For most of us, it may already be a challenge to have any kind of exercise routine – let alone stick with a consistent workout schedule! Between family, work, traveling or vacationing, life can sometimes make it difficult to maintain our ideal exercise program.
Nonetheless, exercise should ALWAYS be a priority for physical, mental and spiritual health. It is a natural stress reliever, energy provider, calorie burner and meditation tool. If you notice that you are frequently talking yourself out of your exercise routine that you worked so hard to build, it may be time to do some self-evaluation.
Assessing Your Aerobic Exercise Routine
Boredom, over-exertion, negative thought patterns, stress and poor eating habits are just a few common factors that can lead to self-sabotage. However, they are not the end of the world and exercise is something you can always do as long as you are able-bodied.
Remember that you are human and we all experience emotional ups and downs. If you miss a week of workouts, don’t hold a grudge. Move on and get back on track! Be patient with yourself and pay attention to your habits and thought patterns so you can learn more about yourself and how to push through the madness!
Change it Up!
Boredom frequently encourages us to fall off the wagon. After four to six weeks of a consistent routine, it is necessary to switch the type of exercise you are doing. For example, if you have been walking for 30 minutes around your neighborhood five days a week for the last six weeks, your body has likely adjusted to this workload and is no longer improving its cardiovascular health and muscle strength (only maintaining its current state). Switch it up! Increase your intensity by jogging short intervals or run/walk on a new trail. Ride a bike instead of walking or go swimming.
Switching up your routine is crucial for mental health too. Adjusting to a fresh routine forces your brain to create new neurological pathways and enhances nerve receptors. Otherwise, our body will shut down nerve pathways that are not being used. Take a new way home, try a new exercise or change-up the scenery for a natural mood enhancer.
When you look in the mirror, what are your thoughts? How do you describe or talk about yourself to other people? Negative thoughts have the power to break down your work ethic and foster self-sabotage. There is no other enemy in this case but ourselves. Ditch the negative thoughts and stay focused on your goals. Allow your body to build strength and have self-compassion for all the hard work you are doing. Exercise is a long-term commitment that will not yield results overnight. Be patient with yourself and learn to love and accept your body.
What habits are consistently coming up as excuses to not continue your progress? Which of those can you drop? These are questions to ask yourself. It would be easy to list all of the negative effects of not exercising, but let’s focus on the positive! Why would you stop? You can only benefit by exercising. Focus on the way you feel after your workout and the benefits of moving forward. Keep moving, be creative and love yourself the entire way.
About the Author:
Working within the health field for many years, Laurel Dierking, MEd, NFPT, is passionate about cultivating body, mind and spirit awareness through holistic health practices. As a Health and Fitness Professional and yoga instructor, Laurel strives to guide individuals on a path to self-awareness, long-term functional fitness and weight management.