I can't recall how many times in my life I've been in a workout pattern that makes me feel like a junior Olympian, and then all of a sudden, for one reason or another, I fall off of the routine and head into a workout slump. Whether I'm just too busy, or going through a depressive spell, these lapses can sometimes go on for days, if not even longer. I've also had a history of compounding my lack of exercise with the tendency to be really hard on myself for not getting to it.
I feel bummed to have lost some stamina or strength, and I get into the paralyzing mindset of thinking that, if I'm not sprinting six miles with a nightcap of hot yoga (not that I've ever done that combo in my life), I might as well remain inert forever.
It's an unpleasant cycle, and so unnecessary.
These days, I've figured out some ways to get back into the groove after a slump, without feeling too overwhelmed.
Here are six exercises to try when you're trying to get on that fitness bandwagon.
1. Jump Rope
Go to the "kids" section at a drugstore, get out onto the sidewalk, and put the timer on for even as little as five to 10 minutes.
I was a serious ballet dancer through my mid-teens, but it didn't help me feel any less sore when I went to an adult ballet class in my twenties.
The thing is, I didn't actually know how rad of a workout it was as it was happening, because it goes slow, repeats, and very gradually builds in speed.
Ballet is tricky that way.
After a few pliés and arabesques, you better believe you'll be feeling it tomorrow.
Wait, that is what she's saying, right?
It won't necessarily leave your muscles aching, but it's still better than falling further into your slump.
Pop in some headphones and slowly make your way to the park.
4. Salute The Sun
If you've ever been to a vinyasa yoga class, you've probably done a sun salutation, or something very similar.
It's a sequence of poses done to create a flow. Repeat a few of these, and you'll feel your muscles heating, your heart rate increase, and a nice mist along the brow.
Not bad for basically standing in one place.
5. Increase As You Please
This is an exercise I got from my favorite Manhattan boxing gym, Overthrow.
You can start low with this one, and build up to whatever number you want.
6. Just Dance
Choose three to five songs that you can't help but move to.
Build up slow, and then then just go for it - hard.
Keep going until you're sweating, and possibly weeping for joy.