It happens to the best of us. We do the same workout or eat the same foods day after day until we end up stuck in a rut—bored, unchallenged and unfulfilled. Maybe you’re too busy. Maybe you’ve lost interest. Maybe you’ve gotten a little lazy, which isn’t unusual when a big event, such as a competition, race or vacation, isn’t on the calendar.
When this happens to me, there are several things I do to get myself back on track. Try these motivators to pull yourself out of a fitness rut:
• Set short-term goals. Instead of aiming for big achievements somewhere down the road, focus on smaller accomplishments—and set realistic end dates. When you’ve met your goal, be sure to reward yourself!
• Give yourself a break. Stick with a good, clean diet for at least two weeks, then let yourself splurge on a favorite meal—pizza, a steak with some bread, a chocolaty dessert or something you wouldn’t typically eat.
• Dress for success. Sometimes just having something different to wear can inspire you to get moving. Shop for a new workout outfit, a good pair of shoes or some new crosstraining gloves.
• Take it outside. It’s easy to get bored when you’re staring at the same walls, using the same machines and performing the same exercises at the gym every day. When the weather allows, head outdoors for your workout instead.
• Visualize fun ahead. The holidays are just around the corner! Imagine all the tasty treats and festive dishes you’ll want to enjoy. Remind yourself that if you train hard now, you’ll be able to indulge more later—your body will be able to handle it.
• Try something new. Making a small change to your workout routine helps revitalize it without making you feel like you’re starting over. Swap out your usual routine with a class such as kick boxing, yoga, dance or cross training, or another activity you’ve never tried before, one or two days a week. Get a friend to join you for even more fun!
• Switch things up. Breathe a little new life into your weight training program by changing the order of exercises and/or the number of sets and repetitions.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.