It can happen to anyone. The lingering dread, the growing disinterest, the growing tendency to skip out on your workout, to let minor inconveniences interrupt the healthy activities that you’ve had planned. A small change in your attitude, a few excuses here and there, and before you know what’s happened it’s been weeks since your last workout.
Maybe you fight through it; you show up at the gym and you go through the motions. But weeks go by without any change in your motivation level. Your interest in your workout has plateaued and there is no help in sight.
This is the making of a workout rut, and it can happen to anyone, at any level. Even professional athletes can hit workout ruts. Sometimes, what’s worked for you in the past starts to not work anymore, and before you know it you may be losing interest in your exercise plans altogether.
Fighting Past the Rut
Workout ruts can be cataclysmic to your exercise and health goals. Instead of giving into the rut and letting your healthy habits fall by the wayside, climb your way out of the rut by finding a new and exciting workout routine that can stimulate your interest once again.
Here are three fun workout ideas that can help you climb out of any workout rut:
- Try taking a class. Oftentimes, the reason that a workout rut happens is because of boredom. Learning something new can ebb that boredom by mixing up your physical fitness routine. Most gyms have workout classes, often including aerobic classes like kick boxing or Zumba, yoga classes, or sometimes even cross fit classes. Taking a class like this is also a great way to meet people with similar fitness interests, and finding a new workout partner can help you jump out of that rut even faster.
- Think outside the gym. There are a lot of ways to work out, and the traditional gym is far from the end-all-be-all of the fitness world. There are a lot of unique, specialized fitness centers that feature a totally different type of fitness experience. Rock climbing is a total body workout that requires finesse and problem solving. Martial arts requires no small degree of mental clarity and respect for the body and your fitness goals. Trying something totally new like this can help reshape your interest in your workout and pull you out of your rut.
- Get social and competitive. If your primary workout plan is to go running on the treadmill for 30 minutes after work, then it is no wonder that you will hit a workout rut after a while. Even the most interesting television program or your favorite podcast can’t break up that sort of monotony. However, if you mix up your solo run with a few social runs, then you may find the motivation you are looking for. Running clubs are a great outlet for this, as are local races. Even if you aren’t ready for a half marathon, a 5k is a great way to get out there with other people in your area who enjoy a good run.
If you find yourself not as interested in your workout as you once were, then it is possible you are hitting a workout rut. Identifying the rut early on is the best thing you can do to avoid falling out of the fitness habit. Workout ruts are avoidable, and overcoming one isn’t too difficult so long as you are honest with yourself about what you are looking for in your fitness routine. At the end of the day, your workout should be fun. Think about what you enjoy doing most and get out there.
If your workout rut is caused by something more than a bit of boredom, don’t attempt to push through on your own. Injuries are the number one reason as to why people stop working out. If you are dealing with any lingering pain following an injury, or are looking as to how you can get active again after an injury, contact Fit for Life. Our Tampa’s physical therapist can help you get back on track and into something interesting to help you keep up with your fitness goals.