February might be a hearts-and-romance themed month, but when it comes to working out, your bed and couch might be tempting you with that loving feeling more than a date with some dumbbells. Back in January–resolution time–exercise and health were your goal. This was the year that you were going to be awesome. Sound familiar? Now, more than six weeks later, your old lazier ways are starting to creep back in–and sound pretty good, too.
Before you beat yourself up, know that you’re not alone. Only 46 percent of resolutions are maintained past six weeks, according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology. That doesn’t let you off the hook for letting your resolutions slip–after all, would you jump off a bridge just because all your friends did? No. And just because half of the country is letting their healthy ways go to hell doesn’t mean you have to be just another statistic. However, if the loss of love is setting in, you might need some fitness relationship counseling, stat. And for that, we’re here to help.
You’re Bored: If you’ve been doing the same routine–or something similar each week–fitness is failing because it’s not keeping your interest. In the beginning, it was new and exciting; now it’s just the same old, same old. It’s no wonder you’re no longer interested!
Quick Fix: Try something new. If you’ve let fitness get a little formulaic, switch things up. Change up the days on which you do things. Sometimes just a new schedule can be enough to make the old feel new again. If you workout in the morning, try a lunchtime routine. If that’s not enough, add in a different type of exercise. If you’re a yogi, try lifting some weights. If you’re runner, try in-line skating for different kind of cardio.
‘Tis the Season: For being the shortest month of the year, February can feel as though it drags on forever if you live somewhere cold and snowy. Cabin fever has probably well set in, and you’re questioning why your body needs to look great when it’s constantly covered in layers.
Quick Fix: Work with the weather. When you can’t beat Mother Nature, join her. Try an outdoor sport that takes advantage of the weather, such as cross-country skiing, ice skating, or hockey. If the cold is just not your thing, heat things up with a hot yoga class. You can sweat like it’s summer in an 80-100 degree room.
You’ve Plateaued: Shedding fat was easy in the beginning but now it seems like a struggle. First, congratulate yourself for making progress. Plateaus may feel like a bummer, but they’re not an obstacle you can’t overcome.
Quick Fix: Set a new goal. If you’ve been focusing on seeing the scale budge, switch up your perspective. Try working on a part of your body that you’d like to develop. Want the perfect bikini booty? Start adding in more leg work. Deadlifts and squats will get your back side sculpted. If you’re over the underarm jiggle, add in tricep extensions and add in some assisted pull ups.
You’ve Hit a Snag: Even if you’ve completely blown it at this point–ate an entire pan of brownies as a snack, drank all beer and no water for a week, and the only veggies in your diet have been the ones that sneaked in on top of pizza–you can still turn things around.
Quick Fix: Get back on the horse. A setback isn’t a reason to quit. Regardless of how far you’ve fallen from your plan, you can get back on track by changing one thing at a time. For a few days (or longer if it’s not sticking), focus on eating a healthier breakfast. Or replace an unhealthy snack with a piece of fruit. Or wake up 30 minutes earlier to do some push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks in your bedroom. Just keep it manageable and don’t get overwhelmed.
You’re Too Strict: If you have a bit of a Type A personality, you may have taken this resolution thing really seriously–and good for you! However, the problem now is that you’ve been all work and no fun. It’s just not a sustainable plan.
Quick Fix: Reward yourself–and not necessarily with food. Treat yourself to massages, a new outfit, or that pair of pumps you’ve been drooling over. Find ways to celebrate your fitness accomplishments instead of looking at your life as though you’re a drill sergeant.
Spring is coming, which means more showing more skin. Now is the time to rekindle your love of fitness and get yourself back on track toward better health.
What motivation do you use to get out of a fitness rut? Tell us in the comments.