This past summer we started experimenting with different types of workouts and had so much fun doing so. Our dedication to daily workouts has only grown over these last several months. We are not saying every time we exercise it is a piece of cake. Actually, it is quite the contrary. There are some days where we literally think of any excuse not to work out. This is so normal! Laziness gets the best of us sometimes. We find that the hardest part of any fitness class or long distance run is the first ten minutes. It is always so hard to start, but after our body gets warmed up we are so thankful we didn’t cave in.      

We talked about what we could do to push ourselves to get through those hard days. The thought was a “give it up” work out.  No matter how tired we were or how sluggish we felt, we would give up our work out for someone else. If we knew someone who was going through a rough time or knew someone who was recently diagnosed with an illness, we sacrificed our work out for him or her. We could not complain, quit, or take for granted the ability to exercise. When we look at it from a different perspective, we see that it is a truly a gift that our bodies can work as hard as they do. This changed our whole mind-set on fitness. It wasn’t about the competitive aspect or even the amount of time we spent exercising, but rather the freedom we had to exercise. Some people physically aren’t capable.  If we take a step back and look at the big picture, it is evident how lucky we are to be able to push ourselves to higher limits physically.

Our best workouts are the ones we accomplish out of frustration. We all have those “not so good” kinds of days. You all know what we’re talking about. You may not do as well as you hoped on an exam, you may be experiencing a bad break up, or things may not be happening the way you had hoped. What you need in those situations is a natural high…something to pick up your mood. ENDORPHINS. These are hormone-like substances that are produced in the brain. They function as the body’s natural painkillers. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, and this produces feelings of exhilaration as well as a general state of wellbeing. These endorphins are so powerful they can mask pain! It is said that endorphins released through strenuous exercise have the same effect as morphine on the body. Get addicted to this kind of high! When you are having a bad day and experiencing anxiety, get outside, work out, and just GIVE IT UP. Sometimes the best way to overcome stressful situations is to remove yourself from the chaos and just let go. Use exercise as your therapy. We have no doubt you will experience a lot of positive side effects.

If you are having one of those stressful, apathetic kinds of days, change up your mindset. Don’t think of working out as a chore, think of it as a privilege.  Have a “give it up” workout and sacrifice your time exercising for a reason or a cause. Use it to your advantage. It will open your eyes to whole new perspective on what fitness means to you!