We start the year with the best workout intentions. Add miles, or reps or start a new class. But by February the realities of busy lives and dwindling motivation means anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of those resolutions have somehow lost their appeal. If you’re one of the many with fitness goals for the year that now don’t seem quite as attractive, here’s how to make some changes to love your workouts – and get the results you deserve.
Mix it up for motivation
You don’t need to be married to one routine or activity. Experts agree a mix of cardio, strength training and recovery activities are important to building, strength, endurance and cardio vascular health. But adding a variety of form, function and fun exercises and classes to your workout week will also keep you engaged and motivated. You should aim for 150 minutes of cardio each week plus two strength training sessions with free weights or gym equipment, but that doesn’t mean you need to be limited to the same sets or classes. Start with the week with a heart pumping HIIT session, build some endurance and work on lower body strength with a stationary bike class and add in some specialist sessions just for fun and a breath of fresh air. It can sometimes to be tough to suddenly find an open spot in popular instructor classes at busy clubs, but trying a new activity on-demand in-studio or at home is a simple way to find out what catches your eye and gets the heart racing.
Make it about you – and your schedule
One of the biggest reasons for falling out of love with your workout routine is lack of time. Around 20 percent of members who pay their monthly dues, never make it to the gym for one reason or another. Dark cold nights after work. Hectic schedules between the office and the kids. But getting creative with how and when you work out can really help. If you can’t make a favorite weekly barre class because of a conflict, don’t skip. Get to the gym when you can, or roll out a matt at home and wherever you choose, use your phone or tablet to access a form and flexibility session that works the same muscle groups and keeps you in shape for next time you’re in studio. Most clubs now offer club-wide access to the same, premium fitness content, classes and work outs wherever and whenever you’re able to fit a workout in: in-studio, using your phone anywhere in the club, at home and on the go. Everyone loves a live class, but don’t miss out if your schedule keeps you away.
Take time to help your body recover
Burn out is real and over taxing your body can kill the desire to get back to the club tomorrow as well as damage muscles and tendons. If you work out consistently, plan two days of recovery into your routine. You don’t need to lie on the couch all day, however. Active recovery days that offer low intensity mobility and movement, can be incredibly effective. Try casual cycling, a dog walk or swimming to give your muscles time to repair from more intense daily workouts. Yoga, stretch and meditation are available on most club’s on-demand apps and are ideal to show yourself a little TLC on your rest days. Don’t forget sleep and proper nutrition too. Chocolate milk is a favorite athlete recovery starter after particularly intense workouts. But also plan to eat a balanced carb and protein meal within 2 hours of exercise. Think oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, quinoa or sweet potatoes for carbs to help replace lost energy and high protein foods such as chicken, tuna, cottage cheese or eggs to help repair muscles.