There’s no shame in falling out of your routine when the whole world’s changed around you. You may be disappointed about a lack of progress toward your fitness goals, or about gained weight. But this obstacle, like all others, can be overcome. As we come out of our collective hibernation, you have every reason to be optimistic and rededicated to your goals. They may have been paused, but don’t let a negative connotation delay your progress any more.
Try these simple actions to get back to your pre-quarantine weight or goal!
First, I’m asking you to get into a good mindset. It’s easy to fall into negative self talk when you’re disappointed in your actions or outcomes. But that’s not helpful! A negative mindset (trash talking yourself and your body) is trained to keep being negative. A positive mind is better primed to take action. So mindfully replace “I’ll never get there” with “I am capable of anything!”
Increase the intensity of your workouts (safely).
To maintain weight, calories in MUST equal calories out. Too many calories consumed gets stored as energy, AKA fat. One way to increase calories burned: make your workouts slightly harder than usual. Please take this with a grain of salt, because OVERDOING exercise leads to injury. Measure your intensity using your perception of how HARD it feels like you’re working. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being “working so hard I’m also puking” aim for a 7. Your heart rate should be elevated, and you should be sweaty. If you use a heart rate monitor, aim for about 70% of your max heart rate. Simple ways to nudge up the intensity is to use heavier weights (only slightly- don’t pull a muscle!), implement intervals of higher speed when doing cardio, or do a workout that’s totally different from your norm. When doing resistance training, perform exercises with less rest time between movements or sets.
Marie Kondo your calories.
Eating nutritious foods increase your mental and physical performance, and staves off many preventable diseases. But should you eliminate all treats? No. Food shouldn’t be used as a coping mechanism to deal with the pains of life. But we also can’t deny that enjoyable food is enjoyable. Delighting your sense of smell, sight, and taste is a perk of being human. Where can the balance be found, when you’re eating nutritious food but also enjoying the human experience? Enter Marie Kondo: “Does it bring you joy?” Mindlessly munching on crackers as you binge watch Tiger King is not bringing you joy. But a glass of wine with your partner at the end of the week may. Perhaps your “joyful” food is cheesecake, pizza, or a fruity beverage. To lose weight, you don’t have to eliminate all empty calories, just most empty calories. So choose only treats that have a big impact for you. If it doesn’t “spark joy” then put it back on the shelf.
Challenge yourself to try a new workout style.
An unfamiliar workout challenges your muscles and energy system more than usual, which leads to an increase in calories burned. Trying something new also increases your feeling of self-efficacy. When you finish a new workout feeling accomplished, that mindset propels you into your next tasks with vigor. As your studio opens, book a class that you haven’t tried yet. CP suspend, CP Cardio Sculpt, and CP Control are fun classes that take you out of the norm in a safe way.
Amber Jacobs, Club Pilates West Overland Park Lead Instructor