No matter how committed you may be to your fitness, you will undoubtedly go through interruptions to your regular exercise routine due to illness, social engagements, travel, etc. Although I have been regularly active for a long time, I sometimes find these interruptions difficult to recover from – especially if the interruption is a lengthy one. Fortunately, I’ve been using a simple solution that seems to jumpstart my activity after a period of extended inactivity.
First off, it is key to note that I try to exercise even when I’m on vacation; I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at a hotel and not used their gym. In fact, when we were backpacking through South America last summer, instead of an extra paid of underwear, I brought along my skipping rope (a decision I regretted on a number of occasions). And when all that fails, I’ve been known to use my luggage and whatever furniture is available to get a quick workout.
The problem occurs when I haven’t been able to get a decent workout in a while. When this happens, as time passes I become progressively less motivated to get back into the exercise routine. With every day of inactivity I sense as though the hurdle that I need to overcome to be active again becomes greater.
Part of the problem is that I enjoy intense workouts. When I take some time off, I know I won’t be able to bring the same level of intensity I did when I was regularly exercising for some time. And this very thought is what discourages me from getting back on the horse, so to speak.
Thus, whenever I am in such a slump, I allow myself a series of “going through the motions” workouts. In essence, I force myself to go to the gym or on a run, with a very simple goal: simply to do something. On such days, I will run slower, lift less weight, and generally push very little during the workout. Sometimes I may even do a fraction of my normal workout. It really doesn’t matter. At the end of it, I did something and tomorrow’s workout will be that much better.
I’ve recently found that this change in thinking is just what I need to jumpstart my exercise routine when I’ve fallen off the wagon. While having an intense workout after a week of inactivity seems like a daunting task, merely putting on your gym clothes and half-heartedly doing a couple push-ups is much more achievable.
I mention this idea as just a few days ago I had to play this trick on myself to jumpstart my workout routine after a week of too much food and drink, and not enough movement or sleep, while attending a good friend’s wedding in the Dominican Republic.
What tricks do you play on yourself to keep yourself motivated and dedicated to maintaining your activity level?
Kickstarting your exercise routine when your motivation is in a slump. by Obesity Panacea, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.