desire to exercise in the first place. But the former situation allows you to enjoy all of the hard work which you have been putting in throughout the year.

By eating healthy and exercising consistently throughout the year, Thanksgiving becomes a time to reward your state of mind by enjoying all of the food that you can eat. You see, when you put in hard work, playtime becomes much more pleasantly sweet; feelings such as guilt and sadness don’t overcome you.

The yearly formula that you should adopt includes: exercising + healthy eating + a happy state of mind + feasting on the holidays + repeat.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Taking Breaks From Exercising

Young woman in gym with headphones on tying her right shoe

Space Out Your Workouts

Life is more than just exercising all the time. Once a fitness routine is established, we sometimes become obsessive; we worry if we miss a workout. Unless you are training for the olympics or are a pro athlete, it’s fine and acceptable to space out your workouts and take some pressure off your shoulders.

Working out too consistently can actually promote fatigue and burnout. This can increase your chances of kissing your workouts goodbye for good. Once burnout occurs, it becomes quite difficult to recover; it’s key to avoid it in the first place. Imagine all of your months or years of hard work, only to lose it all because you became burned out!

The key to maintaining a proper workout regimen is to space out the days in which you exercise. Your routine need not be rigidly consistent over a long period of time. This may work at first, but over time, it greatly increases your chances of losing interest. Rather, space out your workouts and be flexible. If on one day you do not feel like exercising, find something else to do!

You do not have to feel guilty or stressed because you skipped a workout day. Rather, find another activity which will take your mind off exercising and bring you peace and relaxation. Sometimes just “chilling” is all you need to feel good and take your mind off fitness.

There are so many other activities which you can do rather than exercising all of the time. Learn to find pleasure in various activities and hobbies; a rigid life will stir up your mental health in the wrong direction and potentially increase your chances of developing a mental illness.

A repetitive life can quickly spiral out of control. It may cause you to not only lose interest in exercising but in life in general. Once a certain threshold of stress has been surpassed, your chances of developing a substance abuse disorder or major depression increase substantially.

Don’t overdo your workouts. Sometimes going with the flow is all you need to remain relaxed and happy in life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

US Open Tennis

Time lapse photo of green tennis ball flying in air

Mental Toughness In Tennis Matches

Tennis is a unique sport in that you are stepping onto the battlefield by yourself; there are no teammates to clean up after you. Mental toughness makes up about 75% of a successful player’s arsenal; 20% is their physicality and 5% is luck. You may think that the bigger or faster you are, the more advantage you have.

This is true up to a certain level; in juniors, physicality can help score a lot of Ws. But once a player reaches the pros, it becomes obvious that many of the top-ranked players have an impressive physicality; their success comes down to their mental strength. Talent is already understood; a player wouldn’t be a top-ranked professional if he or she did not have talent.

Coaching and strategy are very important as well, but all top-ranked players have great coaches and well-defined strategies. And luck is non-reliable; it comes and goes as it wishes. So one component remains and dominates consistently: mental toughness.

Tennis is a very psychological sport. On any given day, any great tennis player can lose to another player who is considered a weaker opponent. The psychology of the game begins prior to even stepping onto the court:

  • You start to analyze your opponent
  • You become more in touch with your body (i.e.: cramps, pain, stiffness)
  • You analyze your game and if anything is bothering you about it
  • You start to deal with any emotional issues or mental concerns
  • You start to feel the nerves, pressure and anxiety

The psychological aspect of the game continues onto the court:

  • You analyze your opponent’s current level of play
  • You analyze which strategy is best for the current match
  • You have to properly handle frustration and not let it bring you down
  • You have to compensate with different strokes if one is letting you down
  • You have to come up with bigger shots if your player is on fire
  • You have to handle your nerves
  • You have to block out the annoying fans who are rooting for your opponent
  • You have to block out any personal issues or distractions which have followed you onto the court
  • And you have to maintain consistent mental toughness until you capture the W

You see, at a certain level, most players have an impressive physicality: they are over 6’1″, have a lot of strength, have great flexibility, are very quick and move very well and have great endurance and stamina. Slightly improving physicality over the average is not going to make a decent player a consistent champion.

