I wanted to talk to you about something right as we’re smack dab in the middle of holiday season. Family aplenty, cookies galore, liberal libations.. it’s oftentimes easy to get caught up in the festivities and fall off the wagon during this time of the year. And that’s okay! Holidays are meant to be enjoyed and if you ate one too many holiday treats (ginger molasses cookies are my downfall) or didn’t work out when it was supposed to be leg day, it really is not the end of the world. It took me a long time to become comfortable with this – and it’s something I still struggle with – but memories and moments really are more meaningful than PRs and “clean eating”.
However, having said that, I completely understand if you’re one of those people ready to hit the ground running (literally and figuratively in this case) with exercising again, possibly with a vibrant, green salad in tow. But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start. When to start. How to start. So I wanted to share a few of my tips that I use to get myself out of a workout rut that honestly do work every time:
1. Group workouts
This is definitely one of my favorite ways to work out! There’s something magical about having a good instructor, a catchy playlist, and a room full of individuals who are there for exactly the same reasons that you are – a good sweat sesh! And who knows, you may even find yourself making a new friend or two after attending regularly.
Which brings me to number two!
2. Routine, routine, routine
Consistency really is key when it comes to working out. Planning out a schedule and sticking to it as best you can is undoubtedly the best way to get out of a workout rut. Making it a point to work out right after waking up in the morning is what keeps me on track. Plus, the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment that comes with being able to check off that box at the beginning of the day is second to none. It’s no surprise that the simple task of repetition can be habit-forming, so why not use it to your advantage?
3. Get out of your comfort zone
One of the reasons it’s so easy to become stagnant, hit plateaus, and subsequently become disinterested in working out is, ironically, that well-established routine we just talked about. Say you go to the gym every day during your lunch break and you know exactly what you’re doing on each day, the types of lifts, the order in which you do them, etc. Or perhaps you’re a Pilates girl and you follow online videos every morning before you head in to campus. Or maybe you’re a runner and you have your favorite trail that you run on religiously every day after work before coming home to make dinner.
And this is all great! Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a complete believer of establishing a routine and sticking to it. It can, however, play devil’s advocate and it is certainly something I have been privy to because after days and months and even years of that beloved, well-used routine .. it does tend to get stale.
Which is why getting out of one’s comfort zone is so important, both for personal growth and if nothing else than to simply find that zeal for working out again. This may mean adding new sets at the gym, adding ankle weights to your Pilates workout, or finding new trails to run on. My personal favorite is finding a local workout class to go to that may not necessarily be up your alley. Crossfit, dance, barre, kickboxing .. there are unlimited options that you may not be familiar with and sometimes venturing out to try something new is exactly what is needed to find the joy in working out. And who knows, you may end up enjoying it immensely and adding it to your repertoire!
4. Find what works for you!
No one is cut from the same cloth so it makes sense that what I find interesting and enjoyable may not be the same case for you, and that’s really okay! Just because I enjoy working out in the morning doesn’t mean you have to nor should you feel “less accomplished” for not having done so. Comparison really is the thief of joy, and if you are going to compare, turn to inner self and ask how you can be better than you were yesterday. Working out should be FUN. As the phrase goes, “You don’t have to work out. You get to work out”. So instead of dragging yourself through a workout you think you should be doing, just find an activity (see #3) that you makes you want to jump out of bed every day. Spin classes? A bit of a love-hate relationship for me but hey, if you enjoy them, then go all out.
And finally -and this may be the most important one of all – remember to:
5. Give yourself a little grace
We’re human, we’re imperfect, and life gets busy. And that may mean that workouts will fall by the wayside every once a while. And that’s okay too. Remembering that these little setbacks are but mere blips in a continuous journey to a life of health and wellness is a change in perspective that will help immensely in the long run.
Happy Holidays, friends!
Special thanks to Dallas Fitness Ambassadors (Danny!) for some of the photography.
How do you make fitness a part of your lifestyle?