2020 has been a crazy year. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic, it seems like anything can happen. Maybe you’ve been taking time to recuperate, maybe things at work have picked up, or maybe you just haven’t felt quite like yourself.
Taking a break from working out isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, taking a few days off can actually improve your performance. If you find yourself feeling fatigued, lacking motivation, or experiencing prolonged periods of muscle soreness, it may be time to give yourself a break. A few days off every six to eight weeks is plenty of time to rest and rejuvenate your mind and your body to help you recover.
But if those few rest days have started to stretch into a rest week or rest month, and you’re having a hard time coming back, here are 5 ways to rekindle your love for fitness and get your drive back:
1. FIND YOUR WHY
If you find yourself in a rut, give yourself some grace and remember why it is you started working out in the first place. It can be fitting into your favorite pair of jeans, or showing up as your best self for someone you love. Whatever your “why” is for making a lifestyle change, give yourself time to truly think about how it can impact your life for the better. Creating a meaningful connection between yourself and your reason why will help you approach each workout deliberately and with the bigger picture in mind.
2. MAKE TIME
Let’s face it: it can be tough to fit certain things into a hectic schedule. Whether it’s tackling a mountain of laundry, or taking the time to plan healthy meals throughout the week, a lot of times it’s all too easy to say we just “don’t have time.”
But here’s the truth: the next time you find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed for longer than you want to admit, take a second to reflect. Do you really not have time to go after your goals, or are you just not making time? So much of creating good habits that can change our lives comes from just blocking out the time we need to take care of ourselves, and blocking off dedicated time for your workout is no different. Pencil in that sweat sesh the same way you would a doctor’s appointment or an important meeting, then stick to it!
3. EASE IN
If you were very diligent in your workouts a month or two ago but you’ve taken some time off, take it easy on yourself as you ease back in. Don’t expect to pick back up exactly where you’ve left off or beat yourself up if it takes a little time to get back in the groove.
Remember, the goal of fitness is to care for your body, not break it. When you stop training, lots of physiological changes can occur. You might notice a decrease in your cardiovascular gains, or notice your body isn’t using carbs for fuel as efficiently as before. Most notably, you might notice a decrease in overall muscle mass and strength. Remember carrying all those groceries in one trip? That’s become a little more taxing now if you’ve cut back on training or stopped altogether, but that’s okay!
The good news is your hard work is not out the window. Muscle memory is a powerful thing, and it will help you regain your strength and get you back on track. Approach your workouts holistically with proper warmups, cooldowns and stretching, and you’ll be well on your way to hitting those goals.
4. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
Once you’ve committed to getting back in the swing of things, hold yourself accountable to sticking to it. There are lots of great ways to keep yourself dedicated to a fitness goal. One reason we love our FIT By Katy workout programs so much is that they completely remove the guesswork from working out and make it easy to stick to a long-term goal. You can opt for a seasonal strength-training challenge that lets you push yourself alongside like-minded women who are in the challenge with you, or use a tool like the Workout Generator, which creates a brand new workout for you every time you step in the gym.
No matter what you pick, stick to it. Your future self will thank you.
5. BE REALISTIC
Now that you’re getting back in the swing of things, remember that it’s okay not to nail everything on your first day back. It’s okay to take a break! Life’s going to happen, and the key is staying dedicated and consistent in the long run.
No matter what your fitness journey looks like, just remember not to compare your workout routine to anyone else’s. The road to reaching your goals belongs to only you, and the most important first step is just showing up for yourself and putting in the work. You’ve got this!
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