Everyone starts their health and fitness journey determined to form new habits and create a consistent lifestyle.
But it's equally true that everyone falls off the wagon from time to time. Sometimes, it’s just due to a busy work schedule and lasts a mere few days. Other times, life gets absolutely crazy, and you wake up one day struggling to remember when was the last time you exercised.
To top it off, it can be incredibly difficult to get back on track! But don’t stress: you are not alone, and you’ve got this! 💪
Today, we wanted to share some tips for getting back on track from our coach Rachel Dillon! Keep reading to find out what systems you need to put in place to find your motto again, and discover Rachel's approach for maintaining a healthy routine.
Keep it simple
No matter how long you’ve been off the wagon, it’s very likely that you feel overwhelmed by the very idea of getting back into your fitness regime!
Take a deep breath and remember how far you’ve come already. You’ve done it before - and you can most definitely do it again!
Rachel says: "I find that most people over-complicate the process, which is certainly not helpful. Instead, I like keeping it short and sweet!"
Rachel follows these 5 simple steps:
- Assess NUTRITION
- Plan TRAINING SCHEDULE
- Work on SLEEP ROUTINE
- Drink plenty of WATER
- Account for MOVEMENT
Tip 🔥: remember these by using a mnemonic: NEVER TRUST SOMEONE WITHOUT MANNERS! 😉
Step 1: Assess Nutrition
Nutrition is always the first priority when getting back on track - and for many people, it’s also the hardest part of the checklist! After all, training will take 90 minutes or under on most days - whereas nutrition is something you need to keep considering constantly.
Rachel recommends focusing on hitting your calories, closely followed by consistent daily protein intake. Calories are king 👑, as your energy balance is what ultimately determines the way your physique is going to be changing. Protein intake is incredibly important too when you’re performing intense workouts, as it ensures muscle preservation, growth and recovery. When it comes to carbs and fats, it’s totally fine to be more flexible - so long as you’re still having adequate amounts of both!
Tip 🔥: Rachel usually follows the same Meal Guide for at least a week! Planning the meals in advance and sticking to the same selection for a few days helps stay consistent without overthinking your routine.
Step 2: Plan Training Schedule
The secret to fitting training into a busy lifestyle is scheduling it in - just like you would add an important meeting to a calendar!
Tip 🔥: Don’t over-commit! There’s a big difference between setting ambitious goals and setting yourself up for failure by putting too much on your plate. Be realistic - plan something you can stick to consistently!
When planning my training schedule, ask yourself the following questions:
- “How many sessions per week can I do?”
- “When am I going to train?”
- “What is my current training focus?”
You want to know exactly at what time you’re going to set up your workout, how many sets and reps and of which exercises you’re going to do, and what equipment you’ll need to have ready.
Of course, allow yourself to be flexible (for example, if someone is hogging the only squat rack in your gym, use dumbbells instead). After all, having a clear back up plan is also part of the plan!
Here’s a sample training plan layout from Rachel:
Step 3: Work On Sleep Routine
Sleep is one of the MOST underrated tools when it comes to health and fitness! 🌙
But as much as most of us know just how important it is to have a great sleep routine, many don’t give sleep hygiene the attention it truly deserves. As a result, everything - from general health to exercise performance and cognitive functioning - starts to suffer once chronic lack of nighttime rest accumulates.
Want to develop a better sleep routine? Here are Rachel's tips 🔥:
- Keep your sleep schedule consistent - this means going to bed and waking up roughly at the same time each day! Yes - even on weekends, but fear not! Once you’re used to the schedule, your biological clock will adjust and you will want to hop out of bed naturally at your set time, before the alarm goes off. ⏰
- Have a “wind down” routine. At least 30-60 minutes before bedtime, put gadgets aside and start winding down - whether it means doing a short meditation, reading a relaxing book or listening to a sleep story (there are many apps for that - just don’t look at the screen). Still tossing and turning? Focus on your breathing, and let the thoughts pass by while you’re drifting to sleep. 😴 And speaking of your mind...
- Avoid anything that keeps your thoughts buzzing! You are much better off handling any issues in the morning, well-rested and focused. 💡
Step 4: Drink Plenty Of Water
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water - being that to maintain temperature, transport nutrients, remove waste, or lubricate joints.
To put this in perspective, water makes up 85% of our brain, 80% of our blood and 75% of our muscles - so staying hydrated is not optional!
For most women living in temperate climates, about 2.7 liters of fluids a day is a great goal. You don’t have to get all of it from plain water - but if you choose other beverages, ensure you’re not overloading yourself with caffeine throughout the day, and are accounting for any additional calories coming from your drinks.
Eating foods with high water content can also help reach your hydration goals - whether it’s a few slices of watermelon or a warm bowl of soup.
Tip 🔥: Get a BIG water bottle (that holds 2-2.5 L ideally), and aim to drink most of it by 3 pm to ensure you’re sufficiently hydrated.
Step 5: Account For Movement
This is especially important if you have an overall sedentary lifestyle outside of your workouts!
Structured exercise is amazing and healthy, but it’s important to make conscious effort to also move more throughout the day, as it contributes to your overall well being.
Here's a snippet of Rachel's movement schedule 💃:
Falling off the wagon happens to the best of us - so don’t beat yourself up! Remember that it’s YOU who truly holds the power to get back on track and build new habits.