it usually starts in late June: motivation to workout consistently starts to dip. Clients that would train 3-4 times/week religiously are now missing sessions. What are the reasons for this? There are many but in my opinion, there are 3 that I see the most, year after year. Let's look at each one and what you can do to "have your cake and eat it too!"
1. I’m on vacation - Ok. We all deserve a nice vacation, especially after this past winter. But if you work hard all year long to achieve a certain level of fitness, why go backwards by eating a large amount of food you know you shouldn't be eating? Yes, you are on vacation and you want to have a good time, which includes eating great tasting, more often than not, fatty, high calorie foods. I hear you! But don't go berserk, it's all about a nice balance. Don't let emotions determine your intake of food and alcohol. Listen to your body.
As far as exercise is concerned, I've found that exercising in the morning, before you start the day’s activities, is a great strategy. If you wait for later in the day, it will never happen.
2. It's too hot - it can be a little uncomfortable exercising in hot weather, especially if your exercise regimen involves walking, biking, jogging, etc. outdoors. A few adjustments in your routine can take care of this, such as:
o Exercising earlier or later in the day when it's cooler outside
o Switch to indoor training if you usually train outdoors. For example, run or walk on a treadmill instead of outside.
o Hydrate more often than usual
o Wear the appropriate workout clothes. Avoid long sweats or long sleeves. This may seem like common sense but I see it all day long in the gym. It's good to sweat and many people feel its necessary, but don’t make the workout more uncomfortable than it needs to be.
3. I'm not motivated anymore – I have found that many of my clients who were motivated to get in shape during the Winter and Spring need to establish a new goal that will keep them focused through the Summer months. Weight-loss is the most common goal established in January and losing a specific number of pounds is what drives many to train consistently until the Summer. If you are in this boat and are struggling to stay consistent, my advice is to establish a shorter term goal to achieve by September. If you want to lose more weight, commit to a conservative weight loss goal of 6 pounds by September. If you have achieved your weight loss goal by the Summer, great! Now commit to maintaining that weight throughout the Summer. That will keep you more focused and committed.
Boredom with your exercise program can happen at any time of the year. When it occurs during the Summer, a good strategy is to substitute one exercise activity with another that will get you the same benefit. For example, kayaking, a very popular and summer activity, can be a substitute for many aerobic activities.
If you need more help with maintaining your motivation, I found a really innovative website at www.stickk.com It’s a free site where you pick a goal and make a financial commitment towards achieving it. Very cool! You are literally putting your money where your mouth is!
Until next time,