Some of the drawbacks of fitness goals are boredom and stagnation. When either of these (or both) hits, it can be enough to make you want to give up on your efforts. When mundane workouts are part of your life, you’ll find excuse after excuse to skip them.
But if you do that, it’ll undermine all the hard work you’ve done, or the fitness goals you hope to reach in the future. Don’t give up, not when it’s easy to shake things up so that you don’t have to deal with these issues.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be boring at all. You can start by getting out of a workout rut. Many people exercise at the same time, at the same place, with the same intensity around the same people.
There’s nothing new to stimulate your senses and if it weren’t for the thought of getting hurt, you’d probably nod off on one of the exercise machines. You’ve got to switch things up.
If you normally work out during the day, switch to working out in the evenings. If you usually workout first thing in the morning give the afternoon a go instead. Or, if you usually exercise five days a week and take the weekends off, switch so that you’re exercising on the weekends instead of during the week.
Go where the people are. Studies have shown that social interaction can shake up any exercise routine. If you sign up for a class or join other people who are exercising, it breathes new life into your workout.
Plus, you might make new workout friends and learn a new way to exercise than what you’ve been doing. There are tons of different types of exercise classes you can take and learn something new.
For example, you can sign up for a Zumba class. You can take up yoga. You can join a swim aerobics group. You can start doing Pilates or Crossfit or take kickboxing lessons. You don’t have to keep doing the same exercise routine every week and in fact, it’s better for your muscles if you don’t.
Compete with yourself. You already know your personal best by now. You’ve seen how fast you can run. You know how many reps you can do. Instead of stopping there, push yourself.
Challenge yourself to run farther than you ever have before. Add some extra reps to your workout and do more than you usually do. Set a timer to see if you can beat your normal workout time.
Challenge someone else. This can be a workout buddy, someone at the gym or someone that you meet using an exercise app. Send out a challenge and enter into a competition with someone else to see who can accomplish a milestone, goal or workout record first.
Look up new workout routines, videos or download a new program. You can find hundreds of fitness material that can help you shake up how you normally workout. Choose one that you think would be difficult for you to do and make that be your new goal.
If you’ve been working out on your own, find a personal trainer and ask him or her to give you a new workout plan. When you have a personal trainer, it can help add fire to your workout – especially if you find a trainer who’s skilled in motivating people.
Hit the outdoors. Boredom with a fitness routine can easily set in when you’re seeing the same four walls every single week. Plus, it’s easy to feel the pull of wanting to be outside and enjoying the fresh air.
There’s no reason why you can’t. While it’s true that you probably don’t want to take any bulky exercise machines outside, you can do that with resistance bands. You can practice yoga outside or, you can take up cycling.
Find a place where others are exercising outside. This might be a skate park. Or, if weather doesn’t permit you to exercise outside where you live, find an indoor exercise idea that’s both challenging and fun.
This might be something like an indoor climbing wall or an obstacle course. Find an event that lets you combine your fitness goals with something that’s fun or is a worthy cause.
You can join a race event. This might be something that’s in your local area or close to where you live. You’ll be able to join hundreds of other people racing for the same goal whether it’s for personal satisfaction or something to help others.
To find something like that, you just search online for races happening in whatever town or city that you live in. Or, if you prefer to find a fitness competition, you can do that, too. This would help to change the mindset of your current workouts and give you a greater motivation because you’d be preparing for something.
Give a time change a try to beat boredom. If you usually have a workout that takes you an hour to get through because you exercise just a couple of times a week, break that time down so that you’re exercising just ten or fifteen minutes a day.
Don’t forget to dance. The music that you listen to when you work out matters. You might not realize that you’ve been listening to the same music on your playlist for months. Sometimes just changing this up can make a difference and break the boredom.
Stagnation isn’t the same as boredom, though some people use it as if it were. When you’re stagnating with your fitness goals it means that you’re not moving. You’re not making any progress and you’re not seeing any results.
Your body is where it was yesterday, the day before that, the week before that and so on. You might be working out faithfully. You never miss hitting the gym and you give your workout everything you’ve got.
