Updated: Sep 15, 2021
One of the greatest things about summer is that you get to spend plenty of time outside, keeping busy with hiking, going to lakes, long walks in parks and enjoying barbeques. Oftentimes, this is the time of year that fitness goals are put on the back burner. Now that September is upon us, kids are back in school and vacations have ended, we are starting to get back into our regular routines. Here are five tips to get you back at the gym so you can start making those desired changes. Here we go!
Make and appointment with yourself! The past couple of months may have been spontaneous, with your regular routine falling apart. That’s ok! Live a little! Now that the last-minute trips to the lake, sudden invitations to watch the game, and relatives visiting from out of town have subsided, it’s time to get back at it. Add a re-occurring appointment in your phone’s calendar app and prioritize this time for yourself. A simple reminder to get up and moving can have big impact on resuming your healthier lifestyle.
More is not better! People are often so excited to get back to the gym they want to workout almost every day in an attempt to catch up on lost time. Even though the dedication and motivation are admirable, sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward. If it’s been a while since your last strength training session, the body will feel a little unfamiliar with the stress being imposed. Going too hard too fast can cause excessive soreness or pain which ultimately will set you back and knock your motivation, whereas the goal is to build consistency and longevity. Ensure you dial down the frequency and intensity according to your fitness level.
Narrow your focus! You might be tempted to change every habit now to get instant results. It won’t take long to notice that instant results are impossible. Most of the time, diets fail due to making too many changes too quickly. Avoid discouragement by taking your time to implement one good habit at a time. Let it settle into your routine and get comfortable with it. It can be as simple as drinking more water, swapping a fast-food meal with a home-cooked meal, or adding more protein or veggies. Whatever you decide, pick something simple and stick to it. Over time these habits will compound and build the lifestyle you want for yourself.
Get more sleep! On average, North Americans do not get the required amount of sleep per night. Check in with yourself daily on what your body is telling you. Low cognitive awareness levels? Are you feeling irritable? Lethargic? Is your body fatigued? These are all symptoms of lacking sleep and recovery time. You do not have to adapt extreme changes. Starting your bedtime routine just 15-30 minutes earlier can make a significant impact. Try the do-not-disturb settings on your phone and/or smart watch to eliminate distractions and social media notifications. Guess what? The more energy you have the more likely you will feel inspired to hit the gym. It’s a win-win!
Be kind to yourself! There will be times you might not achieve what you set out to do. From having to cancel a workout session, being too busy to cook a balanced meal, not being prepared with your water bottle to sip throughout the day, or something disturbed your sleep, sometimes there are factors that are outside of your control or life can throw unexpected things your way. You need to allow yourself to make mistakes in order to get back at it as soon as you can. Dwelling on what went wrong is energy better spent moving forward. Do not wait until next Monday to resume your healthier habits. A little slip-up doesn’t need to impact the rest of your day; you have control over your very next choices.
Until next time,
Stay healthy friends.