Physical therapy is all about getting you back to normal so that you can continue with your regular life free from pain and injury. However, physical therapy is a very focused process, and much of your life will be adjusted to the particular needs of your specific regimen. Therefore, it is often tough to transition back into a regular fitness routine and stick with it after all the disruption caused by physical therapy, not to mention the original ailment that it was prescribed to address in the first place.
With that in mind, here is a list of our top 10 tips for staying motivated as you get back to a regular fitness routine after your physical therapy is over.
- Solid Goals: Set some clear outcomes that you would like to accomplish. Make sure that they are challenging, but also achievable and realistic.
- Positive Thinking: Instead of relying on traditional goal visualization, try using mental contrasting. You still identify goals and visualize outcomes, but you also take it one more step and identify those things that hold you back from achievement and then adjust them.
- Dress the Part: When you are wearing the appropriate clothes for working out, it will alter your perspective. You will want to exercise more because you will feel more comfortable playing the part that you have dressed for.
- Rewards: Have something that you look forward to after each workout or after achieving a goal. Buy a smoothie, hang out with your friends or spend a night watching a movie; whatever it is, just be sure that it is something that feels rewarding to you.
- Buddy System: Schedule your workouts with a partner or develop relationships with the people who attend your exercise class. This will help in keeping you accountable, and will also offer a social fix during exercise. You and your friends can even have competitions, such as most flights of stairs climbed or most steps walked.
- Keep Track: Logging your exercise and food intake adds an extra layer of knowledge about your body and its fitness journey. Observing everything on an app or paper will make you consider what is happening with your body. Food diaries have been proven to aid directly with weight loss.
- Ignore Your Scale: Do not weigh yourself every day. You will gain muscle and lose fat, which could lead to your weight increasing before it decreases. Do not allow your scale to harm your motivation. You will be confident of the benefits of your workouts when your clothes fit differently, not according to some numbers on your scale.
- Change Things Up: Change your regular exercise routine by joining a new class or trying a new exercise, such as spinning, yoga, boxing or Zumba.
- Establish a Daily Routine: Schedule your workouts along with everything else. You can make fitness a routine part of your commute to and from work: instead of taking your car, try riding your bike, running or even walking one day.
- Stay Flexible: Not every single day will go as you planned. If you are too busy or do not have the motivation to work out, remind yourself that it is okay to take a day off once in a while. Just be sure that you get back to it as soon as you are able.