Your plan may be to lose weight, tone your body, build muscle and gain strength. But the scale isn’t budging. Your body shape is the same as it has been for awhile. Your muscles haven’t grown, and you can’t do any more physically at the gym than you did weeks ago.
Maybe you’ve reached the point where you’re so frustrated and disappointed that you don’t even know why you keep trying. The key to breaking through stagnation is to start moving.
And the way to do that is by changing what you’ve been doing. If you have a workout routine, it’s not that there’s something wrong with it. It’s just not enough. Your body needs more.
Stagnation is often referred to as a plateau and this is caused because your body has adjusted to the changes that you’ve made. The workout that you’ve been doing faithfully did work in the beginning.
But now it’s time you shake that up because stagnation is your body’s way of saying that it can handle more than what you’ve been giving it. You forgot or didn’t know that to avoid stagnation, those first set of goals you set for your physical achievements can’t be set in stone.
They have to evolve as your body does. You can break the stagnation by looking at what you’re currently doing and switching it up. Whatever reps you’re doing, you have to do more, or you have to change the exercise itself.
If you’ve been doing a dozen reps, then you need to change how you break down those reps. You want to do this because your body needs variety. If you do the same reps, you get the same results – which is no gains.
So boost the reps. Or, switch them up by adding more weight. If you don’t do certain reps with weights, add them. Switch the intensity in your exercises. If you have low intensity on some, boost them to moderate.
If you have high intensity in others, drop that down. It’s the change that surprises your body out of stagnation. Change your workout goal. If you’ve been working on strength training, hit aerobic exercise more intensely instead.
Then once you notice your body’s responding, return to strength training but with a different set of exercises. Change your rest days or times. You can also switch from the pace at which you do your routine.
Move from slow and laid back to faster. Or from faster to slower. Toss out your schedule and create a new one. If you normally lift weights on Fridays, move that to another day. If you schedule running or cycling on weekends, put those exercises during the week instead.
Change the way that you fuel your body. Use a different nutritional plan. Sometimes when there haven’t been any gains, it’s because the way you’re eating needs to change so don’t forget to make sure you’re getting your nutritional needs met.
Lean on Others to Help You Cross the Fitness Finish Line
No one ever said that getting fit was easy. That’s because it’s not. In fact, most people will tell you that fitness takes an incredible amount of willpower. You have to constantly drum up the inner will to keep on pushing forward.
You have to overcome obstacles like sugar cravings, food temptations that stem from yourself and from other people. You have to keep on trying even when you’re not noticing any difference in the shape of your body or any reduction in pounds on the scale.
This inner struggle can get worse the farther into your fitness journey that you go. That’s because at the beginning, you’re full of positivity and you have a strong desire to make changes.
But doing the same thing, eating healthy, working out, trying to avoid the stuff that derails you can reach the point where it just feels wearying. That’s the point where you start to waver a little bit.
This is when it gets easier to have a cheat day that turns into cheat weeks or months and the next thing you know, you’ve gone backward. That’s why you really do need the help of other people.
When you have others in your corner, you can lean on them, especially when you’re feeling the struggle. And by leaning on others, it can help you to reach your fitness goals.
There’s a lot of people in your life and some that you can find that would be great helps to get you across the finish line. You can turn to your buddies for help losing weight. These are people who usually have similar goals.
They want to get fit, too. Seeing their accomplishments and their determination can help motivate you to keep on going when you feel like quitting. These buddies can show up, ready to exercise when you’re thinking about several excuses as to why you can’t.
The reason that having a fitness buddy can be a big help is that while you might blow off sticking with a fitness goal if it’s just you, most people are less likely to disappoint someone else.
It’s also a good idea to lean on friends who can help you achieve the fitness goals you want. Friends make exercising a lot more fun than if you were by yourself. Part of that is because you can have conversations, someone to commiserate with and someone who won’t be afraid to call your bluff on excuses.
Friends are also not afraid to challenge you to do better. You’ll be able to go beyond your self-imposed limitations and do more than you thought you could do. When you have a friend to help you with your fitness goals, that person can also help to keep you accountable with everything.
They won’t just be there to push you with your exercise routine. They’ll be there to challenge your healthy eating and to remind you of the why behind the fitness. When you have a friend on board, it’s easier to not only develop new fitness habits but to make them a part of your life.
