The post workout glow. The pump of your muscles. The next day soreness that leaves you unable to conquer a short flight of stairs. Can\’t remember the last time you last time you left the gym feeling like you were…wait, when was the last time you were at the gym ? Oh the memories! Your ear buds in, you pre workout drank, your hat pulled low – you were ready to take over the squat rack and that jerk curling in it. What happened? Do you want to get back to that place where your mind, body and spirit feels healthy and strong, but just the thought of it seems overwhelming? It can happen to anyone. Whether you are coming back from an injury, life got in the way or you just lost your training mojo – getting back on track can be difficult. But it doesn\’t have to be. Here are a few tips that can help you get back into a healthy routine:
Schedule your workouts
Treat your gym time like you would any other appointment that you can’t miss (but not like the dentist appointment that you have cancelled the last 5 times). Write it down in your calendar, make sure that the time is set aside for you to be free of distractions and get moving. Once you get back into the habit, it will be second nature to make time for your workouts, but until then, do what you need to do to get yourself to the gym. Even if it means placing your alarm on opposite side of the room and setting it to the sound of baboons fighting in order to force you out of bed in the morning – do it!
Have a plan
Don\’t just plan to go to the gym – have a plan in place for what you will do once you get there. Get a workout program together so you know what you need to accomplish during each gym session. Being prepared will make it easier for you to get in the gym and back out without wasting your valuable time trying to figure out what to do next. And, what\’s more, following a plan and keeping a record of your workouts will help you see your improvements which will encourage you to keep at it.
Put the phone down
We\’ve all been there. You just pushed out 10 reps, your heart is beating through your chest, you sit on the bench to ret and you get sucked into a social media typhoon. Before you know it, the staff is turning off the lights and you haven’t made a dent in your workout. Your rest period just became 45 minutes of your supposed hour long workout. To keep you on track during gym time, leave your phone in your bag or locker. I know it\’s hard, but Facebook will still be there AFTER your finish your workout.
Prep your meals
Take one day and prepare your food for the week. Cook lean meats, bake sweet potatoes, steam rice and cut up your produce. Once everything is measured out, store all of your meals in air tight containers. It seems like a no brainer, but when you’re hungry and you have healthy food options right at your fingertips, you’ll be less likely to grab the unhealthy stuff.
Stop comparing yourself
That guy benching 350 pounds. The girl squatting twice her bodyweight. The couple who has been running for an hour. You may want to \”be\” them, but YOU ARE NOT THEM. Just because you don\’t have the same strength and stamina that they do does not make you any less of a person than they are. They have their own health and fitness goals and you have yours. That couple may be training for an Ultra Marathon. That guy might compete in Strongman Competitions. And that girl, she could be someone who has been lifting half of her life. And if you are comparing yourself to photos on social media, just stop. 99% of those people took 100 pictures to get the one perfect one that highlighted what they wanted to show off, and then they added filters to make it look better.
Take baby steps
Have you ever seen someone who decides to quit smoking, eliminate soda, exercise an hour a day and abolish junk food all at the same time? They get a little crazy and completely give up on everything 2 days in. Instead of trying to do it all, try conquering one thing at a time. Pick one goal and crush it. After you have that one under your belt, add another. It may take a little longer to reach the end goal, but you won’t feel so overwhelmed and your chances of succeeding will be so much greater.
Remember that tomorrow is a new day
If you get out of the routine or go on a pizza bender, don’t beat yourself up about it. Everyone has bad days and you are human. We make mistakes. It is what it is and it happened. You can\’t change the past but you can change the future. Just get up, dust yourself off and jump back on the wagon. One bad hour, one off day or one horrible week isn\’t an excuse to throw in the towel – it should be reason to get back at it.