Many of us have post workout routines that we feel are important for our fitness. From stretches and yoga to meditation and even meals or protein shakes, the things we do after our workouts are just as important as what we do during them.
The reason? Fitness is 20% about what we do in the gym and our exercises, 80% about what we eat and put in our bodies, but 100% mental. The post-workout routine is filled with these mental and physical exercises and practices that remain critical to our fitness success.
What can we add to our post-workouts for better fitness and for stress relief? Surprisingly, one answer is blogging. Why? Because it combines some of the mental tasks above with habitual practices that make your workouts more productive and help you keep track of the things you want and need to accomplish. Starting a blog, choosing a domain and website host and designing your site are all pretty easy. Once you get going, blogging can be addictive just like exercise.
How does post-workout blogging help improve your workouts? Here are a few ways.
Record Your Progress
It is a necessity to record your workouts. What you do, what you have done, and the progress you are making all help you shape your future workouts. It is like fitness journaling, only in a more public forum. The important thing is that you track your progress, successes, and failures.
Often those working out will plateau with weight gain, muscle building, the amount you can lift in a given exercise, how fast you can swim, run, or bike a certain distance. This usually happens because either we are in the same routine and not challenging ourselves, or because the exercises and routines we are engaging in are no longer effective.
Changing things up to see if that improves things is a good idea, but in order for it to work there needs to be a record somewhere of what you have done to reach the level you are at now. That record, on a blog, is permanent, public, and can help you with other aspects of your workout.
Record Your Mood
Whether you realize it or not, your mood affects the effectiveness of your workout, your willpower, and your mental fitness. Still, many people do not include their current mood in their workout records. This is a potential mistake.
For instance, if you have been benching 400+ consistently, and one day you suddenly max at 380, but you have been stressed, anxious, or in a bad mood, that could be the reason. It might have nothing to do with your physical ability and more to do with your state of mind.
We know that willpower is a limited commodity in our brains. We have a willpower tank of sorts, and when it is empty, we don’t have any more until it refills. You can do mental exercises to increase the size of your willpower tank and through developing the right kind of strong habits, you can decrease the amount of willpower you need to stay on track with your diet and your workouts.
However, your mood can sap your willpower. Depression, anxiety, and stress can all contribute. Just like you can’t always just “walk off” a pulled muscle or a sprain, you can’t just cheer up or get through depression and other moods either. Sometimes you need help, and sometimes it has to do with your diet or your physical activity levels on previous days.
The point is that recording your mood allows you to tie to certain activities, triggers, or stresses, and then you can do something about it by changing behaviors or avoiding certain situations. You can also change your reaction to things, so they don’t affect you in the same way.
Build a Community
Want help with those moods or keeping a record of your workouts? Blogging helps you build a community of like-minded individuals who will share both your passions and your struggles. These community members can be a great source of encouragement and empathy.
Even if you live far apart, your blogging community can work out together, “meet” online for discussions, and sometimes even travel and meet away from keyboard (AFK), which is nerd-speak for in person. Those you meet online become your friends just as surely as if you met them in person, and often they are your greatest support when you need it most.
You also get the opportunity to give back and be supportive of them, which surprisingly helps you stay faithful to the things you need to do.
Be Held Accountable
This is one area where post-workout blogging can help a great deal. You can’t call it a post-workout blog unless you worked out that day. If you are recording your results and they are less impressive than they should be, your blog community will hold you accountable. If you say you are going to do something, they will remind you of it and ensure that if you drop the ball, you are encouraged to pick it up again.
There are a few things that help with stress relief more than being held accountable. Pushing yourself becomes not just your responsibility, but a community effort. This makes it easier on you and others, while at the same time you understand that you are not the only one struggling. Those others can join you and hold you up while you do the same for them.
Teach and Share
Want to learn something really well? Tech and share your methods with others. Blogging has the potential to be one of the greatest teaching platforms you can have. A blog can host your video, photos, written instructions, workout routines, expected results, and more.
The more you know and the more you teach what you know, the better off you will be. Teaching can be a great stress reducer while helping you get better at your workouts over time.
Post workout blogging will make you better, reduce stress, help you keep a record of what you are doing, and be held accountable. The more you use blogging, the better you will get at it, and the less stress there will be in your fitness journey.