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How to Regain Your Fitness Mojo..Fast!

By Sarah Hughes

So you know your fitness levels need a kick up the proverbial backside. You feel sluggish, low in energy and motivation. And you’re not loving what you see in the mirror or how you feel when you have to take on a few flights of stairs.

We’ve all been there. In my fifteen years as a trainer, I’ve heard these concerns from clients on a regular basis.

The problem is, for lots of people there’s a huge gulf between recognising those feelings and taking the step to do something about it. Current statistics show that in the United States, 80% of people don’t get the recommended amount of exercise, and 25% don’t exercise at all.We’re all aware of the myriads of benefits to exercise, but there are almost as many psychological barriers we can put up to prevent us pulling on our workout gear.

Loss of confidence, previous injuries, insufficient time, boredom or a lack of encouragement from family and friends can all effect our inclination to exercise and make it easy for our motivation to disappear.

It’s also totally normal if you recognise yourself as a bit of a yo-yo exerciser. Most of us are! You set yourself a challenge, maybe a half-marathon with your pals, maybe it’s a weight loss goal. And you attack that challenge with impressive ferocity don’t you? But pretty soon you’re feeling burnt out and exhausted and finding excuses to skip your training sessions or to ditch the diet.

This is where those habitual exercisers have the upper hand. You know which ones I mean don’t you? The smug ones who just love exercising, wouldn’t ever want to be without it. Well after we’ve finished rolling our eyes at them, it’s worth thinking about how we can make exercise a happy habit for us, rather than something we do as a chore.

So, how can we regain our fitness mojo when it’s done a runner (pardon the pun)? And furthermore, is there a way we can mimic the habits of those exercisers who never seem to fall off the wagon, in order to make exercise part of our lives in the long term?

Here are my 5 top tips for reclaiming your fitness mojo fast:

Look at what you’re eating

If you’re feeling demotivated, what you choose to eat can have a huge impact on turning things around. Instead of resorting to high calorie sweet foods which give you an instant sugar high, followed by that inevitable crash; look at slow release nutritious foods which will keep you full and fired up throughout the day. There’s so much evidence which shows that choosing colourful, nutrient packed foods can make you feel happier, more confident and more motivated. Rather than embarking on drastic diets, look at the small changes you can start implementing with your food which will help support your exercise program.

Get yourself a workout buddy

It’s so much harder to cancel that gym class at the last minute if you know you’re letting a friend down! Find someone who is supportive and fun, who will encourage you and do their best to keep you on track. Having someone to be accountable to means you’re way less likely to procrastinate or make excuses not to exercise.

Try something completely new

Sometimes we need to shake things up a bit don’t we!? I’m a firm believer that there’s a type of exercise out there for everyone… it just might require a bit of investigation to find out what floats your boat! While HIIT, Pilates and running will always be our failsafe fall-backs,there are so many exciting, wacky fitness trends out there. From Aerial Yoga to Bounce to Pole Dancing and Reverse Running; the options are endless. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to try a new class every week for a month and see which of them work for you and your goals.

Look at your schedule and be realistic about what you can fit in

There’s no point signing up to a five-day-a-week bootcamp program if you have a really heavy workload and need to be at your desk early. You’ll feel pressured and rushed and that’s when exercise starts to feel like an inconvenience. Approach your exercise program like you would plan in work meetings and give them that same level of importance. If your aim is to exercise three times per week; make sure you start with that amount of sessions. Evidence shows that building up to your target amount is less effective, you’re more likely to stick with three workouts (or four, or five!) if you start as you mean to go on. Don’t write off online or at-home classes either. They may not have quite the same social element as going to a gym, but they’re a lifesaver for busy people, meaning you can tailor exercise to fit your life rather than tailoring your life around gym timetables.

Keep a workout diary

It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, just a quick scribble each day. What type of exercise did you do? At what time and for how long? Most importantly, note down how you felt after the exercise. Reading these entries back after about a month should give you a pretty clear picture of what type of exercise you most enjoy and what’s your optimum time of day for training.It should also convince you that exercise really is good for you! You’ll notice that the days you’ve exercised are the days you tend to feel happier and proud of yourself. Who knows; you might even discover you’re becoming one of those smug habitual exercisers after all!


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