Injury, illness, and erratic schedules are three common catalysts of a fitness routine down shift. You are on a role, losing weight, getting stronger, and feeling great when life throws you a curve ball leaving you sidelined and discouraged. With flu season rearing its ugly head and the holidays fast approaching it is highly likely that most of us will experience some challenges to maintaining our health and fitness levels in the coming months. Don’t throw your routine (or treadmill) out the window just yet. Check out these tips to keep yourself on track:
1.) Enjoy a fresh start – Rather than beating yourself up for taking time off, use the opportunity of getting back to exercise as a fresh start. Use this time to reassess your fitness routine. Stepping away from our day-to-day routine allows us to see the bigger picture and usually results in a paradigm shift. If you are not excited about getting back it is usually a sign that it is no longer working for you. Change it up and create a new routine, chances are you’ll see more results than you did with the old stale one.
2.) Hone in on diet – When you are unable to exercise as much as you’d like, shift your focus to diet. Take this time to finally get a handle on portion size or start that food journal you’ve been meaning to write. Try some new healthy recipes to nourish your body, speed healing, and increase immunity.
3.) Redefine your definition of exercise – When you can’t exercise like you usually do you are forced to think out of the box. Traveling and unable to get to the gym? Try doing bodyweight exercises in your hotel room or taking the stairs instead of the elevator to your floor. Coming off an illness? Build back up to your previous fitness level by taking the dog for longer walks or doing push ups and lunges between household chores. Recovering from an injury? Utilize the muscle groups you are allowed to use and expand your repertoire. You will come off your injury with a broader knowledge of workouts and strength in muscle groups you may have been neglecting, especially helpful if the injury resulted from overuse.
Remember fitness is more than the 30-60 minutes you spend at the gym. Use a break in routine as a chance to realize that though working out is important, every day choices are the largest component to lifelong fitness.