Growing up playing high school basketball, there would, unfortunately, be some games where we headed into halftime down by more than twenty points.
For whatever reason, we just didn’t have it in the first half. At times, we would also go on a losing streak where nothing was going according to plan. This was a rough stretch—mentally, physically, and emotionally.
In life, no matter how prepared and motivated we are, there will be times where we find ourselves getting blown out in sports, getting beat down by the everyday events of life, or falling into a fitness rut.
These times aren’t fun. These times are often caused by being burnt out, fatigued or lack of a proper strategy.
To get back on the right side of things, you need to make a comeback, but that is easier said than done. Being down by twenty points at halftime doesn’t leave room for a lot of optimism. Falling off the wagon for the last three weeks with your health and wellness doesn’t leave you with a cup full of confidence.
When it comes to making a comeback, it starts with building positive momentum and getting small wins.
An NBA team can’t make a twenty point shot. Therefore, obsessing over being down by twenty points isn’t an effective approach. A more effective approach is to break the big goal (coming back from twenty points) into smaller goals (breaking the deficit into bite-size chunks of four points) which will psychologically build momentum quicker.
Aiming to cut the deficit by four points every few minutes is more realistic than attempting to suddenly erase twenty points.
In fitness, attempting to miraculously work out intensely six times per week in addition to being spot-on with your diet is unlikely and isn’t setting yourself up for quick wins.
To reignite your fitness and well-being doesn’t mean shooting for the stars and potentially flaming out quickly. Instead, making a health and wellness comeback is about making consistent and incremental progress.
Here are six ways to intelligently reignite your fitness and well-being without losing your mind.
1. Place your diet in timeout
Sometimes rest is just what the doctor ordered. In the NBA, this means resting your players even if that seems counterproductive to the team in the short-term.
In fitness, this means loosening the grip with your diet.
Dieting over time can be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausting especially if you’re Type A and count every single speck of food.
If everything you see triggers you into mental math and leads to you conjuring up just how many calories and grams of sugar are in each item you consume—you need a break.
Tracking is important and helpful, but over time, this can lead some people to see food only as numbers instead of the plethora of other meanings it has.
Just as you take vacations from work, your meticulous calorie counting needs a rest as well. When you’re in a funk and trying to get back into the swing of things, the last thing you need is extra tasks.
Rediscovering your fitness groove requires proper nutrition so you can think clearly and have more energy, but you can rest on the calorie counting.
Simply being mindful of your food choices is an excellent way to maintain your health without calorie-counting while simultaneously providing some much-needed mental relief.
2. Take it back to the basics
In today’s world, we’re unfortunately transitioning to a philosophy of where complexity trumps simplicity. This is backwards logic.
It’s increasingly easier to major in the minutiae when it comes to our nutrition since there are a gazillion diets in existence promising us the world and some more. There are new and fancy workouts with sexy fitness jargon, but at the end of the day—the fundamentals still reign supreme.
Before we had all these fancy names and rules for our workouts, a squat was just a squat. Before we had our laundry list of diets to choose from, eating whole foods which came from nature while avoiding processed foods was enough.
The basics of health and nutrition will never steer you in the wrong direction. Adding more rules only adds complexity and more decision making for you on top of your already busy lifestyle.
3. Think efficiency over duration at the gym
Maybe you’re used to a typical body part workout split that has you lifting 5-6 days a week—this isn’t a good idea right now.
Your motivations aren’t likely to be sky high nor are your habits up-to-par. This type of split is going to require more of your time and if you’re not in love with fitness at the moment, the last thing you need is a requirement of five 60 minute workouts weekly.
Instead, opting for three full body weekly workouts not only allows you to hit multiple muscle groups per session, it more importantly, frees up your time for other engagements that mean something to you.
As you’re building yourself back into fitness, the main point is doing something (anything that gets you moving) and doing it efficiently and intensely.
4. Get more sleep
We know sleep is important, but yet, it seems we’re moving in the wrong direction. The average adult is getting one and a half hours less sleep per night than the average adult did 100 years ago.
Sleep helps us make better decisions in our professions, helps our relationships, helps us be better leaders, and helps with us being better lovers for our partners (this is important).
Increasing the quantity of our sleep will helps us reignite our fitness and well-being. Sleep helps in this arena by providing us with energy and preventing us from being a zombie on the Walking Dead.
5. Try a new activity
Many of us think of exercise and relegate it to only taking place at the gym.
But, who says that exercise has to be solely done at the gym? Up until recently, gyms were non-existent. There was no such thing as a YMCA or Planet Fitness. But yet, there was still plenty of lean, healthy, and vibrant-looking men and women roaming around the world.
Being in a rut and needing to reignite your fitness serves as the perfect opportunity to jolt a new surge of electricity into your exercise life by trying new activities.
As long as you’re sweating and getting your body in motion—that’s all that matters for now. More specific body composition goals and various performance goals can wait until you’re consistent with your basic health habits.
What are some things that seem fun to you or something that you could include your partner or family with (getting your environment on board is key)?
For some it could be daily walks in the park, learning how to dance, swimming, gymnastics, pole fitness, yoga, and the list could go on forever.
6. Reach out to your community
It’s a lonely world out here and even lonelier when we try to go about things by ourselves. No one accomplishes anything in this world by themselves.
Olympic athletes even have coaches and corners of people for accountability and support. Having a community for accountability and support helps you stay on track because we all have off days where we need a shoulder to lean on.
Using a community to help you along your journey can help you burn more calories, especially if they're are working out with you.