Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life. Finances, relationships, careers, school, family, and health to name a few. The combination of your everyday stressors and starting a new exercise routine that you will stick with can be either impossible or a blessing. Fortunately, we get to choose. Follow these tips to manage the stress of a new exercise program.
Mindset and Attitude
A Yale and Harvard study showed that stress levels are determined by our perception of a situation (Anchor, Crum & Salovey, 2011). This is why focusing on the positive benefits of exercise and enjoying the process is so crucial to sticking with it and being able to experience all of the positive side effects of exercise. Some unfortunate souls, perhaps yourself at one time, believe that exercise or certain forms of exercise are torturous. Other disempowering and unhealthy beliefs about exercise include no pain no gain or that the more you suffer, the better.
How do you think about exercise? Do you look forward to it? Is exercise a stress reliever for you? A form of play and enjoyable?
For you to be able to continue to exercise successfully for a lifetime, make sure that you are getting a sufficient amount of nutrition to support your lifestyle. Ask yourself, “Am I getting enough calories to support my energy levels throughout the day?”
Further, adequate nutrition provides enough nutrients to aid in your recovery from exercise. Are you feeling hydrated and refueled once you’ve finished your post workout meal? Journaling and working with a professional can make this seemingly complicated task very simple.
This one alone can make or break all of the above. If you are not getting enough sleep, it will be impossible for you to fight off cravings for long, recover from exercise, and stay mentally focused/engaged. Are you getting 6–9 hours of sleep per night? Each person’s sweet spot may vary. There are plenty of resources for developing healthy sleep habits. Please reach out if you would like us to give you some help to improve your sleep.
Your to-do list
- Develop healthy relationships with exercise and physical activity. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to enjoy your training and to maintain a positive attitude towards exercise.
- Develop eating habits that will support your energy levels and life. Make sure that you are consuming enough fruits, vegetables, and proteins at the right times for your lifestyle.
- Develop healthy night time rituals that will allow you to get to sleep quickly and stay asleep for 6 hours a night or more. Eliminate any stimulation, including any technology (phones, tablets, tvs, etc) at least an hour before bed. Reading is books made of paper at night time will help.
Let’s be honest… working out is a sweaty, messy, uncomfortable business. So it’s important to have the right gym gear to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Click here to check out my list of The Best Gym Gear for Women (2018 Edition).
About Nick Outlaw
Nick Outlaw is a Corrective Movement Specialist who is passionate about addressing clients’ imbalances and movement patterns, so they can truly enjoy life’s adventures at their best. He’s based in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.For more great posts by Nick, check out his blogs at:
Anchor, S., Crum, A.J. & Salovey P. 2011 (revised 2012). Rethinking Stress; The role of mindsets in determining the stress response, [Online], Accessed on 27 Oct 2017,
Available at https://mbl.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/crum_rethinkingstress_jpsp_2013_0.pdf ,
Originally published at www.tarafitnesspersonaltraining.co.uk on 27-Oct-2017.