September 4, 2010 by AnnMarie
When I first started working out regularly in 2006, I was worried I wouldn’t stick with it. But then I got that endorphin high, the workout buzz we get from keeping up a good workout. It’s a shame that doesn’t last. Weeks go by and, when the scale stops moving down, the honeymoon is over. Everyone goes into a new workout regime with good intentions, but it’s no secret that a lot of folks crap out before they see enough results or after they’ve hit that plateau (where no matter how hard they work they can’t get the scale to budge).
Here’s some things that have worked for me. I’ve found some of these suggestions in Fitness magazine and interpreted them for my own use. Some are a bit obvious. Hopefully they’ll help keep that initial buzz going!
Change it up: Get out of your routine and try something different. Hiking, biking, beach volleyball, skating, tennis…there’s millions of things to do for free that you can add into your workout schedule to break up the monotony.
One step at a time: when it seems overwhelming to get through an hour of boxing, remember, it’s broken into three minute increments. You can do three minutes. Just get through that and worry about the next three minutes after. Running 5 miles or 5 blocks presents a challenge for different people. Get through one mile, or one block and then worry about the next. I find that if I can run 20 minutes or a couple miles, no matter how much it sucks up until that point, I usually fall into my stride and can charge right through to my end goal, whether that’s 10 more miles or 10 more minutes.
Let the sweat fly: If you are constantly toweling off the sweat in the gym, first of all, Yay that you are sweating that much, but second, don’t towel off unless sweat is running into your eyes. The evaporation of sweat is what helps you stay cool and, therefore more able to get through a long workout. Overheating can make you feel like throwing in the towel earlier.
Save the best for last: Our minds can sabotage us by fixating on the memory of our last tough workout and how hard it was to get through it. If you end your workout with a cool-down phase, you’ll remember that part more so than the exhausting, intense, super tough parts before it. Runners, walkers and treadmillers can vary their speed throughout the workout and slow it down to a gentle pace at the end. Do your favorite exercises last in the gym. If your in the boxing gym and your favorite thing to do is a round of speed bag or uppercut bag, stay after class and hit it for a round or two. Then, a day or two later when your muscles are screaming from the torture you put them through you’ll have a positive memory of how much you’re improving on the speed bag or how stress relieving the uppercut bag is.
After 4 years, I’m still in love with working out. Keeping an open mind about what brings you joy in your workout can help you have a long, happy and healthy marriage to it, long after the honeymoon is over.