Struggling for motivation? We've all been there...

Every now and then there comes a time where, for whatever reason, motivation for exercise and healthy eating just goes right out of the window.

You start to the feel old bad habits creeping back into your life and the good habits slowly leaving.

Whether it’s due to an injury setback, a busier work and/or family life, or you’re simply not feeling it, something has made you stop coming to the gym and you just can’t start again.

So, what now?

Figure out the problem. As obvious as it sounds, one of the first things you should try is to pinpoint exactly what’s stopping you.

Are you busier at work? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you not progressing the way you hoped?

Ask yourself what’s different now, compared to when you were training consistently and try to find that certain something that’s changed your routine.

From there you can re-adjust your lifestyle to fit exercise in where you can.

There are certainly circumstances where some people may simply not have enough time in the day; childcare, business trips, shift patterns etc. getting in the way.

If you feel you fall into that category, DO NOT feel bad about it! You don’t need to go to a gym to workout. Bodyweight & cardio exercises at home are a great way to restart your exercise routine, can be done in very short periods of time (you can smash a good home workout in 10 minutes or less) and may just get you back in the mind-set to make time to go to the gym.

There is no problem, I just don’t want to anymore…

There’re a bunch of reasons why you might not want to train, so let’s try to tackle some of them

·         Maybe it’s time to try something new.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a new gym programme, but could mean a new activity, sport, or maybe an exercise class instead of the gym.

Switching things up is a good way to challenge your body. Using muscles in a way you’re not used to may surprise you and give you a new challenge and a new goal to achieve.

There are so many alternatives to the gym; walking, tennis, rock climbing, CrossFit and dancing are all very, very different to each other yet they’re all going to improve your fitness in some way or another, so why not give one of those a go? Or any other activity that you might fancy giving a go.

Something else is better than nothing at all!

·         How is your mental health?

Is it possible that you’re not in the right frame of mind?

It’s easy to tell yourself you’re not up for the gym when you’re in a bit of a ‘rut’.

Some people find the gym helpful for this but if you’re not the type of person who can do this and find it more difficult, then my advice on this would be to only do what you enjoy doing.

If there’s only one or two exercises on a programme that you actually like doing then just do those.

If you enjoy running, go for a run and do nothing else.

Got a dog? Take them for a walk on your favourite route/field.

Do what you find fun and/or rewarding because if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you may end up quitting. 

·         Rest.

It could be as simple as needing a decent rest. Give yourself a full week off training and relax.

Sometimes your body feels like it hasn’t got the same energy levels as usual, even if you’re not doing anything different to your normal routine. so having a break may help you feel rested and ready to go again when you get back to it.

Try to do little bits like short walks, or maybe some cleaning or gardening to keep moving and make sure you don’t turn into a couch potato!

·         If none of the above applies, chat to the team!

All of us have had a period of time where we haven’t trained properly or eaten properly, so come and chat to one of us.

Ask us – what did we do to overcome any obstacles, to regain our motivation and what different things we tried. You might get an idea of what you can try yourself to get things going again.

So if you are struggling for motivation, don’t give up! We’ve all been there, and whatever the reason we can find a got this!

By Matt, Wellness Advisor at Cottingham Parks Health Club

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