Sweat drenched and exhausted, you wipe your brow and head toward the shower. Leaving your worries behind by the weights and your stress alongside the treadmill, the clarity you feel provides a sense of accomplishment. Almost as though you’re on top of the world. Nothing can get you down. Your energy levels are up, along with your confidence.
Most of us have experienced the post-workout rush described above. Our endorphins are as high as our goals. Life is good. But what happens weeks, months, even years later when that “excitement” wears off? When the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship with this new lifestyle is over? The following suggestions will help you overcome those mental plateaus and reignite the fire you felt back on the day when your fitness journey just began.
Connect with others.
Everyone starts somewhere. At one time, you were the beginner. You were unsure what to do at the gym and how to do it. Now, going through your routine has become second nature. The equipment you use and the exercises you go through are a daily ritual, like brushing your teeth or washing the dishes. Chances are, at any given time in the gym, there’s probably a newbie. Same goes for social media. Just look up #fitnessjourney on Instagram and you’re likely to find countless individuals, from beginners to novices, not only posting gym selfies, but also sharing workout ideas, meal inspiration and asking questions. Be a resource to others. Also find others who will be a resource to you.
Treating yourself doesn’t mean going through the drive-thru after each workout. Nor does it mean dropping $$ on a new pair of leggings, in five different colors. But every now and then, reward yourself with a new apparel piece or a tasty (and healthy!) treat. Whether it’s a new workout bra that gets your heart rate up, or a new herbal tea that helps you restore on the weekends, find something that you’ll appreciate and will reinforce your commitment to your health.
Makeover your routine.
See that person in the weight room? Or that woman who does sprint intervals on the treadmill? Rather than shun the idea of doing something beyond your comfort zone, give it a try. If your body is always going through the same movements, using the same amount of weight and completing the same number of reps, not only will you (of course) be in a mental rut, but you’ll reach a physical plateau as well. Our bodies are great at adapting and are hesitant to change. So throw it a curveball–or a medicine ball! And mix it up. It will be a welcome departure for your body and your brain.
Remind yourself how far you’ve come.
Consider where you were when you first began. How much weight were you lifting? How much time passed before you were trying to catch your breath on the treadmill? Are your clothes fitting differently? By assessing your progress, you’ll remind yourself of all the reasons you began working out and how far you have come. The work, time and commitment have paid off and now it’s time to modify your goals.
Set a new goal.
“Get to the gym.” Yes, that’s a goal. But does it challenge you? I mean REALLY challenge you!? Does it encourage you to think outside of the box and experiment with a new workout to see what your body is capable of? Your goals will vary throughout life. Most people do not start training for ultra-marathons in their 80s. Just as a recently retired college basketball player won’t sign up for Zumba (though, don’t let my opinion discourage you from either!). Setting a new goal may be as simple as “complete 3 pull-ups” or increase the amount of weight I squat by 30 pounds. Evaluate your current fitness level and your resources. Your resources include time, access to the necessary equipment and knowledge. Consider hiring a personal trainer to prepare you for an event or challenge you with new exercises that will help you push through boredom and plateaus. There are a variety of ways you can set new goals for yourself.
What did your favorite tip from above? What have you done to overcome workout boredom? Comment below and share your best tips for overcoming fitness boredom.
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