Laura Henshaw’s Simple Mental Trick May Entirely Change Your Workout Motivation
The saying “50 per cent of the battle is getting there’’ rings particularly true when it comes to working out. Though seemingly easy tasks, dragging yourself out of bed for an early morning workout, or putting on your exercise gear after a long day of work, can seem like the biggest effort.
Enter: Laura Henshaw’s simple mental shift. The co-founder of health and wellness app Keep It Cleaner says she discovered this attitude change through running, and since then, has adopted it for all workouts.
So, what is the trick, you ask? It’s this: Rather than thinking to yourself, “I really should workout today” or “I have to work out today”, it’s reframing it to be “I am lucky I get to work out today”.
“For me, running is like meditation,” says Henshaw. “I just feel so alive, free and present in the moment. When I head off on my morning runs, I’m often in a really positive headspace so, naturally, I’ll start thinking about the things I’m grateful for — whether it be the beautiful weather, my supportive family or the incredible Keep It Cleaner community my co-founder Steph [Claire Smith] and I have built.”
“Something that would always pop up was my gratitude for actually being able to go on a run. Although moving our bodies comes so naturally to many of us, unfortunately, there are also so many people who can have never experienced this freedom.”
Henshaw points out that the ability to move our bodies is a blessing, and one that we shouldn’t take for granted. Not only that, but even having the privilege of time and the financial freedom to be able to exercise — things others might not have access to — should also be acknowledged.
As for how it’s worked for Henshaw herself, she says she hasn’t always had this mindset and that, honestly, there are days she too lacks motivation and thinks to herself “I really should work out, but I just can’t be bothered”.
“We’re all human,” she says. “But when those thoughts pop up, I’m quick to remind myself how amazing I’ll feel after I move my body, and how lucky I am that I get to experience this feeling.”
“I think it’s so important to exercise in a way that makes you happy, as this will help reduce those feelings of dread. In the past, I developed a negative relationship with exercise, where I’d push my body to the limit during each workout, feeling absolutely exhausted afterwards. So, when I’d wake up to do it all over again, I would really dread it. Over time, I’ve learnt that exercise can and should be enjoyable and doesn’t need to take up hours of your day.”
As for what to do if you’ve managed to motivate yourself enough to get to the workout, but then lose motivation during, Henshaw says she reminds herself why she loves to work out. Which, for her, are the incredible mental health benefits she gets from moving her body.
“Moving my body makes me feel energised, happy, strong and confident — it really gives me all the feels,” she says. “I highly recommend finding your own personal ‘why’ and channelling this when you notice your motivation start to slip.”
So, there you have it: a simple mental shift that can make all the difference in motivating you to move your body, something you should be doing every single day.