Got no energy during your workout? A trainer’s advice

comeDo it with me: You’re not going to feel your best every day. And that’s okay! Maybe you were up all night (whether you wanted to be or not). Maybe the holiday stress is getting to you. Or maybe your couch is just calling your name louder than it usually does.

So should you still try to work out when you’ve got zero energy to put into it? Certified Personal Trainer Karen “KeMax” Maxwell, a Senior Master Trainer at CycleBar, says yes! “As long as you’re moving your body, your mind and body will benefit,” she says.

“We can’t be 100 percent every day – that would be exhausting!” she says.

Doing some exercise isn’t always about hitting your personal best. Maxwell says the mental aspect of movement can be just as beneficial (if not more) than any physical gain. “Any form of movement increases blood flow to your body and produces endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin,” says Maxwell. “These are all hormones in the body that produce happiness, energy, love, and all the things that make us feel good. Regular exercise increases your serotonin and dopamine levels, which make us happy.”

And no matter the workout or the level of intensity you bring to it, even a “bad” training session is giving your body a regular routine. “Building a habit will help you realize that not every day will be your best, but developing consistency will help you avoid too many highs and lows,” says Maxwell. “Our body responds to what we do consistently. Some days, we’re not motivated, so we have to rely on discipline.”

Be sure and check with yourself what’s really going on—and the language you speak about being off-days. “If you tell yourself you’re tired, you’ll be tired,” says Maxwell. “If you say, ‘I’m feeling less energetic than usual, so I’m going to go for a walk outside and let the fresh air invigorate me,’ you’ll probably feel very different. I believe in the mind-body connection and if we tell ourselves something, our body will follow.”

However, Maxwell also says to respect your body if you really have an off day or you’re sick: “Listen to your body. There is no need to work if you are sick. That’s your body telling you to rest.”

But if what you need is a mind-over-matter workout to get your endorphins flowing, ditch the goals and just go. Although your plan for the day may be to hit spin class, allow yourself to take a long walk instead while connecting with a friend or listening to a good audiobook. “If you’re feeling ‘blah,’ recognize it and allow yourself not to use numbers to measure your progress,” she says. “Turn off your Apple Watch and see how you feel. You might surprise yourself.”

Sorry, Apple Watch. We’ll close those rings tomorrow.

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