The great un-motivator: overcoming “blips” in my fitness journey

For many, myself included, it is hard enough to actually get into a regular exercise routine. Some lack motivation, some do not have regular access to a fitness centre or equipment (hint #1: you don’t need copious amounts of equipment to get active!), some just *hate* to exercise, and some just do not know where to start (hint #2: that’s where I, a trainer, come in *wink*). 

However, many are able to jump that “21 Day” habit making barrier and make physical fitness a routine. Yay! You made it! Right?

If that is the case, then why do so many people fall back into an unhealthy, exercise free lifestyle? What are the mitigating factors that end a perfectly good relationship with self and exercise? It’s like a bad break-up, but with more dire health consequences!

Obviously I can’t speak for everyone. But, experience tells me that these are (some of) the biggest factors that cause someone to call it “quits” on exercise:

  1. Soreness: You’ve got into a routine but you’re still feeling pain after each workout. That can be very discouraging! Just know – soreness is completely natural, especially for someone who is still in the beginner stages of a fitness regime. Heck, 2 years later and I’m still stiff after a good workout! 
  2. Boredom: It’s been a month of the same ‘ole, same ‘old and you’re just plain bored. Time to give up, right? (hint #3: the answer is NO)
  3. Uncertainty: Am I doing this right? Is this how you are supposed to exercise?
  4. Lack of results: It’s been a month and you haven’t dropped a pound. What the heck? 
  5. Illness: when you’re sick you shouldn’t be working out. However, when you don’t workout you get out of your routine. Oh, the dilemma!

The list is all “fine and dandy”, but what do you do to overcome some of these obstacles?

  1. Change up your routine: There is nothing that says you have to stick to the same exercises day in and day out. So, every few weeks change the exercises you are performing and the weight/load/time to keep things spicy
  2. Hire a trainer: Not to toot my own horn but, yes, having a trainer certainly mixes things up, motivates, and kicks you up a notch!
  3. Try to be consistent and not skip workouts: I would say this is #1 on my list of things to avoid if you want to stick with a fitness routine. Missing a workout or two completely throws you off your game.
  4. Don’t be so dependent on the scale! A scale is only one way to track progress. Measure yourself and see the inches lost; track your workouts so you can keep consistent notes on strength/endurance gains; pay attention to how your body feels (re: do you have more energy? Are everyday tasks that much easier to do?); etc.
  5. Stay focused: It’s easy to get distracted, especially because of illness, vacations, a new season of your favourite tv show, etc. However, keep your eye on the prize. A healthy lifestyle and a prolonged life is worth it all.