Everyone has times when working out is the last thing they feel like doing. Whether you’ve become unusually busy, don’t feel well physically or mentally, or are undergoing major life changes, it’s only natural that there will be times when your fitness motivation wanes. The problem is not that a fitness rut occurs, but that it’s often hard to break out of them. So in case you’re in need of a little extra push these days, here are four ways to break through a fitness rut and recommit yourself to exercise.
1. Re-think Your Reasons for Working Out
For many people, working out is a chore they feel they “have” to do to maintain a certain size or lose weight. But what if, even temporarily, you threw away that reasoning and discovered a new one. What if your motivation for working out came from a desire to have more energy or confidence? What if you worked out today because you’re so grateful that you can? Reframe your thinking and choose to see exercise as a celebration and a reward, not as a punishment for eating too many cookies or a chore that needs to be done to be worthy in this world. Finding new ways of thinking can totally redesign how you approach exercise and make it more fun!
Speaking of fun, as adults we often lose sight of the value of play. Everything has to be results-driven—having fun for fun’s sake is too often seen as an indulgence. But when it comes to exercise, what we’re really talking about is movement. And movement was made to be fun. If you have kids or grandkids, play a game of tag or have jump-rope competitions. (Anyone with little ones knows how many calories you can burn trying to keep up with their energy levels!) Walk your dog, dance in your living room, shake your hips. Let go of your goals for a moment while you rediscover the fun of just being free. Laugh and move with no expectations of calories burned—just commit to moving.
3. Find an Accountability Partner
Here’s something to make you feel a bit better: sometimes it’s really hard to find total willpower alone. Asking for help in the form of an accountability partner is the best way to overcome that I-just-don’t-want-to resistance that comes up when starting a fitness program again seems impossible. Call a friend or family member and ask them to hold you accountable or join a community of likeminded people who are going through the same thing as you—you’ll find that their support will not only help you get started, but help you keep going on days when you just don’t feel like working out. (Psst: have you joined our Facebook group for Get Healthy U TV members yet? We cheer each other on and motivate one another every day!)
4. Set Small, Actionable Goals
When you’re returning to fitness after some time off, it’s important to take things a little at a time. Say: I will workout three times this week, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Don’t bite off more than you can chew at first, which can lead to quick burn out and feelings of defeat. Ease back into a fitness routine with small, actionable goals. You’ll feel good about accomplishing them, and that will get the motivation going to keep up the good work!
Want quick, results-driven workouts to get you back into a fitness program? Try the 20-minute workouts in our Power 20 Program!