Fighting the Fitness Funk
Fighting the Fitness Funk
We’ve all been in a funk of some sort. Whether it be emotional, professional or social, or whatever it is that brings you into an ongoing state of disenchantment, boredom or even depression, a funk is a funk… The North American definition of a funk is “a state of depression”. The British definition refers to being a coward or “avoiding a task or thing out of fear”. Oddly different meanings but both could apply to the feeling one has when they feel they are stuck in a situation that makes them unhappy or makes them feel limited in options.
Like funks relating to professional or social situations, a lack of motivation or a sense of boredom in one’s regular fitness routine is also a type of funk. Does this sound remotely familiar: You’ve been attending the same gym classes for months, taking that same run around your neighborhood or playing the same tennis match with the same guys every Wednesday for as long as you can remember. You know you’re getting an ample amount of cardiovascular exercise and strength training and you feel you’re in okay shape, but you’re just not into it anymore. So you skip a day at the gym one week. You use a household chore as an excuse to skip the run or fake a deadline to cancel on your tennis buddies. And then the following week, you do it again. Before you know it, your pants are a little snug and you’re feeling a wee bit lazy. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break now and then from your regular work outs, allowing yourself to make multiple excuses for taking a hiatus probably means you’re in a fitness funk.
So how do you do it? How do you light the proverbial fire under the tush and get back out there? Here’s a few ways to analyze what it is you’re actually going through and how to tell that funk to funk off…
Change it Up a Bit
If you still look forward to your old routine but just feel like you need a little break, try mixing it up by making a slight change. Try a different class at the gym. Even if you love your current instructor, take the spin class or bootcamp with a different instructor. The music might be different or the energy of the instructor might motivate you differently. While a sense of loyalty to your fitness gurus is important, it’s more important that you get what you need out of a work out. Any good instructor will understand if you need to take a break and shouldn’t be offended. Of course beware of the wrath of the extra reps she gives you the first time you do come back to her! 😉
Try a different route during that run. Add an incline to the path or extend it by taking the long way home. Robert Frost may have a point that taking the path less traveled does have it’s advantages!
Schedule the tennis or racquetball match at a different venue, with a different group or even just a different day or time. Just that slight change may add a whole different element to your game as well as the people you play with. Challenge is part of every competitive game and when we get in a rut, we can lose our drive and ultimately our love for that game.
Take a Short Break
Taking a break altogether from a routine that isn’t working is entirely necessary at times. But, it’s important that you don’t take an altogether break from staying fit! Find a temporary alternative. Take advantage of the many introductory packages studios and gyms offer these days. Get an unlimited week of Yoga, Pilates or Zumba. Or avoid the organized fitness path altogether and jump on a bike or start hiking. Find something that still challenges you enough to meet your fitness goals but that makes the body and mind perform out of the box a little. Chances are you’ve plateaued to some degree if you’ve been in the same routine for a while. Just tweaking the program a little can give you that extra edge that pushes you to a level of fitness you couldn’t previously reach. You may end up returning to your old ways in a month or so but you may take back a new activity or just a new level of body awareness that helps push you past the previous plateaus.
People do it all the time with careers and relationships. They shed what isn’t working and start a new journey. In today’s active world, we are given so many options and guidance in the area of physical fitness. Take some time to evaluate yourself inside and out. Address what your physical limitations and strengths are. List what activities are within your realm of possibility. Obviously don’t start downhill skiing if you suffer from knee issues or power lifting if you have a back condition. Know what you can do, what you like to do, what is within your budget and will work with your schedule. Make a specific but realistic plan and try something new! You really should love or at least enjoy what you do to stay active and in shape and being in a fitness funk will only make staying fit a chore rather than a way of life. If you are reading this article, chances are you put a lot of your energy into finding ways to love your life. Shed the fitness funk and the rest may just fall into place…
Be Well, Be Fit, Be Happy…