The 5 Minute Trick

Last night I worked out for the first time since last Monday. Why? The week went something like this:

Monday: worked out for an hour despite sniffles and scratchy throat
Tuesday: sore throat and stuffy nose and poor sleep
Wednesday: mild fever plus sore throat and stuffy/runny nose and poor sleep
Thursday: sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, cough, and poor sleep
Friday: sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, and ear infection
Saturday: all of the above, only less severe
Sunday: recovering, but lacking energy

Fun times, huh? I haven’t had a cold like that in a long time, much less an ear infection. The ear infection is still lingering, but I’m taking an antibiotic for it and hope it will clear up soon.

I can’t believe I just spent this much space on my health. Moving on!

I felt pretty good on Monday, so I decided to ease back into things with a 30 minute walk after dinner. The weather was pleasant, the sun was still out, and walking outside felt so good that I ended up exercising for 45 minutes instead of 30, and I felt refreshed and energized (which ended up being slightly unfortunate since I was nowhere near ready to go to bed at a decent hour).

I find that I am often able to talk myself into more exercise if I start out with the expectation of a reasonable but not overwhelming amount of time (like 30 minutes). I know I am committing to exercise for at least that minimum amount of time, but I also leave open the possibility that I could do more. Last night, for example, after the first lap around the apartment complex with my dog, who loves to run and thus motivated me to run a bit, I decided I could manage 35 minutes. Then the 35 minute mark rolled around, and I decided that 40 minutes would be good. Then 40 minutes passed, and I thought, “What’s 5 more minutes?” Honestly, anything can be endured for 5 more minutes, and that thought is what got me through a lot of the rough sessions during my Couch to 5k training. When I am dreading a workout, especially if it involves running, I can often use the 5 minute trick to survive, and I end up pushing myself and being more pleased with the results than I would have been had I not gone those extra 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Obviously, I don’t always have the time for an endless amount of 5 minute tricks during a workout (like this morning when I only had time for 35 minutes), but I can always spare at least 5 more minutes.

What tricks do you use to motivate yourself during a workout?

5 thoughts on “The 5 Minute Trick

  1. Oooh, that is a great trick. I'm glad that you are feeling better.

    If I'm going to do strength training (especially abs), I find the busiest section of the gym to do them. This way I know that I won't wimp out because my pride is in full force. Sounds silly, but it works for me!

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  2. so so so glad you feel better! (AND, love the pic you sent, will post tomorrow!)

    As far as motivation, I do the 5 minute trick too! And, while I'm on a machine whining I make myself revisit old memories. Ones of me having to turn sideways in public bathrooms or not being able to shop in most stores. That normally keeps me on the machine for AT LEAST 30 minutes.

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  3. Erin, a friend at church is asking me about good churches in Knoxville- his brother is going to UT in the fall. Do you have any recommendations for him?

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