You’ve been hitting the gym for a few months now. Originally you had a high level of enthusiasm. You couldn’t wait to get to the gym each day. There was excitement for the newness, the opportunity to make yourself look better, and just the chance to get some alone time away from the kids, work, and all of life’s other responsibilities.
But what happened?
Sadly boredom has set in. This isn’t just mental boredom but also physical. Your body has become accustomed to your routine and you aren’t feeling the same euphoric jolt after each workout nor are you seeing and changes in the mirror. This of course leads to a mental state of boredom because the excitement has waned.
So what do you do?
Mix It Up!
In the workout world, variety is the spice of life. To keep yourself physically and mentally challenged you need to mix it up periodically to avoid getting stuck in a rut. Think of it like a 3 year old would. After you have played with a toy for an hour you get bored. You need new stimulation. Luckily as adults we can last a bit longer, but the same principle applies.
Where to start first? Everywhere!
One of the best things to do when faced with a problem is evaluate your goals. What do you want to get out of your fitness routine? Do you have extra parental weight that needs to go away? Are you looking for tone and general health? Or maybe you are considering running 10k’s or half-marathons. Whatever the case may be it is always a good idea to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve. Next you need to try and determine what you should be doing to get there. You have already done the hard part of starting a fitness routine; now it is time for some adjustments!
One good thing to do is recharge your brain and enthusiasm by skipping you next session or two. This might sound counterintuitive but one of the best ways out of a rut is taking a hard right turn. Go for a long walk or a hike. Maybe just go get coffee or read a book; really anything but train.
Make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep every night. You need proper rest to ensure your body recovers properly. If you feel a severe lack of energy (mental or physical) take an extra day off to rest. This isn’t work or a prison term. You can take a break. There shouldn’t be a feeling of obligation or dread in going to the gym; you get to go to the gym because you want to!
Typically for the working mom, you spend the most amount of time in the gym doing cardio. It allows you to relax, unwind, and even zone out a bit in a much needed break. Plus most women are looking to lose a little weight and tone up their bodies. But this is also where boredom sets in. Doing hour after hour on the treadmill even with a TV on is very boring. Here are some ideas to mix it up.
- Use a different machine each session. Try them all and creating a challenging goal to exceed the calories burned before each time you repeat a station.
- Join a class. This might only last a month or two but then you can always hop to a different class! Classes are great because there is shared positive energy to feed off of and a natural camaraderie.
- Get out of the gym. Walking, running, biking, or hiking are all great activities to do outside. When the weather is right there is nothing better than enjoying fresh air while you get some cardio in!
Don’t be afraid to mix it up with weights either. Most beginners are a little intimidated by the variety and options available. But you shouldn’t be. You can check out the variety of workouts here on this site for ideas on different exercises. You can also consider hiring a personal trainer who can show you new programs as well as walking you through how to do them.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to do the same routine all the time nor do you want to. Ideally you are going to challenge your body in different ways to force it to change into the shape you want. Developing diversity where you try a new weight program every 6 to 8 weeks can help keep your mind and body engaged.
What you eat and when you eat it plays a huge part in how much energy you have. It is probably a good idea to review your meal plan and make sure your body has the fuel it needs prior to each workout as well as for recovery. It is hard to get excited for the gym when your tank is on empty.