The first rule of thumb in breaking out of a fitness slump is to get off your chair and move — immediately. High-step in place for about 30 seconds or swing your arms until you feel breathless and energized. Working your way out of a mind-set intellectually isn’t always effective. Wallowing is a self-perpetuating state of mind that will keep you in your fitness slump; while movement, any type of movement, will start to ignite the flame that you let burn out. Whether you slumped because of boredom, physical exhaustion or any one of many reasons, there are ways to motivate yourself to take action and become a fitness champ once again.
After your brief burst of energy, settle down with a notebook or journal and write down any thoughts you have about why you fell into a fitness slump. One of the most elucidating results of pouring your thoughts onto paper is that you start to notice trends. You may find that the word “work” or the phrase “no time” crops up more than once. Often your fitness slump has more to do with what whatever else is encroaching on your workout time, than it is the exercise itself. If that’s the case, it’s a fairly easy fix by ordering your day differently so that nothing has to suffer; neither work nor fitness. However, if you find yourself rolling your eyes as you write down your previously favorite routines, it may be time to conquer new fitness territory in order to break yourself out of your slump.
Try Something Different
If you’ve pinpointed that your old fitness routine just isn’t doing it for you anymore and has become a chore rather that a pleasure, it’s time to choose something new. Or, if you’re loathe to give up your workout but just want something more out of it, then there are things you can do to switch it up. If you’re a runner, you could break out of your slump by signing up for a half or full marathon. The training phase alone could be just the excitement you need to dump your slump. Often, fitness just for fitness sake is not enough to keep you motivated and you need to up the ante by introducing goals that lead to a desired result.
Don’t Stress About It
Fitness should be a pleasure and not a chore. That may be one of the reasons you sunk into your slump in the first place. Make it enjoyable again by not only trying new routines but by not stressing about it. Stress can immobilize you and that’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to break out of a fitness slump. So relax and enjoy the process. Practice deep breathing techniques to alleviate your stress. YogaJournal.com has a wealth of articles written by experts on proper breathing or pranayama methods. Try thinking like an athlete. World class contenders employ visualization before a game or meet. They not only visualize their strategy, but the win.
Tips and Warnings
Always get checked out by your doctor before starting any new physical activity. If you’ve been in your fitness slump for a while, you may have lost strength and tone, so take it easy for the first few weeks until you build up your reserves. Practice persistence as you work your way out of your fitness slump. Like anything else, this has a learning curve: Use persistence to break free.