People often say that the hardest part of keeping to a workout routine is starting; everything else comes easily.
But anyone who’s begun working out and then fell off the wagon knows one thing - the only thing harder than starting is starting for a second time. If you begin avoiding workouts and finding excuses not to train, it can be hard to get back into it.
And these days, maintaining a workout schedule is more difficult than ever. When you’re spending all of your time at home due to the Corona Virus pandemic, chances are you’re in danger of becoming lazy and sluggish. Don’t worry, that’s only human - when working out is an outdoors or gym activity, it’s an easy part of your daily rhythm to get into, but when you need to get off the couch and do it in your living room; exercising somehow becomes more of a chore.
Don’t worry — we’ll get you into the right mindset right here!
We can already picture it — just a few weeks ago, you were prepared to train all the time; completely on your top A-game. You’d eat a balanced and healthy diet, work out regularly, and improve other parts of your life as well; meeting work-related targets, sleeping better and waking up on time. All in all — a fully functional individual, ready to tackle any kind of daily challenge.
But then, a single moment of doubt and weakness comes along. You mess up one day and skip training - the next thing you know, you’re on a bad-habit-binge. Missing workouts, eating junk food, and slipping into a progressively worse daily mood. There are countless reasons for this to happen besides stay-at-home orders, and all of them are quite valid. You could be suffering from an injury, staying home due to an illness, or have an acute psychological issue, like a breakup of a long relationship. Or, quite simply - you went on vacation. All in all, there are myriad things that could cause you to stop working out. So, now you’re in the middle of a downward spiral. Don’t worry, though - there are things you can do about this!
Identify The Cause
In most of the popular literature spouting advice on getting back to exercising without upsetting your life too much, you’ll often find a lot of different tactics being thrust upon you right away. But to paraphrase Albert Einstein’s famous quote on problem-solving - it’s better to spend more time thinking about the problem than the solutions; the solutions themselves will be of a higher quality as a consequence.
So, in this case, you need to address the root of the cause. In other words, you need to take a good, long look at yourself and think about why you messed up in the first place. First, think of when you first slipped up. What were you feeling at the moment? What kinds of thoughts were racing through your head at the time? Were you fully in control of your life, and if not, why? All of these answers will prove to be instrumental in your dealing with mental and practical roadblocks on the way to training again!
Keeping this in mind, reflect on all of the triggers that have led you to fail in your healthy, positive habits. For instance, many people realize that eating the same healthy food each day became boring to them, so they turned back to easy and immediately satisfying binge-eating. Once you realize what the problem is, you could take steps to address it — like trying some healthy new recipes, or changing up your eating schedule once in a while.
Sticking To A Schedule
Speaking of your eating schedule, you need to realize that having a quality schedule and sticking to it is one of the most difficult things in your life. Sure, people who have had a good schedule for ages seem to be sticking to it effortlessly; but in reality, building that kind of stern attitude takes years of healthy habits.
The old adage about people being creatures of habit shouldn’t be underestimated — because we most definitely are. For instance, if you take your three weekly morning gym sessions as absolute axioms and treat them that way for a while, you’ll stop even actively thinking about it after a while, and the rest of your schedule that’s more flexible will fall naturally in place. Of course, props like fitness trackers and organizational tools are of great help.
People use different tactics to organize their time — a block-based calendar works great for some. Once you do start working on your schedule, make sure that you are very specific with your planning. The less leeway you allow for yourself, the fewer temptations you’ll have to wander astray from the schedule.
Allow Yourself To Fail
Now we’re arriving to the final, and most important part of your journey back to the land of fitness and healthy living — allowing yourself to fail.
Remember how we’ve talked about the reasons you’ve had slip-ups in the first place, and the importance of recognizing them? That was, in large part, due to the fact that your psychological roadblocks are absolutely the biggest when it comes to getting back to a workout schedule.
Sure, when we’re busy, or have a difficult period at work, it’s not as easy to stick to a workout schedule. But in 99% of cases, if we become completely honest with ourselves and take a look deep down within, we realize that the practical limitations aren’t insurmountable. Instead, they’re practically excuses for us not to exert ourselves and actually stick to working out.
This is only natural — all of us do it from time to time. But once you recognize this habit, you will find it much easier to get back to healthy living. If you don’t view the occasional slip-up as catastrophic, you will be able to simply get up the next day and move on with your healthy life.
Getting back to a workout routine and sticking to it with a busy lifestyle is not easy. On the one hand, you need to keep to your schedule as much as possible so you’re not constantly indulging yourself by skipping workouts, but, on the other hand, you need to be open-minded enough to recognize that such situations aren’t the end of the world. Even if you don’t manage to hit every single goal and train in each scheduled session, you should still strive to keep to it!