I think most of us can relate to the excited feeling of starting a new fitness routine and the energy that comes with it. Setting goals, working towards getting healthier, and figuring out our expectations around a busier lifestyle can be invigorating.
Sometimes, however, our expectations can start a little too high. We expect to love our new fitness routine forever, lose weight faster than we actually do, or fail to realize the amount of work that actually goes into achieving those health and fitness goals.
At times like these, it’s hard to stay motivated. Here are some tips to help you hold onto it.
TRY SOMETHING NEW
Often times getting out of a fitness rut is about trying something new. Doing the same routine over and over or the same type of workout on a consistent basis can become monotonous over time.
Try doing a different type of workout. If you’re always running, try a cross training activity like swimming or cycling. Experiment with different types of workout classes with the help of a discovery service like ClassPass, or stream a new workout from a service like DailyBurn, which offers classes from yoga to weight lifting from the comfort of your own living room. Changing up your routine is one of the quickest ways to challenge new muscles (as well as your mind)!
BRING A FRIEND
Everything is always better with friends. Friends hold you accountable and make sweating your way through a 75 minute hot yoga class that much better. Especially if it’s a new exercise you haven’t tried before, there’s comfort in knowing the two of you are tackling a different experience together. If there’s time, you can always go out for a healthy lunch or dinner together after!
In my friend group, some things that help us stay accountable are group texts and emails. We share new workout ideas, talk about what classes we will take, and make brunch plans periodically. It helps having a supportive community to meet up with and bounce ideas off of!
WATCH OR LISTEN TO SOMETHING INSPIRING
Watching documentaries about Olympic athletes or even people who have overcome challenging life obstacles is always good for putting things into perspective. I find that whenever I watch or read something about an athlete or a sport, it makes me want to try my hardest to see what I am capable of. When I was running a lot, I really enjoyed the book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. Now that I’m doing more Crossfit, any documentary on the Crossfit Games or even the games themselves are inspiring to watch.
If you have a streaming service such as Netflix, check out their documentary section for options. You can also check iTunes for podcasts about inspiring stories.
Recently, we tuned into espnW’s documentary on Sarah Brown, an elite runner who went after her Olympic dreams in spite of a postpartum calcium deficiency.
TAKE A BREAK
There’s such a thing as too much exercise, so make sure to listen to your body. If your body feels physically worn out, take an extra rest day. Even mentally, think about how you’re feeling. Sometimes exercise helps when you’re in a funk, but other times it’s important to take the time that you need to rest.
Whenever I go on vacation I don’t plan any workouts. If I am feeling like it, I will try a new class, but most of the time I want to relax and recharge. By the time I get home, I’m excited about getting back to my routine!
REMEMBER IT’S A JOURNEY
We can be hard on ourselves and often struggle with immediate gratification. Losing weight and hitting those fitness goals takes time. We underestimate how much time it can take, becoming frustrated and disillusioned in the process.
Remind yourself it’s a journey. It’s a process. It won’t happen overnight and it’s not even a linear path. There are ups and downs, but as long as you keep working on it and moving forward, you’ll get a little better day by day.
BONUS TIP: CRANK UP THE TUNES
Spotify has an awesome running feature that senses the speed at which you’re running and plays songs with the same beat. Try these playlists for an extra boost of motivation, or create your own!
- Workout Remix
- my station (erinsinsidejob)
Or, look for playlists under the Workout genre tab!