Staying motivated is always something that we struggle with from time to time. Whether it's finishing off the next project at work with the deadline looming a week from now but you decide to kick your feet back and relax or you wrote down on your New Year's resolution that you'll commit to going to sleep at 10pm and waking up at 6am to be more productive, people don't always do what comes out of their mouths. After all, it is far easier to say what you need to do rather than actually doing it. That can be especially difficult when our bodies and the environment are working against us to prevent us from achieving what we know we can achieve. Have you ever had a brilliant idea or an ambitious goal that you have already fully charted out and can see the long-term benefits of it only to sit down on day one to work on your master plan and decide that today just isn't the day. That's fine, you tell yourself, you can do it another day. Unfortunately, as we all know, that day never comes.
Why Am I Feeling This Way?
While at the end of the day, we are our own masters, there are external factors that influence how we behave. For one, the weather. Exposure to sunlight is known to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin which functions as our mood stabilizer and acts as one of our 'happy' hormones. During winter months, the average amount of sunlight we get is far lower than during the summer months and that is due to three primary factors.
1) The first and most obvious is that the days are shorter and nights longer during the winter months rather than summer months with the shortest day of the year being in the second half of December. 2) The second factor is the increased chances of overcast weather in winter months as compared to the summer months. 3) Finally, the cold weather outside generally stops people from spending too much time outside which limits our exposure to sunlight. All of these reasons result in us generally feeling gloomier or down than when the sun is shining from 6am to 9pm.
One can be sure that many of you may agree with the aforementioned statement but you of course don't want to be slaves of the weather. You want to be motivated and productive 24/7 and 12 months a year. Well good on you! Knowing the right tools you need to get your brain have its game face on is exactly the building box you need to achieve your goals. You don't want the weather outside to dictate what you can and cannot do. Here's how to take control.
So Long As You're Moving
Humans are built for movement. Everyone can agree on the fact that sitting in an office typing away at a computer for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week isn't something that benefits your health. Movement, of any kind, is essential to our wellbeing. Our bodies and brains are built for physical activity and the sedentary lives we live today that revolve around driving to work while sitting in a car, working in a chair at a desk, driving back home while sitting, coming back home to eat and watch T.V. while sitting, going to sleep, and repeating the cycle. Do that for 10 years of your life and you start feeling demotivated, burnt out and putting on weight.
Going to exercise should be based on your physical limitations regarding your age, current physical condition, and amount of time you have on your hands. Simply any type of exercise results in significant changes in your brain chemistry that make you feel alive again. Scientists have studied the brains of individuals before, during and after exercising and have discovered that the brain releases chemicals called endorphins during exercise. Endorphins are feel-good hormones that reduce your perception of pain. They are actually quite similar to morphine, believe it or not. This increase in endorphins through exercise has been shown to lead to a host of health benefits such as improved sleep, especially when exercising in the morning, lowered levels of stress and anxiety, physical benefits (obviously), and a reduction in appetite.
Where Should I Get Started?
Many people's first instinct might be to go for a run, decide to go more often to their local swimming pool or even join a sports club, all great options. The only catch; everything has been closed down due to the province-wide lockdown in effect since December 26th (Boxing Day). The impact of the coronavirus can be felt far and wide and this is no different. The best solution is finding an alternative which allows you to not depend on your local community centres, clubs, or weather. Something you can do on your own, at home, whenever you feel like it. A personal home gym.
Buying exercise equipment can be a difficult choice for many who are concerned with the specifications of the material they buy online without being able to physically see the items until the package arrives. If you don't already have a home gym, you probably aren't a seasoned pro so here are some basic guidelines to follow when making your home gym.
1. Bigger Isn't Always Better: Getting the heaviest weights that you can manage and doing the maximum number of reps per set until you physically can't anymore may seem like the right strategy to break down your muscles and build new ones but it is not the most effective tactic. Try instead to purchase something mid-range in that you don't have too much trouble lifting it. Instead try going for consistency by doing more sets. Repetitive exercising with low-to medium weights is more effective at building muscle than short bursts of lifting very heavy weights and also carries a lower risk of injury.
2.The More the Merrier: Prioritize equipment that will give you the most benefits. The end goal should be a full body workout since prioritizing a specific region such as arms and chest will neglect the rest of your body. Versatile equipment can mean exercising anything from your triceps to your back and from your chest to calves.
One example is dumbbells. Bicep curls, shoulder presses, one arm swings, lunges, you name it, you can do it with dumbbells. As one of the most versatile pieces of equipment, they're definitely a must-buy for your new gym.
Another example is weight plates. Lateral raises, squats, overhead presses or even ones as unique as holding the plank whilst moving over a stack of plates one by one from one side to another. In short, the possibilities are endless.
3.Price to Product: The material you purchase and the brands you pick should ultimately depend on how often you plan on using your home gym. If the answer is once a day or every other day, you don't need to find high-grade exercise equipment. That is something you should look for once you already feel very confident and experience in what you're doing to make that kind of investment.
Finding what works for you is something only you can discover. That's why it's essential in the beginning to start off with a wide range of possibilities before narrowing it down to what you want to focus on most. When it comes to staying healthy, active, and motivated, being more general and spread out in your workouts is key. Don't overwork yourself but also make sure to keep the routine and not slack off. When exercising, keeping the status quo will mean gradual improvement over time and you feeling better no matter if the sun is shining in July or a blizzard is blowing in January. If you want to beat the winter blues, come to https://www.fitnessavenue.ca/ to see how you can bring your workout to the next level.