Unfortunately, height is playing a bigger role in sports these days, especially in tennis. A taller stature allows one the opportunity to develop a more powerful and effective serve. Especially in the men’s game, an effective serve is almost necessary to consistently win these days. A taller stature is also useful for reach at the baseline and at the net; more reach helps you to get to the balls easier.

But what makes a tennis player great is discipline, hard work and mental toughness. Tennis is like a chess match, more or less: the size of the player is irrelevant but the mental component is everything. Just watch the United States Tennis Open in Flushing, New York to get an understanding of what is required to be a great tennis player!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Fun Ways To Exercise

Young fit woman standing near plants having fun during her workouts

Having Fun During Your Workouts

Exercising does not have to be repetitive. By becoming creative with exercising, you will find a renewed motivation to work out and stay fit. A lot of people give up on their exercise routines because they do not spice up their activities; think of a hamster running on its wheel for the next 2-3 years.

One of the keys to successful exercising is having fun doing it. For instance, why are you jogging on a treadmill? Go outside and enjoy the view: jog on the streets or a park in your neighborhood while enjoying nature and your surroundings. Leave the treadmills for the hamsters!

When you are lifting, are you putting on your headphones and rocking out to motivational music such as rock, hip hop or trance? If you are not, then you are missing out on a great deal of unlocked energy and potential which can help make your workouts more fun and enjoyable. Music helps you to establish a rhythm as well as put you in another state of mind which motivates you to work out harder!

When you are playing a sport such as basketball, soccer or tennis, are you actually having fun or just playing because you have no choice? You always have a choice! Either enjoy the sport and take in every moment of it or find something else to do! Do not waste your time playing a sport if you are not going to have fun performing in it.

For some people, exercising is fun when they are teaching others. If you are the type of person who enjoys teaching, find a friend who can start benefitting from exercising and guide them through their workouts; teaching can be very fun and engaging and provide you with more drive to stay active and fit!

You will also feel much better about yourself when you start teaching others. Teaching reinforces the confidence and leadership nature within yourself. It also demonstrates to others that you are a person who can be trusted and who is full of knowledge and credibility. But you must always try to improve as a teacher, in order for your followers to receive the most benefit!

It is no secret that the key to enjoying anything in life is having fun doing it. This is no different with work, education, socializing, vacations or exercising. Remind yourself that everything that you do must be enjoyed in a fun way. Viewing life from this perspective will deliver you more happiness and long-term prosperity!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

No Motivation To Work out

Motivated woman working out by running up the stairs outside

How To Find Motivation To Work out

Working out takes discipline and drive; without the two, your motivation to work out will not go a long way. Exercising and staying fit is like a second job but you do not have to view it that way. The positive way to look at it is by acknowledging the fact that exercising is healthy for your mind and body!

A lot of people do not have any motivation to work out because they have never learned how to incorporate an exercise routine into their life. Even if they are interested in starting to exercise, they throw the idea aside when they arrive home from work and feel tired.

Even if you have long days at work, exercising should be looked upon as a fun and exciting thing to do: it refreshes you, provides you with a fresh burst of energy, makes you feel good about yourself, disciplines you and keeps you mentally and physically fit! You just have to remind yourself about these benefits and how happy they will make you.

Do not attempt to jump into an intense workout routine multiple times a week; you will not last long. The key is to build up your drive by starting to work out once or twice a week for 30 minutes at a time. And do not put in a lot of effort. Take it easy and learn to enjoy the process; allow yourself to become comfortable with working out.

As with any new routine, it takes time, discipline, a strong work ethic, consistency and determination to maintain a new positive habit in your life. There will be days when you will feel like giving up, especially early in your training. This feeling is normal, but do not fall for the trap of losing your drive and falling behind on your workout routine. Once you start to fall behind, it becomes very hard to regain your motivation and catch up!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Working Out Consistently

Woman consistently exercising in gym

Do I Have To Eat After Working Out?

