It’s hard to keep up routines during the holiday rushing and racing… If you feel that lately you dropped the ball on exercising, don’t beat yourself up!
Life gets in the way of things, and we’re not the ones to judge. When you take a day off from your regular workout — regardless of the reason — taking a second day off, or the whole week off, will make it easy to completely fall out of the routine you created.
Before you know it, exercising might be that thing that makes you deeply exhale in frustration, before you decide you’d rather spend the night bonding with your couch and TV, or hanging out with friends.
Once we stop exercising, it’s easy to let it slip your mind why you even started doing it in the first place. Or maybe you just tell yourself ‘I’ll start again tomorrow!’, but it seems you must be going by some different calendar because this tomorrow just can’t seem to arrive.
You’re not the only one. We have all been there.
Step one is to stop feeling guilty about it — guilt will only make you want to avoid whatever is making you feel that way more.
Stop feeling guilty and start feeling determined! You can do it, and we’re here to help you get back into that routine you lost!
1. Start with baby steps.
You don’t need to immediately throw yourself into a 2-hour workout that will make you inhale a breath and exhale your soul. In fact, please don’t do that. It’s not even about your mind frame — your body is pretty much asleep after a long training break. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments have to adapt to new moves step by step to avoid injuries or too much soreness. The best would be to start with light bodyweight training that includes some mobility and stability movements to strengthen your knees, core, and your back. Combine it with some cardio and you’ll get everything you need for a fresh and safe new start. Don’t overwork yourself, do it until you feel you are able to and each day do it for a little bit longer. Build up to your old routine, don’t push yourself into it because you used to do it — give your body time to remember and get back into action.
2. Set realistic goals and write them down.
There are many good reasons for making exercise a regular part of your life. Whether it is to lose weight, gain muscle, be able to fit into that dress for your friend’s wedding, improve your posture, or just to simply feel good overall. Write your reason down and stick it somewhere you can see it on a daily basis. It’s the only motivation you really need — because it comes from your own heart. It’s your wish that you are working towards, so don’t forget it!
Keep in mind you need to be realistic — set yourself a few short-term goals and the main long-term one. Every single milestone you achieve will be your personal push to keep moving forward!
3. Choose a reward.
For every small goal you achieve, get yourself a reward — it can be a nutritious sweet tooth meal (like protein pancakes with dark chocolate, mmmm), a new pair of training pants, or a night out with friends in a cool outfit that will make you feel confident and special.
Even better, you can find yourself a special box and put $5 in it for every single training session you made. 5-min workout also counts, don’t underestimate short activity sessions — your body is grateful for every minute of healthy choices it gets from you. That way the more you workout and the more you get back to that routine, the more money you save! When you feel you’re back in the routine you want to have, you can take the money and spend it on something that you’ve been wanting for a while.
4. Motivate yourself during every session.
Motivation is the key to success. But it’s also easy to lose motivation — maybe it’s just a bad day and you want to crawl into bed, or the weather outside is cloudy and it isn’t really inspiring your inner athlete. The trick is to find something to motivate you! A cool playlist for your walking session, nutritious dinner, new workout gadgets, a workout partner… these are just a few simple examples you can choose to keep yourself motivated, even on rainy days when everything seems to fall apart. Remember, any kind of activity or movement produces the hormone of happiness and you’ll feel much better afterward! So don’t exercise for anyone else, do it for you!
5. Remember how good it makes you feel.
Building off on the last thing we said, exercising produces the hormone of happiness, but it’s not just that. When you’re done exercising or achieving something you set your mind too, the sense of accomplishment will lift your mood as well. Both your body and mind will feel good. When you find it hard to start exercising again, remember the feeling of completing your workout routine and let that be the final push into starting it up again!
6. Take a one-month challenge.
Maybe you don’t really know where to start. You don’t want to go to the gym or renew your membership yet. Maybe you’re just finding other reasons that are stopping you from starting. In any case, if that is what’s troubling you, try to take a one-month challenge! There are a lot of them all over the Internet and you should be able to find one that suits your needs. And if you’re not able to find one, here’s an even better idea: Make your own 1-Month challenge! Use one of the standard ones as a template, and do something that you know will work for you. You can even try and see if any of your friends would like to try it out with you!
Whatever method you decide to try, at the end of the day there is one important thing you have to remember: Believe in yourself, and be gentle to your body!