By Janice McCurdy, PTS/FIS

Summer is such a great time of year. With the warmth of the sun, long fun-filled days at the cottage or the camp, basking at the beach or pool, reading on the deck, barbeques with family and friends and just taking it easy, it’s so easy to get out of your fitness routine, that let’s face it, you worked so hard all year to achieve. Now that summer is over, you would like to get back to where you left off in May but…hold up – it’s hard to get back in to that routine! Exercise doesn’t feel as easy as it did before your hiatus. Newton said that an object at rest will stay at rest unless an energy is forced on it. The days are getting shorter, kids are back to school and everything is busy again. So here are some tips to get you back on track:

• Renew your commitment. You need to tell yourself you WILL join the gym; you WILL go for that walk; or you WILL do whatever it takes to get you back in good physical shape. It’s all about changing the mind-set.
• Ease into it. If you go to class, listen to your body. If you feel that you are having trouble catching your breath, then just slow down. If you are doing weights, choose weights that are lighter than before and do more reps to build the endurance. Expecting that you will just pick up where you left off sets you up for failure. Remember slow and steady wins the race in the end.
• Celebrate little victories. With each workout, even a small one, congratulate yourself and know that with every step you take toward fitness, the closer you get toward your goal.
• Forgive yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself if you are having a difficult time getting back to a regular schedule. Just keep going. It’s better to take a few days off and then start again rather than never getting around to starting again.
• Be accountable. If that means getting an exercise buddy, a personal trainer or just making a list, being accountable to your workout will help you stick to it. Pretty soon it will become a habit and you will be back in the saddle again.
• Focus on “one day at a time.” It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you are thinking about the long-term. Just focus on the now and what you did today. Pretty soon days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months.

Other things that you can do:

– Organize your gym clothes the night before;
– Don’t take on an “all or nothing” approach. Remember every little thing counts;
– Do something that you would like to do instead of what you think you should do.
– Have some motivational music on your iPod or a good book to read on the bike or treadmill. Whatever it takes to keep you motivated and get you through the workout.

Remember fitness is achieved through keeping a regular pattern. Your body and mind will be healthier and you will be glad you made the effort.

Posted in Fitness, wellness.