Despite my passion for fitness, I still fight fatigue and nights where I don’t have the energy to workout. I know I’ll feel better afterwards and it’s always worth it, but… I DON’T WANNA!
All of us, no matter how disciplined we are, experience periods of struggling with our commitment to consistent exercise and sometimes we simply need a break.
If this happens to you as well, then read on for some simple and effective strategies to get your body moving, your blood flowing and your heart back in the game.
1. Mix it up. If you have an exercise routine that you rarely stray from, then maybe it’s time to try something different. You may believe that you’re a runner or cyclist through and through, but if you can’t seem to get on the trail these days, perhaps you need something new.
Give the running shoes or bike tires a break and pick up some weights or boxing gloves. Explore the unfamiliar without judgment and with a beginner’s mind, and see if what used to be physically draining now feels new and exciting. The trail will always be there when you’re ready to log some miles.
2. Grab a fitness friend. If you can’t keep your workout promises to yourself, grab a workout buddy to get you off the couch. Ask a significant other, friend or sibling to join you or attend a class with.
Commit to meeting your “swolemate” at the gym or the base of the running trail three times this week. Then plan a reward for sticking to the routine and reaching your goals. Encouragement, support and camaraderie go a long way when it comes to renewing your commitment to your health.
3. Ask or hire a professional. If you’re just dragging during your workouts or going through the motions, then hire a trainer to give you a boost in getting past your physical and mental plateau. A good trainer can observe poor habits and help correct your form so you access parts of your body you’re not accustomed to using.
A trainer can also provide encouragement and tough love in the right doses, so you’re pushed to your limit, but not past it. We rarely have the self-motivation to push ourselves to the edge, but a good instructor will know how to take you there so your body changes and your self-confidence grows with each squat, each curl or each bench press.
4. Take a break and rest. If you just can’t conjure up the motivation to exercise, no matter how disciplined you’ve been in the past and how deeply you understand the benefits, then maybe you need a break.
Maybe you’ve over-trained and feel burned out or perhaps life is simply steering you in a different direction. If instinct is telling you that you need a few days off, take them without guilt! Spend those free hours doing something meaningful, like spending time with family, starting a project you’ve been putting off or volunteering in your community.
Enjoy the downtime and allow your body, mind and soul to recover. Then, after a few days, reinvest in your fitness program. Your muscles may be a little softer upon your return, but your fresh attitude, new perspective and work-ethic will make up for it!