Have you ever been so exhausted during a workout that you feel you simply can’t do another rep or run another sprint? Of course you have! Having your limits pushed is part of exercise. But what typically happens next? Do you give up—or do you push back?
I saw this video from Sport & Exercise Psychologist Dr. Haley Perlus, and wanted to share it with you. She talks about these moments and how mental toughness will help you push your limits. Dr. Perlus points out it is often our minds that hold us back, when in reality our bodies are more than capable of doing one more rep.
To help you better understand what your mind is saying during these moments of extreme fitness, she demonstrates a simple exercise anyone can do. First cross your arms naturally across your body (as if you’re waiting for someone to hurry up). Then cross your arms again, this time the other way. Uncomfortable? It doesn’t feel quite right to have your arms crossed the other way, does it?
When we workout, these types of uncomfortable moments will constantly come up. Instead of running away, Dr. Perlus says to look for these mental challenges and embrace them. She points out there is a big difference between pain (when you should stop) and discomfort (you can keep going).
So the next time you run into an obstacle, cross your arms to remind yourself what uncomfortable feels like—and then keep going. Gradually you will start to improve, but it starts with getting yourself out of your comfort zone and attacking that fear head on.