Life gets in the way of our gym habits. Everyone who has been training for any length of time will know that sometimes events crop up that means we have to take a prolonged break from the gym. For me, it was work commitments, but for many, it is family, an injury, heavy flu or just a simple lack of motivation for a prolonged period.
Depression is another big one, not to mention bad drug habits. Ironically, getting back into the gym is often a cure for many ailments, both physical and mental.
RETAIN YOUR MOTIVATION TO GET BACK INTO FITNESS WITH THESE TRICKS
GETTING BACK ON TRACK
After a significant amount of time off, getting back into a regular gym routine is difficult. Your workouts are much harder than you remember them. It was an easier life not going to the gym and not pushing yourself to exhaustion. But there are ways of getting yourself back on track and making sure you stay there.
START WITH GENTLE EXERCISES
The trick to getting back on the fitness bandwagon is about forming habits. The first few weeks back, it doesn’t really matter what workouts you are doing, as long as you get back into the habit of making time for the gym. Once you start thinking about your training from this perspective, it will become much easier to reform the habit.
Start with something easy. Maybe a couple of stretching and flexibility sessions, then a couple of cardio sessions, and finally, start strength training again. If you go in all-guns-blazing and smash out a killer weights session on day one, you might find you don’t return again in a hurry. Ease into it until you have a solid habit.
CHANGE YOUR MENTAL PERSPECTIVE
Why do you want to get back in the gym? Come up with clear goals and a plan of how to achieve them. When you envision what you want, be it a smaller waist for your wedding day, an extra inch on your arms, or a bigger bench press, you can bring it into reality. You are also much better positioned to address any obstacles that may come up before you get there.
Acknowledge that mistakes do happen. Sometimes you are going to have a doughnut or a muffin for breakfast. It doesn’t make you a bad person, nor does it mean your fitness dreams are scuppered. It was just one slip and you will be back on track tomorrow.
MAKE A NEW FITNESS PLAN
You may not have needed a plan before, but if you had a long hiatus without the gym, then clearly something changed which meant you no longer had the motivation or time to work out. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Structuring your days the same way each day is the easiest way to make something a habit. If you go to the gym before work, do it at the same time every day. Chopping and changing the times makes reforming a habit more difficult, and you want to make it as easy as possible.
OTHER PEOPLE CAN PROVIDE INSPIRATION
Social media and the internet can be a positive force in your road to getting in shape, especially for motivation purposes. Follow fitness professionals, athletes, bodybuilders, or whatever you think will inspire you. Read gym blogs and watch videos. Once you see everyone else doing it, you will be powerless to resist.
A LITTLE EXERCISE IS BETTER THAN NONE
Chances are, during your hiatus, there were plenty of times to go to the gym, but because you weren’t working out that week, you didn’t bother going. This is the attitude you want to change. The all-or-nothing attitude that says you are either “on” and in gym mode, or “off” and not training.
Something small is better than nothing at all. Can’t make it to the gym to train legs, no problem. Do 100 bodyweight squats in the office. It takes five minutes.
Once you address this mentality, working out and staying fit becomes much easier. It will change the way you view your fitness and workouts. It will motivate you to get back on the fitness wagon and continue striving towards those goals.