Whether it’s a major work project, family commitment, illness or simply a motivation speed bump – exercise can quickly slide down the priority list.
But it won’t be this way forever. When the injury has healed, the project is over or your schedule lightens up, here are some tips to get your rhythm back.
1. Write it down. Make it real.
Focus all that energy and angst into a clearly defined mission and start with a simple sentence. Give yourself a clear target to aim for with a SMART fitness goal - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely. Here’s one from the calocurb team.
“I commit to doing 2 cardio and 1 strength session a week, for a minimum of 45 minutes each session”
While you’re at it, make a date with yourself. Grab your diary and find a time when you’ll be least distracted and book it in. Stick to it - your health is a priority too and should be treated as one. You wouldn’t expect anyone to blow off an appointment with you, so treat yourself the same way.
2. Start slow, but start
Getting your groove back will take time, and that’s ok. This is all about re-building sustainable, long-term habits - not chalking up a few marathon gym sessions.
How about a low-intensity activity to get started? You can turn up the intensity later, but why not sign up for a trial yoga class, swim laps or walk a set number distance. The Huffington Post has 21 ideas for low intensity workouts here if you need a little inspiration!
It’s as much about mindset as it is about movement to start with - proving to yourself that you’re ready, willing and able to get back into exercise and developing the personal discipline to stick to it.
3. Get social
It’s a lot harder to cancel a workout when someone’s expecting you.
Personal trainers are great although they do come with a hefty price tag. But there are other ways out there to socialise your sweat session. Share your fitness goals with friends and family and ask them to join you, at least for the first few weeks.
Classes are also a great motivator and usually come a lot cheaper than a personal trainer. The fitness world is changing fast and it’s never been easier to find local introductory fitness classes. Most even come with special offers for newcomers.
Our favourite way to find local classes is with Mindbody – an easy-to-use app that groups up weekly and monthly offers across a range of activities like Pilates, F45, CrossFit and more - sometimes for as little as $10!
4. Power up
Wearables and fitness apps are everywhere these days. Sure, they can deliver some impressive health insights that help motivate and evaluate your progress, but are they worth the price tag?
For a start, both Apple and Android phones come with in-built fitness apps right there on the phone – no need to download a thing! These are the perfect place to start logging steps, tracking activity and counting calories burned. Popular Science have a great overview of making your in-built fitness apps really work for you here.
For the next step up, entry level wearables are a great idea. Even a basic model will track your steps (without a phone), give you little movements reminders when you’re been sitting to long and track your calories burned. It’s a real buzz to see your progress visualised in graphs, badges and updates throughout the day.
The beauty of adding a tech element into your fitness routine is cold hard data. Your phone or tracker won’t lie to you – either you hit your daily step count or you didn’t. It’s a motivator, a coach, a supporter and score keeper all in one.
5. HIIT your way healthy
If time is an issue - and it usually is - how about shorter, home-based workout sessions?
High Intensity Interval training (or HIIT) is taking the world by storm and is backed by science. Just 20 minutes of these on-off routines can give your mind and body a much-needed boost.
Trainings are tailored to your strength and stamina level and can focus on cardio, strength training, core and more. Usually, you’ll work hard for 30 seconds followed by a 20-30 second rest break and repeat.
Most HIIT routines are completely equipment free and all you need is a bit of bare floor.
Best of all, the internet is bursting with quality, free HIIT coaching for you to follow. Our favourite is Joe Wicks The Body Coach, a British trainer who adds a fair share of cheekiness into his high energy workouts.