Fitness and health are often compared to that of a roller coaster or set of stairs rather than a slope or straight line as we all wish it could be. What this metaphor refers to is a regression or plateaus that occur during a plan to achieve a goal. Many things can get in our way as we attempt to lose 10 lbs. or make strength gains, some of which completely derail your program, such as an injury or surgery, while some are expected but can be avoided like a training plateau. During the summer months, our biggest obstacles are distractions and libations.
There aren’t many things I like better than a cold maragarita on a hot summer day, but when I decide to drink alcohol, I’m putting my training and diet on the back burner, at least for a short period of time. Now that the summer months are over we can easily start making excuses for not working out or following our nutrition plan because, hey it’s Oktoberfest or football Sunday, or the crush, etc. Instead what we should be doing is making new commitments and goals to get back on track, first starting with a plan.
The best thing to do is identify what your fitness and/or health goals are at the moment. From here you make a S.M.A.R.T. Goal and create a timeline of which you would like to achieve said goal. Restarting is always difficult though, so my advice is to find or create a support group to help each other stay on track and motivate one another to do your best.
If you want to run more, join a track club. If you want to lose weight, join a boutique gym. Many gym and training facilities do weight-loss programs in the fall to help prepare for the holiday season and restart their current member who let things go a bit during the summer.
The most important thing to remember when getting back on track is that consistency is key. No matter if your workout is 15 minutes or 50, the important thing is that you are creating a habit. As I always say, it’s easy to workout when you want to, the days you don’t want to are what make the biggest gains. Going from thinking about to doing something every day is the important step every one must make personal progress, so stop reading about how to restart and go for a run!