Some helpful tips from our resident fitness enthusiast, Kate Mayhew.
Summer is coming to an end and for many of us the sun is also setting on those New Year resolutions we enthusiastically planned. We often start the year with the best intentions of improving our health and fitness, but life gets busy.
If you’re anything like me those New Year resolutions often fall by the wayside. Before you know it you’re in a rut and can’t quite pull yourself out. So why do we get stuck in exercise ruts and how can we get our fitness mojo back?
Movement Therapist Vanessa Leone says it’s important you’re doing exercise you enjoy.
“People have a preferred exercise style like they do learning style, or fashion style. Sometimes that style doesn't fit the person,” she says.
Vanessa suggests finding an exercise that suits your style AND your mood on the day.
“People can often get in ruts because they feel like they can't try something new, or don't know where to start. A new class, new trainer or even a new time of day to train can really help to invigorate yourself back into training.”
Other ideas to keep you motivated include:
- Make a friend at the gym and organise to train or do classes together.
- Join an active meet up group. These groups are often free to join and organise activities like rock climbing, hikes, swims, canoeing and more. Search online for local groups near you.
- If you’ve never tried a group exercise class, give it a go. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it – and remember that everyone was once a beginner.
- Set yourself some basic goals about how much you’re going to workout each week, but allow yourself to mix it up and vary it from week to week.
- Try downloading some new music to workout to or mix up your current playlist.
- Sign up for an event. Sometimes having a goal to work towards is all you need to keep motivated.
So you’ve found the exercise you like, now what? How do you turn that into a routine, without getting bored?
Vanessa says creating a successful routine is all about consistency.
“Start with small easy goals, like going for a walk twice a week, and then when you have consistently achieved that you are ready to build and increase to a higher level goal. You just keep increasing until you find a level you are happy with. There are no secret tips, there is no magic,” she says.
And if it makes you feel more human, even personal trainers can get stuck in a rut.
“As a full time personal trainer I can definitely get into a rut. It's about mindset and stress and emotions, so something novel and exciting is what I go for when I know I need to shake things up. Learning a new skill is the best and most practical way to do this. It can be anything,” Vanessa says.
So shake it up, try something new and pull yourself out of that rut. Your health and heart will thank you for it.
Kate Mayhew is a journalist and fitness enthusiast, currently embarking on a new career in the fitness industry.