You are not the only one who has struggled through a training program or health related issues. The feeling of life coming at you all the time can place exercise and health on the backburner. Even for the more apt of us it can be tough to maintain top performance and well-being all the time. Here are 5 ideas that have helped me during these types of situations.
1. Idle, Reassess, Refocus
Given the world we live in today of overstimulation and demand, making a logical decision, as opposed to one based on how you are feeling at the moment, about what it is best for you can be downright challenging. Making the decision to slow down, idle, and give yourself the mental break and space to think about what is truly within your reach and beneficial for you is greatly undervalued. The most common source of lack of results or stagnation, is a combination of ostentatious goals and below average commitment. This is a great time to reassess your goals, your commitments and the benefits that you seek. Take a look at why you are where you are.
2. Shift Gears
Consistency and discipline are essential and fundamental components of an exercise program. But, consistency and discipline do not need to equal boredom and stagnation. Adding components to your training regimen that add a new dimension and are a challenge, will add to your overall performance level and overall well-being. The motivation and momentum that comes from getting better at something new forces you to engage in a different way, you won’t merely go through the motions. Adding some dynamic/power movements to a strength training regimen, or some strength training to an endurance training regimen, in other words, variety, a new challenge, might give you more than just a performance boost.
3. Get Outside
After a productive day at the office, you finally get hit that treadmill at the gym, with 500 other people, what a treat. Not really. Unsafe weather conditions aside, there is nothing like going for a brisk walk, jog, run, cycle or hike outside. There is plenty of research (look here, here, here and here) that proves the benefits of spending time outdoors. These include; reduced stress hormone production, diminish nervous system activity, decreased blood pressure, decreased heart rate and increased sense of happiness. Getting outside while getting your exercising, is a win, win.
4. Take a social media Sabbath…every workout
Your workouts are not feeling like they use to? Log off! Do you want more productive workouts? Log off! Trying to keep up with the Fitness Joneses, the “My life is so perfect” Joneses or the latest cool thing that everyone is following, or my least favorite, trying to work between sets, it’s nothing more than a distraction during your workout. Treat your workout like your own private space, your own time, do not allow interruption or distractions and disconnect. Do you want to get out of your rut?! Give your workout a new meaning and name, “my personal meditation time”.
5. Get Moving
There is so much to know, how much, how far, how many, how long, what to, what not. Too many details can paralyze your momentum and desire. Sometimes the easiest way to get started, get going, or break through rut, is to simply get moving. Don’t sweat the details right now, just move, take deep breaths, exert, load up on endorphins, break a sweat and keep doing it until you reach that place where you can make some decisions about what you want and need exercise and health wise…this is by far my favorite and most effective, I always feel proud, happy and healthy afterwards.