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How to Exercise When Your Gas Tank Reads “Empty”
You ever have those mornings where getting out of bed feels like climbing a mountain?
I was up way too late last night playing a game of cat and mouse with one of nature’s furry little friends. I was a terrible cat, he was a terrific mouse, long story short he’s sleeping soundly somewhere and I look like a zombie out of a Resident Evil film.
The last thing I want to do today is exercise. I’m tired, irritable and it’s barely noon. Just the thought of tying my running shoes makes me weary.
I’m no stranger to being tired. Neither are you. It seems like “tired’ is synonymous with the human condition in 2022, given the harried nature of our lives.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Exercise is one of the best ways to breathe life back into your weathered body. Counterintuitive? Yes. Exceptionally true? Also yes.
Get to the starting line
Not every workout needs to be an all-out dogfight. You don’t have to set a new personal best every time you train. Sometimes the perfect workout is simply going through the motions to get the blood moving. Especially when you’re not at 100%.
“An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”
Newton’s first law of motion. An object will move in a straight line unless acted on by another force. You remember those demonstrations from high school physics class.
The same goes for human behavior. If you’re in motion, you tend to stay in motion. If you’re active, you tend to stay active.
When your gas tank reads empty, when your energy is tapped out, just get to the starting line. Just begin. Let inertia take care of the rest.
Something amazing happens next
You feel…better. There’s no other way to describe it.
Your energy improves. Your mood lifts. Your strength returns. Even in the face of little sleep or lots of stress or depression or anxiety. Whatever ails you exercise will cure.
Our bodies were built for physical activity. Research suggests we’ve been running for 2 million years. To be active is to be human — not giving up on today and waiting for tomorrow.
The mouse may have won this round. He may have deprived me of some precious sleep. But I’ve got a sharpened sword at my behest. And if he comes back tonight he’ll be waging war with an adversary who’s ready and willing to fight.