THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to evaluate your workout intensity and ask yourself, “Am I really working hard at this or am I just going through the motions?” Just as we need to change up our routines, there are times we need to kick-start our efforts at regaining control of our health as well.
It’s easy to slip into the mode of just going through the motions, especially this time of year. In baseball, we call these the “Dog Days of Summer.” Everyone gets tired and it seems like every day was over 100 degrees. It’s not like we need any more excuses, but when the temperature hovers in the 90-100 range, it brings out the lazy in all of us! I recently noticed a dip in my own intensity levels and I’m sure many of you are experiencing the same thing. This is normal, but you don’t want to allow yourself to slide too long or you find yourself back-tracking out of your new “skinny clothes!!” So here are some easy steps to follow to break out of this slump and get back into the attack mode.
EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT LEVEL OF INTENSITY
On a scale of 1-10, rate your current level of intensity towards your workouts. Be honest. I recently found myself in slacker mode and gave my own workout intensity a 4. It happens to all of us. The problem is there is a direct correlation between your intensity and your results. If the intensity drops, the results begin to slow and the next thing to falter is your consistency. Don’t allow this chain reaction to interfere with all the progress you’ve made to this point. If your motivation needs a boost, try one or all of the following:
- Try Something New
All year I’ve talked about the importance of adding variety to your workout. We tend to get bored doing the same thing over and over and our bodies adapt to it quickly. Now may be the perfect time to try a new form of exercise. Try the pool workout I mentioned in one of my recent articles. It’s a great workout and an even greater way to beat the heat at the same time! If you’re not into lifting the weights, give it a try. Join us at a Pump and Praise workout on Saturday mornings. I’ll guide you through a circuit routine with a variety of exercises all while listening to some upbeat and motivating Christian music. Go to the beach, rent a bicycle and go for a long ride. Give Pilates or yoga a try. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. It may be exactly what your body needs right now.
- Make Adjustments in Your Current Routine
Whatever form of exercise you currently enjoy, make some adjustments. If you’re a runner/walker, go longer or try to cover the same distance in a shorter period of time. Challenge yourself! Change your workout course and add some hill climbing into the routine. Start carrying some weights and exercise while you walk (see “Get more out of your walking routine” shown during week 10 of the Daniel Plan). If you’re into the weights, add some extra sets or increase the number of repetitions you normally do. Another effective adjustment is to change the tempo of your lifts. Bring the weight down slowly (for example, count to 5 on the way down) and up at the regular pace. These simple adjustments can have a huge effect on your results which will hopefully motivate you to work even harder during these dog days of summer.
And if you’re interested, yes I broke out of my slump. I like to workout in the gym 4 days a week. To kick-start my interest/intensity, I started doing 2 sets of 50 reps on all the exercises I do. I usually do 3 sets of 15-20 reps. It’s a new challenge which not only provided a new stimulus to my muscles but also to my brain (seeing as how this is be smarter week!) I also added the treadmill routine twice a week on Thursday and Friday rather than the normal lifting routine I’ve been doing all year. The treadmill routine is the same workout I wrote about when outlining Pastor Rick’s routine last week.
The results are exactly what I was hoping for, challenging new workouts that have motivated me to stick with the program. I pray you do the same!