Me vs. My Brain: Exercise

My Brain and I have some issues that we really need to work out.  You can read about our ongoing conflict regarding vegetables here.

Another place where we disagree is in regards to exercise, and going to the gym in particular.  I like going to the gym, and when I go I try to do it six days per week (three cardio and three weights, alternating).  The benefits of going to the gym are many, and not only does each enhance the others, they also combine and help to make continuing to go to the gym easier. 

A morning workout means that I have more energy for the whole day, probably because of endorphins.  I also find that when I'm exercising regularly I sleep better, which means even more energy, and then because of energy and adequate rest I can think more clearly and concentrate more easily.  Once I'm rested and thinking clearly it's far easier to eat healthy food (including vegetables) partly because when I'm not exhausted I have fewer cravings for sugar, and partly because thinking clearly includes thoughts like why would I squander the health benefits of my awesome workout by eating garbage?  And finally, the restful sleep combines with the healthy diet and the actual use and strengthening of my muscles to make my body hurt less; If I'm stiff and sore before the gym, I usually feel much better after going.

But when I wake up in the morning, and think "I should get up so I can go to the gym" My Brain jumps in, and starts finding reasons why I shouldn't get up, and why I definitely shouldn't go to the gym:

When I do manage to override My Brain's objections and resolve to go to the gym, it doesn't give up.  It tries to stop me from working out by making me forget things.  These are just a few of the things My Brain has made me forget in an effort to stop my workout:

  • bus pass
  • workout shorts
  • water bottle
  • gym shoes

But I don't give up.  I have walked an hour to the gym I used to go to downtown, and then paid bus fare to get to work.  I have worked out in my jeans or a skirt.  I have paused my workout every three to five minutes to get a drink of water at the fountain.  And I have done my workout (whether the elliptical trainer, weight machines, or spin class) wearing knee-high boots.  That last one makes me look like a complete tool; but I don't let My Brain win . . .

Victory is mine!