10 Ways to Get Out of a Sedentary Slump

Don’t want to move? Pump up your enthusiasm and get your head back in the game! Here’s how.

One of the biggest mood-killers is knowing you want to feel and look healthier, yet you just can’t muster up the motivation to get to work. Falling into a sedentary slump is normal, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed if it happens to you. Between vacations, holidays, stressful days at work, busy weekends with the family, and lack of sleep, it’s so easy to get off track — and sometimes, it feels impossible to get back on track.

The scary thing is the more active you are, the harder it is to get out of a sedentary slump since your change in lifestyle feels more significant. If you’re super health-conscious, you’ll notice the change in energy levels, weight gain, discomfort, and overall lack of confidence and enthusiasm right away. Sounds pretty awful, right? It is! But as awful as it is, it’s normal — it also makes for the perfect motivation to double-check that priority list of yours.

It’s time to ditch the chips, get off the sofa, and stop feeling sorry for yourself! Here’s how to pull yourself out of it:

  1. Focus on self-care:

    There is so much more to physical fitness than the physical body. When we make our physical bodies healthier, in turn, we make our minds and emotions healthier too. When there’s a sudden decrease in care for the physical body, the mind takes a big blow. Understand that it’s just part of self-care to carve out time for personal fitness, even if there’s a lot going on around you. You’ll be better able to handle the circumstances and responsibilities in your life, and work through things with a clearer mentality if you’re able to continue a steady workout routine. Consider it self-care, and make time for fitness and health just like you make time for brushing your teeth and eating dinner.

  2. Don’t feel like a failure:

    It’s so easy to get down about falling into a slump, but there’s no sense in feeling like a failure. Keep in mind, if you fell into a slump, your body and mind might be communicating to you that it’s exhausted and under too much stress. When this happens, physical activity seems to be one of the first things to go, but it should really be the last thing to go. You are not a failure for resting your body. And while you’re out of the gym and off the track, you better start loving yourself instead of repeating negative mantras that will only hold you back and keep you down.

  3. Remember your success:

    Remember that time you were able to hit a new weightlifting goal? Or when you noticed your body’s flexibility steadily increasing? Remember that time you meal-prepped healthy dinners that would impress any top chef or personal trainer? Yeah — that was all you! It’s in you, and it’s in your bones to succeed. Remember that you are totally capable, and you have all of the power in the world to shift your life in any way you want to. And if you’re feeling down and out about getting into a sedentary slump, consider shifting your power to change that. Go put that cape on!

  4. Get to the grocery store:

    Make sure your cabinets are filled with things that remind you of your health. Don’t let the refrigerator be empty, or the pantry be home to addicting, processed stuff that your body would do better without. Go to the grocery store and stock up on your favorite produce, lean meats, grains, and whatever else it is that fuels you up and gives you the nutrition and power to get through the motions of an active day. Set yourself up for success, and do what you can to prevent any caving into unhealthy cravings that will only make you feel more lethargic.

  5. Sleep in:

    It sounds counterproductive, but making a point to sleep in when you're feeling like you’re in a sedentary slump is crucial to coming out of it with a healthy mindset. By sleeping in, you’re acknowledging that you don’t feel ashamed or guilty about getting a little off track. Plus, circling back to self-care, your body might really need the extra snooze time. Remind yourself of what it’s like to get a full night of sleep, and bring this sentiment with you when you start picking things back up again.

  6. Strength-train at home:

    If you’re dreading getting to the gym, keep some fitness equipment in your home that you won’t get intimidated by. Try storing your resistance bands, mini precision loop bands, exercise ball, and jump rope in spaces in your home where you have downtime. Keep this kind of equipment in your bedroom, lurking around in the family room, or even start using your exercise ball as an office chair. By seeing workout tools and equipment that are fun and easy to use, you’ll feel more inclined to pick them up. Even a five-minute session with your resistance bands will make you feel so much better.

  7. Remember the value in perseverance:

    Don’t you dare act like this is the first time you’ve fallen into a slump! (Okay, maybe it is…) But remember that there have been other situations when life or the circumstances in your life could have held you back. Remember the value in pushing through those times and not giving up when challenges show up at your doorstep.

  8. Keep a positive attitude:

    Catching a bad attitude is one of the worst side effects of decreasing physical activity. Do everything you can to avoid a negative mentality, so you can spare yourself and others in your life the pessimistic talk. No one wants to make the cloud over their head darker and more black, so why would you do that to yourself or your family and coworkers? Keep the attitude high and it will be much easier to come out of that slump.

  9. Decrease the stress in your life:

    You may have fallen into a slump because of other stresses in your life that have nothing to do with your physical activity level. Think about what you can do to decrease the overall levels of stress in your life, and do whatever you can to prevent future stressful situations. It’s as easy as pulling out a notepad, and breaking down the different areas of stress in your life. Then, flesh out feasible goals to ease those stressors.

  10. Continue building endurance:

    Even if you’ve fallen into a sedentary slump, you want to focus on keeping your heart pumping, at least every now and then. You’ve worked so hard to get your mile down by a minute, so don’t lose all of that because you’re going through a phase where you don’t even feel like tying your sneaks. Keep a jump rope at home, so you can continue to build cardio confidence, even if you don’t feel like doing the entire routine you know you’re capable of.

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