It happened again.  I was on my spin bike for a class that started at 9am. I looked at the clock and it was 9:06 and the conversation had already begun. My legs started saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m tired, I don’t want to do this, in a conversation with my brain, who agreed, “I know, legs, you seem tired, why are we doing this?” Then, another voice – I think it’s my higher self who wants what’s best for me – showed up and said, “just keep going.”

Two minutes later, my legs started really complaining and saying, “I did not want to keep doing this. Why are we doing this? I’m tired. I hurt. I’m achy. This is stupid, we are moving fast, and no one is chasing us!” My brain then responded with, “And do know how many other things we could be doing right now? We could be working, we could be having coffee, we could be watching a movie. There are a million other things we could be doing.”

My higher self watched the two parts conspiring to stop me from exercising, and it said, “just keep going.”

Three minutes later, it happened. That magic moment where all of a sudden, my legs started being quiet and happy. My brain started smiling to itself, thinking, this is great. And my higher self said, “See? I told you. Just keep going and it will all get better.”

I’ve talked to many people and almost everyone I talk to has the same experience. I call it the 5-15 barrier to exercise. Physiologically, it takes energy, oxygen and blood flow to get to the muscles to make them exert, to make them put out effort. Somewhere between five minutes and twelve minutes in, there is an oxygen and blood deficit in those muscles, so doing any type of aerobic activity gets hard to do during that deficit.

However, what I’ve learned is that when you allow your higher self to win, the part of you that knows and remembers what it feels like after you push yourself through that five-to-fifteen minute barrier to exercise, the 15 to 45, or 15 to 90 minutes that follow will be wonderful. Your muscles will adapt to the amount of oxygen and blood flow required to keep going, you’ll pass over the barrier, and the following 30 to 90 minutes will be a wonderful experience for your brain (thank you endorphin release!), your legs, your heart and your whole self. Treat yourself to a great workout today.

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