What’s up, brainiacs!

Did you know that your beautiful mind does more than just keep your whole body working; it can also tell your body to cut it out, too?

If you’ve ever been planning work out hard but suddenly find yourself too mentally exhausted to even step foot in the gym, it’s not just you. The type of brain drain you get from hard mental tasks, such as the longest day at work ever, can dent your motivation to exercise and your performance. This effect is even worse if your brain neurons aren’t transmitting signals to your brain at the fastest rate because of fatty acid deficiencies; if the neurotransmitters responsible for motivation are lower because you’re not producing enough acetylcholine; or if your mind just isn’t used to handling complex tasks.

Luckily, it’s not all bad news. There are some things you can do to pass this motivational wall that your brain has decided to put up.

Look at the light

When you note an afternoon dive in focus and alertness, you may have too much melatonin, which causes sleepiness. The type of interruption to your circadian rhythm that causes you to product too much melatonin at the wrong time of the day is usually due to a disruption in your rhythm earlier on in the day or the night before.

To fix this, move the heaviest part of your melatonin cycle so that it happens before you get up in the morning by limiting your light exposure at night. Use glasses that block blue light, place blue light-blocking filters on your TVs and devices, dim the lights in your home, limit or avoid TV or device exposure in the bedroom, and expose yourself to real sunlight as soon as you can when you get up.

Cut back on caffeine

Caffeine is great for a boost, but over time, you get used to it and it no longer has the same effect it once had. To combat this, limit yourself to 8 to 12 ounces of coffee at strategic times during the day, and try to skip coffee entirely at least two days a week.

Move to the music

Who hasn’t been motivated by a great tune during a workout? The right song at the right time can boost your performance and give you the energy surge you need to keep it up.

Don’t let your brain get in the way of a good workout. Be mindful of your daily habits and add some music to your routine so you can beat the brain block!

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