Q:What are some ways I can encourage/motivate myself to start back with my workout routine after taking some time off because I was sick? Help me. I am in a workout slump!


A: Workout slumps (and healthy food slumps for that matter) are something that everyone faces. Knowing your patterns and how to combat them is key to moving forward. If you’ve taken time off for illness or any other reason, you have to take measured steps to make a change instead of just “vowing” to get moving again. Here are some things you can do to kick start your healthy living patterns again:

  • Start with ½ of the workouts you were doing before and work your way back up. If you were doing 4 workouts per week before you stopped, start with 2 your first week back, and add one more workout per week until you reach where you want to be.
  • Put your workouts on the calendar, and make them non-negotiable. When your workout is on the calendar, it should be an appointment you don’t cancel or move.
  • Start back with short interval workouts instead of long, steady state ones. It is a lot easier to find time for short workouts than it is to carve an hour or more out of your day. If you want to get back to longer workouts, start with the short ones and increase each workout by 15 minutes per week until you reach your goal.
  • Write one reminder/motivator statement for each day you want to exercise on a sticky note. Post the new notesomewhere conspicuous the night before your workout. This can help to keep the motivation fresh and in the forefront of your mind.
  • Set a reward for yourself at the end of every week until you have reached your goal. If your goal is to start your first week back with 2 workouts, then set a small reward for yourself when you reach it. Rewards can be things like a manicure, watching a favorite TV show, or allowing yourself an hour of “me” time without distraction to paint, read, or do something you enjoy.

If you are the victim of a workout slump, take a few of the steps listed above to get moving again. If you are on a great roll with exercise….SAVE THIS ARTICLE as it will inevitably happen at some point. Motivation ebbs and flows. Harness the tools you have to be consistent, and don’t beat yourself up when you do not fully achieve your goals. Get back on the wagon carefully to avoid falling off again.