One of the reasons for this is because a friend can have insight into your fitness troubles that you might not see. While you might think nothing of allowing stress to give you a day off from working out, your friend would be there to point out that the stress you’re experiencing is exactly why you need to exercise.
Family members can be those you lean to help you with your fitness goals. You can get them involved and they can be great cheerleaders for you. For example, when you’ve made great progress but you’re not feeling the eating healthy or workout love, your family can help you to stop looking at what you haven’t accomplished.
They won’t let you dwell on what’s not going right. They’ll help you to look away from the times when things aren’t going well for you and remind you of how far you’re already come.
They’ll root for you and because of the familial bond, you’ll keep going because their pride and love will motivate you to pick yourself up and continue on. You can also suggest family outings that are physical which can help you exercise at the same time.
This can be activities such as hiking, swimming, cycling and more. Another way to lean on others to help you with fitness is by getting involved with a group. This group can be made up of people who encourage others in healthy eating and fitness.
But it can also be a group of people who are all on the same journey. There are many reasons to look for a group to support you. When you have a group, it’s easier to make fitness fun and that entails everything from finding new healthy recipes to working out together or keeping each other accountable.
Plus, a group can also offer some competition such as striving to reach certain goals first. This group can be a local or national organized group that meets regularly and goes over the ups and downs of fitness and recognizes when members reach certain achievements.
But it doesn’t have to be a group with hundreds of members. This group can be one that you create yourself. For example, you can get a group of coworkers together and start a fitness challenge.
Everyone opts in weekly with a small donation and the one who loses the most pounds at the end of an agreed upon time will get that pool of money. This group can help you share camaraderie as well as help you when you slip up.
There’s a good reason why leaning on others helps you achieve your goals. You’ll be surrounded by people who believe in you and if they’re on the same journey, these people also believe in getting fit.
So they’re going to be more likely to encourage you than to sabotage you. They’ll be there to offer encouragement, emotional support or check in on your progress. The best way to support each other is to know each other’s milestones.
When you reach one, celebrate and share the excitement. Make sure that the celebration is done in a non-food way. Go for a hike or get some new workout gear, but don’t build your milestones around food because it might be too easy to slip into a habit of using food as a reward.
Reinforce good behavior with each other but don’t judge when someone or yourself slips up. Practice letting go and getting back on track rather than staying stuck on what went wrong.
Don’t lecture anyone about their fitness and don’t accept lectures either. You need support, not “I told you so” or finger wagging. There are some great partners that are perfect as a fitness helper to lean on but there are some that you should steer clear of.
When you’re looking for a fitness partner, there are some non-negotiable things you want to look for. The first is you want to find someone who’s reliable. It doesn’t do any good to have a fitness partner who’s not consistent.
Make sure that your fitness partner is someone who motivates you and that you can motivate in return. You also want to make sure this person has the same or similar goals.
You want to find someone that you can speak freely with. Fitness partners need to be able to have honest conversations about what’s working and what’s not. Your fitness partner should be someone who’s on board with healthy eating.
This way, you won’t be dealing with someone who works out, but then eats in a way that negates all the hard work you’re doing because this might be a weak area for you. You don’t want to have anything that might make you go backward.
Just like there are great fitness partners, there are also ones who are not and you should avoid them. Stay away from those who are negative. They complain about eating healthy and reminisce fondly about bad eating habits.
They might gripe about working out and complain about the exercise routine, about the gym, about the people there and more. This can weigh on you and cause you to absorb their outlook.
A fitness partner you want to stay away from is one that has plenty of time for excuses. They can also tell you why they can’t do something, why you can’t do something, and they don’t see the reasons why something can be accomplished.
You want a partner who’s not afraid to try – even if it’s something they’re not familiar with. You want to avoid having a fitness partner who doesn’t set goals. If they don’t know where they’re going, they might have a tendency to be more aimless in their fitness journey.
Steer clear of a fitness partner who tries to sabotage your fitness goals. They may be doing this innocently but the results will still be the same. This might be something like offering you sweet treats that are your weakness or suggesting you blow off working out with them to go do something else.