Staying Motivated: Working Out After a Long Day

Let’s face it: The last thing we want to do after exhausting ourselves after a long workday is exercise. Yet we all know that working out is so important for not only our bodies but for our minds and overall good health. Our expert, Dr. Mimi Secor, weighs in here with some great, simple ways to squeeze in a workout at the end of the day. She is a nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing, a health and fitness advocate—and just so happens to have taken up professional body building at the age of 62!

Available for Interviews: Dr. Mimi Secor.

Here are some things that Dr. Mimi Secor can say in an interview on this topic:
My first suggestion is a make or break concept! If you “Fail to prepare, you
are preparing to fail.” This is especially true when you anticipate being
physically tired and emotionally drained after a long work shift. Suggestions to combat this problem include the following:
  1. Plan ahead. Pack your workout gear and a snack in your car so you are ready to exercise right after work. If your workout clothes are already in your car and you change at work, you’ll be ready to hit the gym (if opened now) or exercise at your favorite outdoor location. It’s hard to leave the house once you get home—especially after a long work day.
  2. Plan to work out with a friend. By creating accountability this increases the probability you will follow through with your intention to exercise after work.
  3. Don’t procrastinate. If you are planning to work out after work, get started as soon as you get home. To be successful, it helps if you plan in advance what you will be doing for exercise when you get home. This should include setting everything up in advance that you will need: workout clothes, shoes, exercise equipment, and preplan what you will be doing—cardio, weights, yoga, pilates, etc.

  4. Take a break. If you are just too tired to exercise immediately after work, eat a snack, drink some water, and even consider taking a short nap for 15-20 minutes. But set an alarm so you don’t sleep too long. This can recharge your battery and give you renewed energy to exercise. Too long a nap can backfire and cause excessive drowsiness.

  5. Workout at home. If you are not going to a gym or fitness center there are many different types of activities you might consider doing at home. These include taking a walk, run, bicycle ride, jump rope, hula hoop, dance to music, try the 7-minute New York Times Workout, plank, sit-ups, practice yoga. Just keep moving for at least 15 mins, ideally 30-60 minutes (150 minutes per week is recommended).

  6. Consider mindful exercise. If you are just too tired to exercise, try stretching. Also consider combining stretching with a breathing meditation. Simply breathe in on the count of 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, then exhale for 5 seconds. Count to yourself while you breathe. This breathing meditation will clear your mind, helps reduce stress-associated cortisol levels and promotes neurogenesis (growth of new nerves in the hippocampus). In contrast, chronic stress inhibits neurogenesis.
Remember, new habits are “hard until they are easy” and “counterintuitive
until intuitive.” Persist, plan, think positively and it will get easier!

Available for Interviews: Dr. Mimi Secor.

Dr. Mimi Secor, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, is a Nurse Practitioner, Educator, Health/Fitness Advocate. She is also a popular National Speaker and Consultant, educating advanced practice clinicians and consumers around the country and the world. She is the author of the #1 International bestselling book, Debut a New You: Transforming Your Life at Any Age.

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