Even those with the best of intentions to exercise regularly can find themselves in a position where they have to miss a workout, then three, then two weeks go by and before you know it your exercise plans have flown out the window along with your exercise mojo.
First thing to do is realise that it happens, life gets in the way sometimes and rather than beat yourself up about it, cut yourself a break and rather sit down to work out a new strategy to fit in some daily exercise.
Here are five practical tips to help you get your exercise groove back:
1. Plan ahead
Every Sunday sit down with your diary and write down set times you will be able to fit some exercise in. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day if you have a busy schedule, but plan it like you would a business meeting. If it’s in your diary, there’s more chance you’ll do it.
Make it even more of a date by packing your gym clothes (or work clothes if you’re exercising before work) and leaving it by the door.
2. Make time
Following on from planning ahead, you also need to make time. Everyone is busy these days, time is a luxury many don’t have.
But if your health you have to make the time. Whatever it takes – get up 30 minutes earlier, have dinner 30 minutes later. It can be done, and if you want to see results, you have to put in the effort.
3. Do something, not everything
Starting up again can be tough, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement by wanting to do everything possible. But not only can this lead to overtraining and burnout, it’s also easier for you to fall off the exercise wagon again if you’re doing too much.
Read: The perfect 15-minute no-gym workout
That’s not to say you shouldn’t exercise every day, but don’t forget that walking is exercise, playing with your kids is exercise. Don’t go overboard by trying to do every class the gym offers – just pick one thing to start with and build from there so it’s a sustainable and realistic effort.
4. Be creative
Exercise doesn’t have to be a set hour in a gym every other day. It can be a brisk 30 minute walk with the dog after work. Or 20 squat during every advert break during your favourite TV show.
Be creative with your exercise, even on days you think you won’t make it to the gym, accumulate it throughout your work day by walking up and down the stairs a few times during the day, doing some squats in your office or push-ups while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. A little creativity will help exercise your mind and body.
5. Set big and small goals
If you struggle to keep to an exercise routine, set yourself a few goals. A short-term one such as working up to doing 10 push-ups or walking for 20 minutes on the treadmill and a long-term one such as competing in a 5km race.
These will help keep you focused and working towards your goal. And don’t forget to celebrate the small victories as well as the big ones, they all add up and will bring closer to your long-term goal too.
Amy Froneman, ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and Freelance Journalist