Let me just say, it feels damn good to be back in the routine. After exercising pretty sporadically over the past month, I’ve finally gotten my groove back, so to speak. Admittedly, it’s definitely a challenge getting back to the gym after some odd weeks with only one or two bouts of exercise in between that becomes possible for some fitness motivation tips.
If you’ve been doing some good work in the weeks prior to slacking off, you might find yourself back in the starting position, which, I know, is disappointing. However, I like to think of fitness as a long journey just like backpacking to the backcountry, one that most of us will be partaking in for the greater part of our lives. Take that as you will, but it doesn’t have to be a huge burden.
If anything, the length of the journey simply means you get a lot more chances to “get it right,” so to speak. Falling off the wagon doesn’t need to be fatal! Here’s what I’ve learned about getting back to the fitness and reclaiming the place in that fitness race.
Stagger Your Breaks:
I think part of what leads to potentially falling off the fitness wagon is attempting to plow through far too many sessions without taking adequate breaks in between. Yes, it’s nice to be able to get active on a regular basis, and it’s equally beneficial to get in your quota earlier rather than later in the week.
However, your body needs time to rest and regroup just as much as your mind. If all you’re doing is going hard and not taking a little time for yourself, you’re not going to be happy to go back to the gym for another five days straight. Look to stagger your days off from the gym so that you can get some rest and have time to enjoy your life as well.
A mid-week break is probably in your best interest, and putting up your feet on a Wednesday or Thursday evening still means you can have at least one of the two weekend days off as well which won’t hamper your fitness journey.
Savor The Second Chance:
I’m all about fitness redemption, so I don’t gag at the thought of getting back in gear after a considerable time off. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that you’re somehow undoing past fitness sins and effectively rebooting your system. I consider myself as both a fitness realist and an optimist.
So personally, I’m entirely grateful for the opportunity to get a second crack at the gym. In short, quit the whining and put a positive spin on restarting the program. Nothing’s done that can’t be undone, so that’s always good news for the fitness slacker. Get back in gear.
Aim For Consistency Above All:
Above all else, strive for consistency— making it to the gym on a regular basis. However, many times that is for you. Even if you’re scaling back your bouts at the gym from four down to three, the fact that you’re getting active consistently will certainly have long-term benefits.
If your work or school schedule is getting out of control as of late, see if you can recalibrate your workout load so that you avoid taking whole weeks off. Doing something is better than doing nothing. So, when life gets complicated, it’s definitely okay to readjust at the fitness club.
If I’m going at all to the gym every week, regardless of how many times, I can be happy knowing that I’m still in the fitness race. Taking whole weeks off from working out, especially when you’ve got fitness goals, puts those aspirations on hold. Be sure to keep things in motion, because you better know that every little bit counts.
No ifs, ands, or buts – Winning The Internal Fitness Debate:
Should I go to the gym tonight?
It’s the internal fitness debate that seems to arise each and every time I get home from work, and I’m sure many of you can relate. You know you’d best be getting sweaty, but the thought of getting in gear just seems like a huge hassle. Cue the internal debate.
Before you give up and decide to just stay at home, ask yourself these questions to better ensure that you make the fittest decision.
Are you really doing anything better right now?
Honestly think about what you’re doing right now, in this moment, and ask yourself if it’s more productive than hitting the gym. If you can say, with a straight face, that whatever it is you’re doing is a better use of your time, then by all means, hang up your sneakers right now. On the other hand, if you find that dicking around on the computer just doesn’t measure up, grab your gym bag and head out tout suite.
Are you going to regret this later on?
Okay, that’s a pretty loaded question, but when you’re debating whether or not to go out for a run, it’s definitely a fair one to ask. It’s not meant to guilt you into getting going, but you know yourself better than anyone else.
If you’re going to genuinely feel bad about missing your run after the initial “I don’t wanna go” moment has passed, then logically, it’s better to just bite the bullet and get the hell out of the house. There are so many times when I actually feel crummy for wasting a good opportunity to blow off some steam. So, feel free to take a note from me and don’t find yourself in a similar position of fitness regret.
Are you genuinely tired or just lazy?
It’s often tough to tell the difference between legitimate fatigue and sleepiness born of laziness. However, there are a couple ways to assess which is which. While mental fatigue is a real thing, there’s definitely a difference between feeling “tired” from a day spent sitting on your butt at the computer and being physically fatigued from being on your feet all day.
In fact, getting your blood flowing and your limbs moving can be a welcome change of pace after straining your eyes all day at work. The amount of genuine sleep you got last night can also help you tell if your body is really screaming out for rest or if you’re feeling lackadaisical in the moment.
Chances are, if you got a crappy night’s rest, you’re probably dragging your heels for a legit reason. All in all, there’s not a steadfast way of measuring “legit” fatigue against actual laziness, but if you sit down for a moment and find it easy to nod off, you’re probably due for some real rest.
Did you raid the pantry this afternoon?
We all know that fitness is a balanced combination of physical activity and sensible eating, but generally, it’s not going to hurt quite as much to miss a workout if you’ve been careful about eating properly.
Ideally, you’ll be doing some kind of activity on the regular, whether it’s going for a walk, gardening, or a more formal type of exercise, but I can totes understand using your workouts as a way of “undoing” the damage done earlier today. The idea is not to obsessively account for every treat or wayward bite, but rather to allow your body to balance things out with some activity.
To conclude, I can’t but say that when I’m debating whether or not to hit the gym, a snapshot of what I’ve eaten throughout the day does appear in my mind. If it’s been mostly takeout, fried foods, and donuts all day, then I’ll probably just suck it up and hit the gym to help find that balance. Got any tips on winning that internal fitness debate? Let us know and share your feedback with us. Comment box is waiting.