They call it “hump day” for a reason: if you can get over those mid-week blues and make it to the other side, the chances of staying true to your workout regimen increase.
You don’t have to be perfect and head to the gym 6 or even 7 times a week. Committing to this kind of schedule is especially hard on you if you have long work hours or a young, burgeoning family.
Working out should be a positive experience and, each time you had to the gym, ti should be your time to zone everything else out and focus on giving your body the physical edge and mental stamina it needs to positively impact other areas of your life.
Still, we’ve all faced those days where we heading to they gym feels like a chore, yet another thing on that never-ending “to-do” list.
If you find yourself asking if you should be skipping the gym today or weighing the pros and cons of missing leg day, know that you shouldn’t feel guilty — there are times when it is okay to drive straight home instead. And there are a few things you can do to get a satisfying workout in anyway.
1. Get In Some Other Form of Physical Activity.
Exercise is just one form of movement. Movement, truly, is the goal here. Exercise is what we do to define out bodies and make them visually appealing as well as physical stronger.
But, remember that staying active can also mean doing functional things that engage the same muscles as your workout routine. It can be as simple as cleaning the bathroom, cleaning out your basement or garage or even de-weeding the backyard.
If you find yourself get bored often (and quikcly) with a workout routine, incorporating team sports like soccer, tennis and hockey or even hitting the swim lanes at your local rec center make for a great “substitute” to a workout.
2. Make A Small Home Gym
One of the best things about the gym? Total, focused workout time with minimal distractions and the full range of equipment you need to get it done.
The most annoying thing? Crowded and packed gym-goers hogging time on the machines you need the most. If you’re having one of those days where heading to the gym is going to be more of a distraction, skip it.
Instead, why not get ripped at home using a combination of free weights and free workout videos? This is a fast and effective way to get your workout in without having to navigate the gym and everything that comes with it: waiting in line for change rooms, parking spots, machines and making small talk.
Setting up a small home gym doesn’t have to mean complex machines and expensive equipment. And you don’t need to dedicate an entire room to your workout. If the weather is good outside, why not do a HIIT circuit that involves some outside free running or running around the track?
3. Hit the Sauna or Do Some Light Yoga
As far as being sick goes, the rule is, anything above the head is a legitimate grounds for staying home, resting, and calling it a day. No one will fault you for that.
But, sometimes, even getting a walk in or a light jog can help clear your head and actually speed recovery. This is especially true for those individuals who get a real high from working out, are very much dedicated to their routine and feel something is “missing” when they miss a workout.
Just being active in small ways can help them stay the course of their routine. In this case, try hitting your gym’s sauna or try some light yoga. Yoga in a reduced heat or heated room may also help you sweat out toxins.
4. There’s a Thin Line Between Muscle Soreness & Muscle Fatigue
This one is all about listening to your body and knowing when it’s time to challenge your limits and when it’s safer (and smarter!) to let sleeping dogs lie — and your sore muscles rest.
As you work out more, you become more aware of your body. You’ll be able to start understanding, through a mixture of experience and intuition, what is in your purview to do and what may actually hurt you.
In some cases, working out another muscle group when one is sore is a great idea. For example, if you burned your thighs doing squats and polymeric lunges, work the arms. Your legs will still be working and you’ll still burn calories out but you overextend yourself.
5. Try Intermittent Fasting
Calisthenics expert, trainer and entrepreneur Chris Heria swears by intermittent fasting.
So do plenty of vegan athletes who compete on shows like American Ninja Warrior. Anyone who has incorporated intermitting fasting as part of their fitness routine has done so consciously. This means that they’re also very aware of how they’re body is responding.
These fitness junkies report that they feel less lethargic, have way more energy, burn fat more effectively and stave off those high and low crashes. Their body is stable and they experience less injury.
Long-term, researchers have found that intermittent fasting techniques can help prolong your life. Those who spend time in the gym say it’s a leading reason why they get shredded and see results faster.
So what is intermittent fasting? In a nutshell, intermittent fasting doesn’t really change what you eat, it changes when you eat it. You can do daily intermittent fasting, weekly and alternate day fasting. The point is that intermittent fasting helps build habits that contribute to overall fitness, rather than focusing on strict dieting.