Fatigue might feel as if it begins in the body, but the mind plays a key role. Though we tend to blame our bodies for fatigue, the brain actually sets the pace of energy use and holds a little energy in reserve. Here are a few ways to help clients tap that supply.
- Try personal high fives. Ask your client what phrase might make him feel confident to repeat throughout a workout—maybe “I can do this” or “I’m strong.” Greek researchers found that affirmations can boost performance.
How it works: Positive self-talk reinforces your confidence and boosts your energy so you won’t quit when you feel tired or challenged. Is mental fatigue holding your clients back? Simple strategies can provide a boost.
- Picture it. Have your client picture conquering a heavier lift or a faster run—whatever new goal she is trying to achieve. Visualizing fitness success can boost mental energy and ultimately performance, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.
How it works: Imagining a situation reinforces the same neural pathways as performing the behavior. So when you attempt the task, your body feels as if you’ve already done it.
- Clear the mind. Stress can hamper a good workout, according to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Include some breathing exercises before the workout.
How it works: Stress commandeers the areas of the mind in charge of attention—areas that would otherwise be focused on supporting your muscles. So remove the worry barrier.
- Praise form. In a study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, runners praised for their form moved more efficiently and felt less fatigued than those who were given no feedback.
How it works: The runners required less oxygen to maintain their speed, possibly because the muscles that weren’t required for running relaxed, which helped them conserve energy.