We’ve all been there before: days when you use any excuse possible [even cleaning your house] to get out of a workout. It isn’t always easy to stay focused + motivated, especially while trying to find a balance between work, school, + your social lives [+ anything else that comes along the way!].
The endorphin high you get after completely a great run or by smashing a PR at the gym may be met the next day by frustration when your body doesn’t perform how you think it should. There’s nothing wrong with feeling frustrated or going through periods where you may not prioritize health + fitness. We all have good + bad days, but what’s important is how you get yourself going again when your motivation isn’t at its highest. Here are a six tips to break out of a fitness rut + get yo’self back #inCHAARG.
1] TRY A NEW ROUTINE
This is actually what first inspired me to join CHAARG to begin with. Before I signed up as a Virtual Member, I would go to the gym a couple times a week [on a good week], + run, use the weight machines a little bit, + maybe do a few crunches before calling it a night. I didn’t really have a sense of direction or purpose to motivate me or inspire me to make the most out of each exercise.
That may not be the case for you, but your rut could be caused by too much of the same thing. Changing up your workout regularly not only helps your muscles work harder by keeping them guessing, but it also helps keep it interesting to you. When you do too much of the same thing, you’re more likely to go on autopilot + phone your exercises in. Fitness should be FUN — so change it up! If you’re bored of the treadmill, try a stationary bike. Sick of crunches? Planks!
The CHAARG BOOTYCAMP is a great opportunity to #reCHAARG [ ; )] yourself + rediscover your passion for fitness this summer. Make sure you are on the list for #CHAARGBOOTYCAMP updates — you don’t want to miss out!
2] WORKOUT WITH A FRIEND
All you may need is someone there to tell you to keep going. When you workout alone, it can be easy to get lost in your thoughts if you’re not having the best day, but by working out with a friend, you have someone there to hold you accountable. You can challenge each other to push yourselves a little further, be it a couple extra reps or running just a little bit farther. Plus, it’s awesome to know you have a teammate there to cheer you on!
3] INCENTIVIZE YOUR WORKOUTS
Sure, being healthier is a good incentive in itself to working out, but sometimes a little extrinsic motivation is a good way to get you going. Sometimes when I’m shopping I’ll buy something that may be a *teeeensy* bit small or doesn’t fit just like I would hope it would, but I use that to get me to the gym + get me to work harder. You don’t want to waste money on something you’ll never wear, right? It can be discouraging to look in the mirror + not notice much of a difference when you’re working towards goals, but small changes add up + this is a great way to measure those changes.
An alternative to this is thinking of something you really want [like a new pair of VS Sport leggings — my fav!] + setting a goal to work towards earning them. Use that motivation to get yourself out there + working for them.
CHAARG tip: I incentivize my workouts by going to Starbucks after… I can’t have my CHAARG UP [Starbucks Double Shot with Caramel Drizzle] unless I hit the gym. #TrueStory // ++ Elisabeth
4] TRY A NEW FITNESS CLASS
Like changing your routine at the gym, trying a completely new style of exercise can help you find something that gets you excited to work out again. Go to a class you’ve never tried before at your current gym, or explore the area around you + look for more specialized studios. I also recommend looking for deals on Groupon or LivingSocial — tons of places offer specials on your first or multiple classes, + it’s a great way to look into new places in your surrounding area.
Aside from trying something new, the group atmosphere of a class can be really helpful in keeping you motivated. Despite the crowds, going to the gym by yourself can feel lonely [or even intimidating] because you tend to work out around other people, but in a class you’re working together. If you are trying a class for the first time, don’t be afraid to go up to your instructor + let them know! Trying something new can be scary + they’re more than willing to help you learn + adapt to the new style + environment.
5] CHANGE YOUR SCENERY
This one is more for runners, but don’t be afraid to relocate your run. Trying a new trail, park, or neighborhood makes such a difference for me, especially if it’s a week where I’m stuck on the treadmill more than usual. A new environment + terrain could mean a more interesting workout not just physically, but also visually. I like to use running as an opportunity to explore new areas when I can because I get bored easily + going somewhere unfamiliar keeps me interested while I run. I’ve found that when I try somewhere new, I don’t have as much of an idea of how far I’m running, which helps keep me going + pushes me to attempt further distances. When I run the same path too often, I just think about how much I have left until I’m finished [obviously not a good way to keep myself going].
6] GIVE YOURSELF A FEW DAYS OFF
If you’ve been working super hard, you may just need a good rest. Pushing + challenging your body is important, but you also need to listen to yourself + know when it’s time for a break. You don’t want to work yourself to total exhaustion or injury. Exercise should be enjoyable + benefit your physical + mental health, so if you’re dreading it, something isn’t right. Have a few days to unwind + take it easy. You can’t push yourself 100% every day. Eventually you’ll be ready to workout again not out of a sense of obligation but because you ENJOY it + it makes you happy. : )
How do you work yourself out of an exercise rut? Share what works for you in the comments!
Ali [ali.inchaarg], VirtCHAARG Girl From Philly