Confession: sometimes I don’t want to work out. There. I said it. In print. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working out. But sometimes I’m just not feeling it.
In fact, there have been times in my life when I have gotten into a deep workout slump. And instead of finding a solution to my exercise depression I’ll just quit. And then my non-exercising habits directly influence my food choices. Because if I’m not working out, then I might at well go all in and eat whatever I want as well. Isn’t that horrible?
Every summer I struggle with my exercise routine. The Arkansas heat zaps any desire I had to workout. And summer also means eating later in the evening and indulging more at cookouts. That combination will directly affect the waistline. If this cycle continues it’s bad news for your body. But that’s not the only reason to keep exercising.
In my opinion, the single most important reason to exercise consistently is to maintain a certain level of health—to live longer, to see your grandchildren grow up, and live well. I plan on exercising until I’m a very old woman. That being said, quitting is no longer an option for me. Continuing my exercise program takes on a new meaning.
So what’s the solution if you’ve quit? Well, tomorrow is a new day. Shop for groceries today, eat dinner before 7pm, make exercise plans, and follow through. Good intentions mean nothing. Application is everything.
On the exercise front, I can help you rethink your routine. When your motivation is lacking, try to get out of your exercise comfort zone and change things up. Elite triathletes pioneered the cross-training concept, and it works for the rest of us too. If you usually focus on one activity, substitute another a few days a week. An ideal exercise program should include varied elements of cardiovascular exercise, weight training and flexibility.
Ditch the gym machines and take a fitness class. The options are endless. Love the treadmill? Try Bootcamp. Always lift weights? Try a TRX suspension strength training session.
Recruit a workout buddy. You’re less likely to skip if you know someone is meeting you to exercise. Plus, you’ll get to catch up while you sweat.
Take it up a notch. If you’re a runner (treadmill or pavement) then push yourself to go harder. Try sprints at the local track, not only will you get stronger but you’ll increase your endurance when you’re running at a slower pace.
Try a new version of your favorite exercise. For example, if yoga is your thing, there are many hybrid yoga classes to sample. Iron yoga (yoga with weights), Hip Hop Yoga (let Rhianna keep you motivated), Antigravity Yoga (pose while suspended in the air).
Purchase a new toy to track your workouts. These gadgets are a fun way to count calories burned or miles run. A popular heart rate monitor is the Polar watch. It will track your calories burned and push you to keep moving as you see the numbers rise when you work harder and longer.
A change of scenery will help to keep your exercise new. The high school football field and stadium has endless possibilities.