Even the most dedicated fitness professionals occasionally fall off the health and fitness wagon. Yep, they do—whether it’s fewer workouts and indulging in a few too many scoops of ice-cream during a stretch of the pandemic (that would be Dyan), or “enjoying plenty of non-workout time and a wide variety of treats” during a recent 10-day trip with her family (that would be Jesse, who believes in “really experiencing life, especially when you’re on vacation”).
Trainers, they’re just like us.
But since they’re also in the business of teaching people the importance of making good fitness and food choices, they know just how to bounce back from a break in their routine. Maybe your workouts took a nosedive toward summer’s end — because … getting the kids back from camp and ready for school, end of August vacations, and last minute barbecues can cause pure exhaustion. If this is the case, check out these tips that a few of our trainers say have worked for them, and can help get you back in the swing of September.
Make a plan
“Trust me when I say I know how easy it is to let your fitness routine fall off during the summer, when our schedules are more flexible,” says Dyan.
Her first tip: Start with a plan, which is Shaun’s number one as well. “If you haven't worked out for a while, make a plan before you jump back in,” he says. “That includes how many days a week you want to work out, as well as the habits you want to develop and what you'll do to build them. Establish your goals. Once you've got a plan, you can decide on your actual fitness routine.”
“Write your workout days into your calendar and keep to your schedule,” adds Dyan. “Absolutely no cancelling on you!”
Start back slooowly and build consistency
“I can't say this enough: Slow and steady remains the key to winning the race, especially the race back to fitness,” says Shaun. “Don't overdo it. Take it slow in order to build sustainable good workout habits. Start with what works for you at the moment,” not what you were doing three months ago. “Don't make it about how long you work out, or how hard your workout is. Instead, think consistency rather than intensity.” It's about getting back in the groove, and “creating a routine that will last, not just a quick fix.”
Grab a friend or workout buddy
Whether you go for a walk, or take a class together online or live, “working out with friends helps to keep you accountable,” says Jesse. “I've seen plenty of requests for accountability buddies in the MYX Fitness Members Motivation group. You can either do the workouts with your buddy or simply check in with them. Even if it’s just telling your friends or family to hold you accountable, it works wonders!” Jesse says, “as we are far less likely to let someone else down than we are ourselves.”
Don’t focus too much on ‘how you feel’
“Let’s be honest, most people never feel like working out,” says Jesse, “but if you just keep doing it anyway, you’ll begin to build a habit, and — surprise! — you’ll actually crave activity on those days you don't do it. Give yourself a small reward for each week of completed workouts. It can be anything from a dinner with friends to a sweet treat to a new piece of workout clothing.”
“September is a new chapter of sorts, as our kids start a new grade, work picks back up, or we’re just re-entering the ‘real’ world’ after summer,” says Christina.
There’s a lot going on. “Creating realistic expectations helps keep us on track by making sure our goals are attainable. That sets us up for continued success, and goal-making. Allow yourself the space to find the way that will work best for you, your family, and your realistic expectations.”
And when you do?
“In my opinion, there’s nothing more rewarding for a busy human than ticking off the ‘done’ boxes on your calendar or to-do list. Put your own self-care into your schedule, and make it a priority to check off that box! Taking care of yourself and your body should be a priority. Your body is the greatest home you’ll ever live in, so take care of it.”
“Honestly if you’re not enjoying your workout it won’t last,” says Shaun. “So if you’ve gotten bored with your old routine, try something new. It doesn't have to say ‘exercise’ to be exercise. Just stay active and enjoy the opportunity to move.”
“Remember what makes you happy,” adds Dyan. “For example, I love to dance and haven't taken a dance class in so long. I'm bringing it back into my life and making a friend date and putting it on my calendar. All boxes are checked!”