Why It’s Okay to Go Through Ups and Downs in Your Workout Routine

We are all human and imperfect. There is no way we can stay 100% motivated 365 days out of the year, complete with eating healthy every single day and working out with enthusiasm 5+ days a week. I’ve seen it many times, where people go through a lull in their workout routine and feel unmotivated. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay!

I’ve been working out since I was about 13 years old, when my family joined the Davie Family YMCA. I’m 30 years old now, so that’s 17 years of consistently working out. Yes, I love working out and don’t know where I would be without fitness in my life. However, I’ve gone through periods where the last thing I wanted to do is work out. These periods don’t have to be just 1 day…they can be several days or even weeks. When I see myself feeling unmotivated, I do a few things to get myself back on track. Here are my strategies:

  1. I reflect. The first step is to take a step back and reflect on why I am not wanting to work out. Am I feeling sick? Is my body run down? Do I need a mental break? Is my current workout boring me? All of these could be answered with a “Yes,” or just one of them. I write in my phone (or a journal) as to why I am feeling complacent in my fitness at the moment. Next, I write why I love fitness so much. I know it sounds cheesy, but visually seeing why I work out written down does help me get some fire back. There is definite power in words. Writing the influence of fitness down reminds me and recharges me.
  2. I rest. Almost every time I am in a workout lull, it’s because I need a break physically and emotionally. I take a rest for a few days. Rest doesn’t mean doing absolutely nothing. Rest actually means active rest, like a long walk in my neighborhood, a hike or a yoga class. I’ve found that most of the time I just need a little break and this physical rest helps me jump back in. Our bodies need to be recharged, too!
  3. I change things up. It’s not healthy to do the same workout routine every week and the same thing every day. We need change! I look at my workouts and try to add a new workout each week that will give me energy. Try a new class at your YMCA! Or download a fun video from YouTube and give that a go. It’s energizing to try new things, and this includes your workouts. Plus, your bodies respond well to positive change.
  4. I phone a friend. I love working out with friends, and sometimes I forget that. I usually ask one of my good friends to join me in a workout, and that’s a great fix. It’s fun to chat and work out at the same time. Sweating together makes for a good relationship, too! If I’m lucky, sometimes my hubby will even join in on the fun and work out with me.

So, there you have it! It’s okay to go through ups and down in your motivation. Allow yourself grace time and know that we all experience workout plateaus. Jump back on the wagon by trying my strategies.


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