April 21, 2024

Break through the Mental Plateau by Nicole Bryan

Break through the Mental Plateau

Are you experiencing a mid-year slump in efforts toward your fitness goals? If you’re dreading each workout, bored and uninspired, it’s time to try a few of these mid-year plateau busters to boost inspiration.

Race! That’s right, compete! Some adults think they can’t or shouldn’t be competitive or admit wanting to win. However, striving to be the best or wanting to place in your age group, paying attention to time splits and wanting to pass others on the course is perfectly acceptable in athletic competition. Go ahead; keep time on a stop watch, push hard, announce wanting to finish first or set a personal record! And you’ll discover a secret in the process, competing is a great method how to improve or get better in your sport or activity.

Hone leadership skills. Why not send an evite to your friends, family or co-workers inviting them to a specific location each week for an outing such as a beach walk or neighborhood bike ride. If you’re the leader, organizer or point person for the group, you’ll be guaranteed to show up! With a meager 15-20 minute time investment each week, you could send fun fitness email tips to club members every so often, send links to healthy recipes, offering fun home-made prizes for the most improved or most consistent participant each season or year will also maintain interest. Have some fun, keep it light hearted and on task. Host a wrap up pot luck at the park once a quarter or once a year, invite spouses and others to expand the group. The momentum that builds toward wellness will keep the group (and you) on track, as well as setting new fitness goals.

Take in a change of scenery. For example, pack up your bike and head to a neighboring town or city for your regular Saturday ride will eliminate exercise staleness. Carpool with friends to a different area of town for your long run is also a fun option to mix up the mundane same old running route. Conduct a search online for information pertaining to the specific activity, including roads, and safety notes, then invite some friends and embark on a fitness focused road-trip. Having to refer to a map or notes on the new area, along with new and different scenery will keep you engaged and interested.

Daydream! Bring back the daydreaming days of childhood. Ask yourself, if you could undertake any physical activity, what would it be? Whether you dreamed of being a prima ballerina or the greatest baseball player of all time, why not take action to participate in that activity now. Look up adult ballet classes at the city recreation center or check out city league baseball teams. Instead of worrying how you’ll find the time, motivation or fitness level to achieve your daydream, start from the goal and work backwards. Ask for help, ask to be held accountable and start!

Let go of the structure that usually governs your day as adults, and embrace the freedom and creativity that sport and being active brings. Thinking about what moves you, will lead to figuring out what will make you want to move more. Everyone in your surroundings will benefit as your mood will improve, focus on tasks will increase due to be just generally happier and you’ll inspire many others in the process! So head on out to a race, organize an activity focused group, take a fitness field trip or simply daydream. Find what works and the mental fitness plateau won’t stand a chance!

Group Exercise: Worthwhile? By Sarah Johnson

Should group exercise be part of your fitness plan:

Accountability can be one of the biggest motivators to keeping your exercise routine.  Having someone hold us accountable means another person is expecting us: to show up, to work hard and to not let them down.

You can hold yourself accountable – by making a promise to exercise every weekday morning,or by weighing yourself daily – OR another effective way to stay accountable is to work out with someone else!

Here are just a few ways group fitness classes will hold YOU accountable for your fitness:

Establishes a regular schedule. Group exercise classes and small group training are a great way to establish a regular and safe exercise routine. With an instructor to monitor your form, you can be sure you’re doing each exercise correctly.  Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure you’re performing the movement correctly – the instructor is there to help!

Adds the fun into your workout. Do you like choreography? Dance-based classes are very popular right now.  Not a lot of time? Time will fly in a High Intensity Interval Training class!

Become a class-regular. Once you’ve found a class you enjoy, try to attend regularly.  Introduce yourself to others in the class and the instructor, make new fitness friends – we love learning our members’ names!  Before long, you’ll find that if you have to miss a class, the class will miss you!

That’s accountability – you now have an exercise program to look forward to that’s safe, effective and fun!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago