Fitness is a long-term commitment to the wellbeing of you and your body and, just like any lasting relationship; the nature of your romance will change over time. Sometimes it’s all fire and passion, with hearts racing and bodies sweating through every exhilarating session. Other times, just getting to the gym feels like an exhaustive workout in itself. We all go through hot and cold phases when it comes to our fitness and, whilst it’s normal to have periods when your heart just isn’t in it, you can’t let that be a cause for quitting. You have to put the work in even through the lows in order to experience the highs. So, Hip & Healthy writer, Maxine Ali, highlights some practices to help you fall back in love with fitness and get your workout mojo back!
Reconnect with your goal.
Think back to that moment you embarked on your health journey. What was your goal? Where did your attraction to this lifestyle come from? Was it a desire to become faster, fitter and stronger physically? Was it a quest to find confidence in your skin and belief in yourself? Whatever made you take that first step, reconnect with that goal. Remember why you started and let this reason lead you back to that place of passion and motivation.
Reflect on your journey.
Throughout your fitness journey, there will be milestones along every step of the way. From entering that first class, mastering a difficult yoga pose, rocking the dress you thought would never leave the closet … you’re accomplishing something great all the time. When you start to lose your love for fitness, reflect on your journey. Remember who you were when you started and think of the incredible, strong, confident and determined person you’ve become. Now think, if this is how much you’ve achieved on your journey so far, consider what you could still accomplish. You didn’t come this far only to come this far, so use your reflections of past achievements to get excited about the next stage of your adventure!
We typically don’t consider why our passion for fitness fades. Instead we take for granted our lack of motivation as caused by boredom. But understanding why we feel negatively towards fitness when in the past we’ve been head over heels in love is such an important part of getting those sparks flying again. When we lose motivation, it’s often because we think of fitness as an imposition on our life rather than a welcome component. For example, you might feel like you workouts are time consuming and therefore taking away from other valuable activities such as work or socialising. Or perhaps you feel as though your goals are unattainable and you aren’t seeing the progress that you strive for. Once we identify the ‘why,’ it becomes clearer how we can restructure our perspective to see fitness in a new and beneficial light. Fitness is not meant to be a punishment or detriment to your life. In eating well and staying active, you are showing yourself some much-deserved kindness and actively trying to spend each day feeling happier and more confident. Once you start viewing fitness as an act of self-love, it’s hard not to enjoy it!
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but sadly a long distance relationship with your fitness just isn’t meant to be. With time off, your fitness levels will gradually start to decline so, whilst a small break may be a good idea in order to let your body rest and recover, don’t let that break turn into weeks of inactivity as extended time off will only make it that much harder to get back on track. Instead, take the JDS (just do something) approach. Any kind of activity is better than nothing at all and just showing up is half the battle. Keeping those sessions in your routine will help you stay on top of your fitness and you never know… One day that session may just be the one you need to fire your mojo up again.
Make a life outside of fitness.
Just because you’ve made a commitment to fitness, doesn’t mean you can’t see other people. In the early days, it’s great to try every class under the sun and all the recipes in your newest healthy cookbook, but at some point the honeymoon period has to end and having other joys to come back to will make the come-down a little less demotivating. When you aren’t feeling so besotted with fitness, try to keep your workouts short and intense and your food simple and easy so that you have more time to invest elsewhere instead. Why not try a get hobby, catch up with friends, read a new book or explore a new place? By incorporating fitness around your life rather than making it your life, you’re far less likely to dwell on low motivation and more likely to just get those workouts done!
Most importantly, don’t stress about it! Health is about more than working out and eating healthy. You have to have a happy mind-set and that means doing the things you love. If fitness isn’t one of those things right now, that’s okay! No relationship is perfect. The great thing about this lifestyle is that it doesn’t have a deadline or end-date. There will always be more chances in your future and ample opportunity to get back into fitness when you’re ready to. Your love will come back in its own time and so until then just be patient and focus on doing little things that keep you healthy and happy. Soon enough, you’ll be back to that sweaty gym-babe and no doubt you’ll be unstoppable!
words by Maxine Ali – www.maxineali.com @maxineali
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