What To Do When You Hit A Plateau Working Out & How To Stay Positive
While I can say I really enjoy moving and working out as a consistent part of my weekly routine, I've still experienced plenty of moments that have left me feeling uninspired, apathetic, and even resistant to exercise.
In those moments, I've tried to beat the apathy down by making my workouts more intense, getting myself sweatier, and, if I'm being honest, judging myself whenever I felt like I wasn't working out "well enough."
But, as you might guess, it's pretty counterintuitive to be so hard on yourself when you hit a plateau in your workout routine.
The more negative self-talk you engage in, the less likely you're going to be able to summon any sense of motivation whatsoever to keep doing your fitness thang.
So, instead of beating yourself down, here are six ways to be kind to yourself when you feel like you've hit a wall in your fitness routine.
1. Remember Everything Is Temporary
Your patterns change, and then change again, and they'll continue to change as time goes on.
The present moment may feel like it's lasting an eternity, but seriously, it will pass.
Have a little patience, and let the negative thoughts float by like a cloud drifting through the sky.
2. Try Something New
It's totally natural to feel a little bored with a workout routine after a while, even if it once felt exhilarating and genuinely challenging.
You can definitely get that feeling back again. You just have to get a little creative and try your hand at something different.
Whether it's a Zumba class, a fancy fitness class, or even simple morning stretches, look for something totally out of your normal realm.
And if you're hilariously bad at it, who cares? You're still getting your body moving, and you'll feel good no matter what when all is said and done.
3. Find A Workout Buddy
Ask a friend to tag along on your next trip to the gym, or try out a new yoga class together.
Oftentimes, a workout plateau happens because you're overanalyzing the situation and having trouble thinking outside the box.
Find ways to make your exercise routine an activity that really connects you with others and gets you out of your own head for a little while.
4. Slow Things Down A Little
I'm usually the type of person who would prefer taking a really long walk or a gentle jog to doing something with a high intensity, such as a spin class.
I find when I allow myself to just go with a flow -- even if that flow is a downswing in energy or motivation -- if I keep my body moving anyway, I just feel better overall.
Ditch your usual HIIT circuits and perhaps try a meditative yoga flow.
5. Let Go Of The Idea that You "Have To" Work Out
From time to time, I still catch myself slipping into the mindset that working out is something I should do, or need to do.
Yes, exercise is obviously great for your body and mind, but by no means is it a genuine necessity in life.
Think of your workout routine as a way to treat yourself (those endorphins do feel amazing, don't they?), rather than as a chore, or another thing to cross off an endless to-do list.
6. Never Underestimate The Value Of Rest Days
The other day, in fact, I left in the middle of a hot yoga class because I was feeling really exhausted, and I could practically hear this little voice in my head telling me to go home.
So, I did. I watched Glow on Netflix, read a little, and ate some granola.
By the next morning, I felt better and had much more energy.
Exercise is good for you, but so is rest, and it's easy to forget you need that R&R every now and then.