First of all let me just start off by saying that I know it is very difficult to get a good routine down when it comes to exercise. If you already have that then you’re one step ahead of the rest! We all have busy schedules with work and our personal lives it can be challenging to squeeze in time for the gym. So make sure that you’re at least trying to make it a priority!
Now I’m not saying that all of these are signs that you’re in a rut. So if you are reading through this and suddenly start to think “oh gosh I’m in a rut and I didn’t even know it!” pleases don’t think that!! Some of these things work for some people and you have to remember that all of our bodies are different. What works for one person might not necessarily work for the next. So keep that in mind. But after doing a little research these are some of the things that I found when it came to “fitness ruts” and how to fix them!
1. No Balance Between Cardio and Strength Training
Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with having a strictly cardio day at the gym. There are some days that I walk into the gym and just don’t feel like lifting, and that’s okay! Hoping on the treadmill or the elliptical will help you to get your heart rate up, burn calories and get those endorphins pumping through your system and that’s a great thing! But if you find yourself just naturally gravitating toward those machines constantly you’re not doing your body any justice. The key here is balance between the two. A well rounded program is key to maximizing your results from your workout. How do you fix it?? Incorporate a circuit into your routine, especially if your goal is to lose weight. By adding in resistance training to your workout routine you will benefit greatly, the more lean tissue you have in your body the more fat your body will burn throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy either. It can be as simple as breaking up your treadmill or elliptical routine into different time increments and in between those increments doing a set of different strength training exercises. Give it a try!
2. You Find an Excuse to leave early…or not go at all…
I understand that there are going to be days where you can only afford a quick workout. Being an educator I get it, work and family obligations don’t always allow for the full workout that I would like to get, sometimes I don’t get to fit one in at all. Now that’s fine on occasion, but if you find yourself constantly cutting your workouts short or finding a reason not to go, something is definitely not right. How do you fix this one?? Start by taking a look at your eating (most articles I read while researching used the word diet but we all know how I feel about that word….or have I not discussed that yet??? Hmm…if not that will be in a later blog!). Your body requires the right fuel to run its best…it’s kind of like a car. If you own a diesel truck and you accidentally put in the medium grade gas….your truck isn’t going to run at its best. In order for your body to run its best you need the right combination of proteins, carbs, healthy fats, fruits and veggies otherwise your body is just going to feel exhausted. Also take a look at your sleeping patterns. If your body isn’t getting enough rest, its not going to operate at its best either.
3. You Find Yourself Constantly Watching The Clock
Are you constantly checking your watch or the clock during your workout? If so then your not allowing yourself to get into the flow of your workouts. When you’re in the flow of your workout, your in the zone and outside distractions no longer interfere with your goals. If you’re not able to find that state of concentration it’s possible that you could be bored with your routine and it’s time to shake things up a bit and try something new! How can you fix it?? Start by completely changing your routine! Use what you have been doing and the exercises that you know and love as a guide to make yourself a new routine. Maybe you’re used to a strict lifting routine mix it up a bit by trying a HIIT (high intensity interval training) routine instead. Use your same weight training moves, mix in some cardio moves and you have yourself a HIIT routine. Are you more into fitness classes? Try a new class! You never know you might just find something you love!
4. You’ve Hit a “Plateau”
I use the word “plateau” very loosely because here I’m not just talking about weight loss. For example if you’re a runner and your goal is to run a 10-minute mile instead of your usual pace and you can’t seem to break that 10:30 mark you might be in a rut. Something is holding you back from seeing the results that you so desperately want. In order to get past this start by making sure your goals are achievable and realistic. It’s great to have big goals and to reach for the stars, but sometimes we need to re-evaluate our situation and our goals. For example if you have a goal to lose 30 lbs in two weeks, I’m going to tell you to look at that goal again. Not only is that not safe but it’s just not realistic. Maybe try for 1b a week instead, that way you’re less likely to stress about it and you’re more likely to achieve your goal.
5. Your Body is Constantly Sore
No pain no gain right?? Well…yes and no. If that’s how you tackle your workouts and you find yourself tired, having trouble sleeping or getting sick then there is a possibility that you’re over training. The most important thing to remember when it comes to training is that fitness is a journey not a destination. The harder you push and the more you push the more your body will continue to break down and you could eventually injure yourself, meaning you could have to stop all together. In order to prevent that, make sure that you’re scheduling a rest day every once in a while. The basic rule of thumb is every 3 to 5 days. Now like I said earlier…not everyone operates the same as the next person. Fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of a thing so make sure that you’re listening to your body and if you feel like it’s telling you to take a rest then do it.
Have you ever been in a fitness rut?!? What did you do to get out of it? If there’s something that you did that I didn’t mention please feel free to leave it in the comments below! I would love to hear what you did that worked for you! I hope that if you are in a fitness rut that one of these tips will help you! I know I’ve been there and the tip that worked best for me was to change up my routine. You’ll be surprised what something as simple as that can do for you!