At the beginning of this past summer, my husband and I decided we needed to give our exercise routine a kick in the butt. We had been taking classes here and there at the gym or going for the occasional weekend run, but we were not consistent and we were not really following any of the rules that we knew we should be.
Two of which are: switching up your routines, and adjusting workouts to correspond with your fitness level so that as you get more fit, you increase the intensity and continue to challenge yourself.
We had officially hit a rut.
To start things off, we decided to switch things up by working out before work instead of worrying about getting to the gym after a long day at work. This gave us less room for excuses, and made it possible to still eat dinner at a reasonable time.
That first morning, when the alarm clock started blaring, I swear I didn't think I could do it. I love my sleep. Once that first class was over, though, I knew I couldn't go back to working out after work. Besides the fact that worrying about making it out of the office early enough to work out and get my dinner cooked stressed me out, I felt really calm after my walk back home each morning to get ready for work. That may have just been a side effect of my relief at having gotten it over with. The overall feeling was just plain good! I was proud of myself as well.
The other reason I loved the morning workout was that the morning class schedule gave me just the right amount of variety to give me the switch-up I was desperately needing. It had a little of everything: strength training, cardio and HIIT. I loved that I could get some variety without having to do anything more than signing up for the class and making it out of bed by 6:20 am.
We were on such a high that we actually managed to go to the gym every weekday morning for about five weeks straight. We were obviously not killing ourselves all five days, but we would sleep in on the weekend, get up and go for a light workout. Since we each had target areas we were working on, we might do a little work specifically on that area. I would usually make sure my Saturday workout was a class that I actually enjoyed, like spin taught by my favorite instructor.
Before we realized it, we were actually going to the gym without minding it. Even better, we were seeing the results. We were toned, had lost some of our jiggle, and we had even lost weight despite the fact that we had also obviously gained muscle.
Our routine was finally broken by a vacation that threw us off. We worked out most days even on vacation, but our workouts were definitely on vacation mode. We got back home from vacation and we were not going every day, but we were not the same people who had begun the journey all those weeks ago.
We were now morning workout people. And we had found new routines and techniques that we actually enjoyed (or at least did not mind) so that even on days when we are not feeling like working out but know we need to, we have those in our back pocket.
Proper exercise is necessary for maintaining good health, but we now know it does not have to be torture. My way of breaking the rut may not work for everyone, but I do hope it helps serve as an inspiration for anyone looking to get out of their own rut.