We all have our “off” days. Those days where we stare at our gym bags and try to will ourselves to get up and go, wishing that our thighs would just magically take care of themselves. We feel burned out, like we’ve done all our old standbys 50 reps too many. I certainly do at least.
- Play ball! If you have kids, a friend, or a four-legged friend then grab any kind of ball for an impromptu game. We have an old soccer ball that Lily has learned to grab so Adam and I kick it around while Lily tries to steal it. Sometimes we set up makeshift goals and Lily acts as a hazard.
- Go for a jog. Or a few sprints. Sprints are one of the best forms of exercise out there: it increases strength and muscle mass, burns fat more readily than other forms, it increases insulin sensitivity (weight loss!), and can help lower high blood pressure. (link) Plus they are quick so if you can reason yourself into a very short workout, this should be it. If you go for a jog, take a friend or enjoy some quiet time, however brief.
- Pick a challenging yoga flow. I love Yoga with Adrienne, not only is she wonderfully cheerful, she also does a great job walking you through the flow and giving variations for all stages. She has some that will get your heart rate up and others I use for moving meditation.
- Learn to dance or show off your moves! If you can dance, hit up a place with live music. If not, pick up a DVD and learn something new. Adam and I love bluegrass and Raleigh is hosting the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival so we picked up Country Swing Vol. 1 to learn. We’re both moving and spinning and having a fantastic time! Don’t have a partner willing to go along? There are a wide array of dance workouts from belly dancing to tap.
- Take a class. This works especially well for my obligers. If you know someone is expecting you to be there, you’re more likely to show up and start to enjoy it once you get there. Prepaying works wonders for attendance.
- Spend a few minutes having fun. Remember when you were a kid and loved doing cartwheel and handstands? It may seem silly but now is a good chance to give those old moves a try. I can say, my handstands and roundoffs were much better as a kid and it was quite fun to give it another shot.
- Go for a fast walk. Walking is great for stress, health, and mood. (link) It’s accessible and can turn a day of sitting around into one in which you get outside, get your vitamin D, and lift your spirits while boosting your immune, lowering triglycerides and blood pressure, and reducing body fat.
- Just go to the gym. Not as straightforward as it sounds, sometimes I make a pact with myself: if I get on my clothes and get to the gym then I can just do whatever I feel like then leave. Most of the time, once I’m there, I get started and do more than I expected.
And of course, if your body’s telling you that you need a break then listen! Skipping the gym one day when you’re tired and stressed and going for a meditative walk instead can be a smart move. When you are tired and miserable you’re more prone to injury and if you never take a break then your body doesn’t get enough of a chance to build up muscle the way it should.
That’s it! Let me know if you have any other favorite gym alternatives. If you are struggling to get in the habit and want a guide to setting up for success with any habit, check out my post.
Source: Rx Primal Blog