It’s that time of year where our summer holidays are a distant memory, our swimwear has been pushed to the back of the drawer and all the Christmas chocolate is appearing in the shops. The summer is a great motivator to push your fitness regime into gear so you feel comfortable wearing floaty dresses and bikinis, but once the summer warmth has disappeared it is easy to fall into a fitness rut.
But why should motivation stop at the first sign of Autumn?
Fitness helps us in so many ways that we should start thinking of it as a lifestyle more than a temporary seasonal fix. Exercise helps us mentally, increases energy and ultimately makes us feel better in ourselves.
It is so common to find yourself in a rut in between summer and the New Year so don’t feel bad, I seem to do it every year! Below are some tips I have learnt for getting back on track:
Re-evaluate your goals (fitness and food)
The goals you had at the beginning of the year may have changed, or what you want to focus on may be different so I think it is important to check in with yourself to see what you really want to achieve. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be able to keep running 10km? Or do you want to sustain a level that you are at right now? All of these goals need different types of training so doing workout routines from six months ago may not be relevant to you any more.
I certainly know how easy it is to fall out of healthy eating and it can be hard to jump back on track when there is temptation everywhere. Now, I am definitely not one to preach restriction and I won’t tell you not to eat cake, but maybe take a look at what you are eating on a daily basis and see where you can substitute foods for healthier alternatives. Never restrict or demonise foods you love; food is there to fuel your body but also to be enjoyed.
Think about what you enjoy doing (and be honest)
It is easy to get swept up into fitness trends on social media, however do you actually enjoy weight lifting or cross fit or running? I have been there and thought I had to do X and Y because others on Instagram were doing it, but it is your fitness journey so do what ever works best for you! Maybe even think back to what you enjoyed doing ten years ago and try it out again as you may pick up the same passion for it.
Find new routes
If you are a runner or walker or hiker try finding new trails to explore. If you run at the same place at the same time each week you can predict how long it will take you and that can put you off (it does with me anyway.) When I was training for the half marathon I ran as many different routes as possible to keep my mind from getting bored and my body getting used to different terrains and conditions.
New week, new routine
If you find you get bored of set routines very quickly try writing yourself a new exercise regime every week. Mix up your cardio and weight days, run at the weekend instead of during the week. Try working out in the mornings before work instead of afterwards. It does wonders for your body and mind to mix up routines often so you don’t get too comfortable. Try to add new exercises every week to challenge yourself, and make sure to include exercises you don’t necessarily like to really challenge yourself. Each week in my newsletter I give my subscribers a free workout; join my mailing list to receive your own weekly workout!
Hire a professional
This is something I have done when I have really wanted to re-evaluate my goals, nutrition and exercise regime. Sometimes you just need an extra support system in place to help you get to where you want to be, or to start your journey. Right now I am being coached because I was in a slump after summer and felt like I could be taught a thing or two, and I was right. Be cautious of those who claim they are a fitness professional but do not have any qualifications.
Pack your gym bag the night before
It sounds simple but you’ll thank yourself in the morning. I always make sure to pack my bag in the evenings to ensure I am not rushing around in the morning before work and forget to pack something. If your bag is by your front door you are so much more likely to pick it up; you’ve just got to get yourself there after that.
Find new recipes
Cooking the same things week in week out will have you reaching for a takeaway. Find new recipes you can cook from scratch to change up your routine. My favourite place to look for recipes at the moment has to be Pinterest, there is just so much on there! There are so many simple healthy meals you can make; you just need to find the inspiration.
Create a weekly challenge
I like to do this once in a while to mix up my normal routine and it really pushes your body as you are doing something you don’t normally do. This could be anything – swim 50 lengths, run a 10km, go hiking for an hour or see how heavy you can lift on one rep lifts. You may surprise yourself in terms of endurance and strength so give it a go.
Try something new
I have done this a lot over the last year and it really helps to get a spark back. Find a class you have an interest in and go and try it out. I was very nervous to start my pole and aerial hoop classes but I ended up loving both. You never know how much you will enjoy something until you give it a go.
Find a workout buddy
For some people having another person with them to workout gives them motivation and an extra push. Try taking a friend along with you to the gym and make a routine together. If you can’t find anyone to go with you try classes where you may meet some other like-minded people to connect with.
Have you got any other tips for getting out of a fitness rut? Leave them down below 🙂