We often find ourselves in a bad mood due to some random event in our lives, and the last thing on our mind is to go exercise or continue with our workout routine. Our bad mood kills our motivation; it’s as if we morph into another person who no longer wants to stick with the routines we had in place.

You cannot let life events that cause you to have a bad mood interfere with your workout routines! You must fight through the pain and utilize your workouts as a source of positive energy; transfer your bad mood into the fitness session and reap the good mood afterwards. Exercise is excellent for your mental health!

The key is consistency. You cannot control life events that make you unhappy but you can control your consistent workout routines! Try going out in nature to exercise; not only will you reap the benefits of physical activity but you will also feel much better due to the therapeutic effect of nature!

And the same applies with eating after working out: you must replenish your body with nutrients in order to revitalize your body and mind! Eating is a discipline; you must train your mind to eat healthy after every workout!

Your body utilizes a lot of energy during running, lifting, swimming and playing sports. If you do not eat properly after these activities, your body will not efficiently reap the benefits of your workouts because you are not providing it with the nutrients it needs to recover.

What you eat is very important! Stay low on unsaturated fats and carbohydrates and stick to a high protein diet mixed with vegetables and fruits; as much protein and vitamins as possible will replenish your lost energy and promote muscle growth and overall well-being. At the end of the day, energy intake must not exceed energy output by too much; keep the ratio at a happy medium!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Wimbledon 2019: Serena Williams

Singles tennis match on Wimbledon center court

The Underdog Alison Riske

Tennis is a beautiful and passionate sport that brings out the best in people: hard work, strength, desire, will, motivation, determination and toughness. You must be willing to wake up every day and give it your all; you have no teammates to help you out!

Serena Williams used to hit balls with her sister Venus out of a shopping cart in the rusty streets of Compton, California. Alison Riske used to hit balls in a cold bubble at a club named Windwood, in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Different stories but one common theme is evident: persistence and passion brought these players to the top of the tennis world!

If you are not able to remain mentally tough for 2-3 hours at a time, then tennis is not the sport for you. You have no teammates to assist you when you are running low on concentration or physical strength; you are out there on your own. Your career depends on how much hard work you put in since day one.

Getting your children involved in tennis is one of the best things you can do for them. The sport will teach them discipline, listening skills, the joy of winning, the pain of losing and the beauty of learning. Since you are playing on your own, it can become very gratifying to reap many wins after shedding so many tears; the feeling is priceless.

And that is what Alison Riske is set out to accomplish at this year’s Wimbledon. She will step out onto a quarterfinal stage to face one of the greatest (if not, the greatest) women’s tennis player of all time: Serena Williams. And who wins does not matter. But who leaves with a smile on their face will be victorious in the end!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Keeping Your Drive To Exercise Alive

Motivated woman exercising and doing yoga on blue stability ball

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

Exercising on a consistent basis requires motivation and persistence; it is so easy to lose the two and drop your entire routine all together. Somewhere inside of you, you must find a reason to keep yourself determined to maintain your fitness habits.

Whether you want to lose weight, remain healthy or become fit, your goal should be to maintain an exercise routine 2-3 times a week, for about 30-45 minutes per session. If discipline is something that you struggle with, you need to find a way to develop it now before it’s too late. As you get older, it becomes harder to instill new habits and break old ones; as the saying goes, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

The discipline to exercise is based on motivation; you must find something that keeps you pushing. Whatever you find will help you exercise on the days that feel the hardest to get going; when you succeed to exercise on those days, your discipline will be reinforced and you will find it easier to maintain your drive to exercise.

Lastly, do not lose sight of the most important factor in regards to exercising: having fun! In anything that you do, having fun is key to maintaining a momentum and succeeding with your goals.

The DSM Ready Movement is about having fun!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)