Going Through A Fitness Lull
It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been working out, sometimes you just go through a lull, and that’s ok. As someone who has been training almost daily for 4 years, I reached a lull this January and have been figuring out how to work past it and get back to being excited about my daily training. Lulls are normal and not something to beat yourself up over. Maybe you’ve started a new job, like me. Maybe you have a lot of new responsibilities. Whatever the reason for the lull, it’s ok, and you can work through it.
I wanted to share my own experience with a training lull, and what I’m doing to get past it, and how it’s impacted my mindset. It’s easy to feel alone when you see so many people consistently training on social media, and can feel like everyone has it figured out except you. At least that’s how it felt for me. No one talks about what to do when your old routine is no longer exciting or serving your body the best. While I take fitness as my lifetime commitment, I’m reminding myself that we change a lot over a lifetime, and our workouts should do the same.
In January of this year I began my new job as a full-time fitness professional running my own gym. With this new job my expectation was that I would be so incredibly active working with people that I wouldn’t need to designate separate time for training, but I was quite wrong. Gyms, in general, have been slow to reach their previous capacity and with so many people working from home, I greatly overestimated how many people I would be working with. I didn’t realize that I’d be spending most of my time for months sitting in a chair at a desk. This is my own form of a nightmare! I am very active, by nature, and not one that likes to sit.
Unfortunately, my mindset had already shifted at this point, and my motivation to exercise on my own accord had dwindled. Not to mention the fact that I can’t exercise on the job, and after spending 8 hours at a gym, I just wanted to get home. This is one example of getting into an exercise lull, but they can come from anywhere. Some of the most common reasons we end up in a wellness lull include:
Changes in weather
General lack of motivation
These are just a few of the common examples, and it is possible to work past them. Here are just a couple of ways to break through:
1) Know that it’s ok to take a break!
As much as we want to stay committed to a task and never waiver, that’s not always realistic. It’s ok that your relationship with fitness has changed. Even after years of steady work and feeling great, you may find yourself checked out. You may need to take some time away and get that passion back. Your body could need that extra rest for a little while. Not beating yourself up over taking a break will help you to feel motivated to get back to your workouts as soon as you are able to. Avoiding making workouts seem like a punishment instead of a reward is really helpful.
2) Schedule exercise in advance
Time is a huge factor in exercise and general wellness. We often think we will get everything else done in the day and then fit in that workout after, then after work we are just too tired or stressed to do so. So schedule that workout in advance. Book a class or start your day with that workout. Working out in the morning is really helpful for a lot of people and helps them to wake up and feel energized throughout the day. It may even help your productivity.
3) Find a new way to train
Sometimes it’s just about finding something new to excite you. Perhaps there’s an activity you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t. Maybe you want to join a local sports team and also make some new friends. Maybe you’ve always been curious about kickboxing. In a world with 100 ways to get in a workout, you can keep trying new activities until you are happy. Maybe you want to move your workouts outside to get that fresh air. Keep trying new things and give yourself a chance to fall in love with exercise again.
4) If you can’t exercise, find a new way to prioritize your health
Maybe you really do want to prioritize your health but have been injured or you’re too busy to get to the gym. Maybe you lost your transportation. Health and wellness is more than just physical exercise, you can also work to eat a more balanced diet. Prioritizing drinking water and getting enough sleep are also incredibly important. Maybe focus on not getting drive-thru each day and picking some more balanced meals. There’s so many angles you can look at for improving your overall health, so find one that fits your lifestyle.
5) Get an accountability partner
Sometimes you just need a teammate to inspire you. Especially if working out is boring for you, finding a friend to join you is incredibly motivating. Also, competition is a great motivator and creating goals that you both work towards gives you good mile markers of achievement. Seeing those goals being checked off is another great motivator to keep working!
What’s been helpful for me was giving myself some time to adjust to my new life and being patient. I needed a few months off to get back into my motivated mindset. Now I am back to working out but finding that weightlifting is not my #1 right now. I have been doing a lot of hiking and working with the TRX suspension trainer. These 2 activities inspire me to exercise and as my gym schedule gets busier and busier, I am getting in more activity that way. I can now be excited to get in a workout and don’t feel pressured to workout if I need to rest.
So give yourself some grace and remember… Fitness is for all!