It’s that time of year when people start to lose their motivation in the gym. Having been a pretty active person the last 10 years of life I have been through some very big ups & downs with working out. I know how tough it can be to get back into the swing of things. But sometimes it’s more than just mental. So today I am narrowing down a few reasons why you may have lost some drive to workout & what you can do to reconnect with it. Pay special attention to the last one, I truly think it’s the most overlooked!
1.Motivation- you started motivated, maybe with a goal to lose some weight, increase your strength or just get moving. Losing motivation can come from a few things. Going too hard too fast which can cause a loss in interest due to burnout. Also getting started for the wrong reasons (i.e. to loose 10lbs for summer but not for a lifelong lifestyle change) can sometimes cause us to revert back to old habits. The best suggestion for both of these is to take your time! Get yourself a routine that fits in your schedule and continually visualize your goals. Envisioning the steps you need to get there will help you make better decisions along the way.
2.You’re bored with your workout routine- I use to run around 20-30 miles per week & I began to dread every single workout. I was bored, something that drove me forward for years was no longer as aspiring or goal driving to me as it once was. If this sounds familiar, try adding in a new routine, maybe it’s yoga, walking, barre, weight lifting, or running. Whatever it is cut back on what isn’t of interest to you anymore and focus your interest on something else. I love combining a few different forms of exercise throughout the week to keep the excitement going. In addition switching your routine every 4-6 weeks can be really beneficial to keeping your interest, changing things up, and to see more progress.
3.You need a change of scenery- Do you take the same walk every day? Run the same 2 routes, or have been going to the same gym for 10+ years? Maybe it’s time for a change of scenery. Trying a new trail, or getting a trial membership at a new gym with a new layout can be really motivating & expose you to new things & people. You’d be surprised how such a small switch like running your normal route backwards can have on your motivation and ability to push yourself harder in your next workout.
4.You need to switch your social approach to exercise- Some people swear by group exercise, others prefer to go solo. deviating from your preference helps get you out of your comfort zone & trying something new. The change can be really motivating to push yourself and try something different. Who knows you may even make a new friend! I really enjoy working out solo most days but always make time for a run with friends and group classes. Try joining a running or swimming club or if group fitness is normally your thing, try taking a solo walk to decompress from the day.
5.You’re self sabotaging- What is your self talk like around working out? Are you negative about your body image, skill level, or your motivation? A positive mindset is essential for recognizing progress and keeping yourself excited and proud of moving your body. Catch yourself if you feel these things coming on change the way you respond. For more tips you can see [p2p type="slug" value="the-3-words-you-should-tell-yourself-daily"]this post[/p2p].
6.You’re tired & stressed- In my personal experience both as an exerciser & a nutritionist I cannot tell you enough how REAL & TRUE this is. About a year ago I was stressed, unhappy in my job & could not find the drive to workout the way I use to. Something that use to be fun for me & that I woke up early for became my worst nightmare. The reason? My adrenal glands (basically our energy & hormone regulators) were SO TIRED. I was exhausted, had mineral imbalances, my circadian rhythm was off & I was stressed trying to do so many things at once. My body physically could not handle anything strenuous anymore because it was another stressor on my body. Instead of getting upset that I didn’t have the energy I began to rest more, worked on restoring my body’s energy & now I am back in action. It’s definitely going to take some time to get my activity level back to where it was but I’m happy I finally acknowledged the signs and took a break. Try taking some time for more relaxing activities like restorative yoga and meditation to help you become more aware of your limits.
The best way to handle this to recognize the signs your body is giving you & don’t try to push to hard. Pushing your body harder when it’s in this state will only make things worse. In addition this is something you really should work with someone like a nutritional therapist to help correct it. It needs proper supplementation & diet tweaks to truly heal. If you think you may be experiencing some of these signs please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I hope these suggestions helped keep you motivated! Remember to keep a positive mindset throughout any workout or change in a workout plan. This leads to a healthy relationship with exercise plus keeps it fun and motivating!