Are you like me and started off the new year with the best of intentions when it came to fitness? Did you keep it up easily for the first month but now feel a bit less motivated? I hear ya. Mostly because I find myself here every year once the newness of a fitness routine wears off.
Routines are a double-edged sword—they help build great, healthy habits, but they can also lead to boredom and complacency. Plus, if you don’t regularly change up your workout (increase intensity, add new moves, etc.), your body is no longer challenged and the benefit of your fitness activities decreases.
My favorite tips are in the infographic below, which I have printed out and taped inside my bullet journal to remind me to keep changing things up.
The best ways to beat a fitness slump
1. Bring a friend
There’s no motivation like meeting a friend for a workout. Not only does making plans help you get your butt to the gym, you have a buddy/cheerleader along for the ride.
2. New/unique class
Trying out a new class in a new place with a new group of people is always exciting. And doing something different is good for both your body (changing things up lowers the risk of repetitive use injuries and helps you to use different muscle groups) and good for your brain.
3. Buy a new outfit or accessory
Looking good at the gym can make you feel more serious about your fitness. So go ahead and buy those new pants from Lululemon. Or a new pair of sneakers for your favorite activity. Research has shown that new equipment or fashionable workout attire makes you more likely to both workouts and enjoy it.
4. New music
A brand new playlist can jumpstart a trip to the gym or a long run. Choosing music with an upbeat tempo that’s different from your go-to can keep your workout interesting.
5. Get connected
Use a fitness tracker app or join a fitness community. Being connected can keep you accountable to both yourself and to a community. Often apps offer up challenges where friends can cheer each other on.
6. Take a rest day
This is the most overlooked way to reinvigorate yourself. Take a rest day and recover. It isn’t being lazy, it’s caring for your body. Sometimes a day off is all you need to be excited for a workout tomorrow.
7. YouTube Fitness Videos
I love this tip so much, I wrote an entire post about it. But YouTube videos offer a wealth of styles, intensities, and lengths for free. You can use this as a way to do something fast on a day you don’t want to do anything or as a way to discover new workouts in the privacy of your home.
We’re all human and some days it’s not only hard to get out of bed, it can be hard to stick with your fitness routine. What are you mental tricks or hacks to stay motivated?
Mary Fran Wiley is a well known gluten-free and positive living blogger from Chicago where she writes Curiouser and Curiouser, maintains the Chronic Positivity Project, founded the organization hope.dance and has been featured in Allergic Living Magazine, Care2.com and Today.com.