You Can Skip the Gym *This* Many Times Before You Lose Your Motivation

Photo: Getty Images/agrobacter
I do a pretty good job when it comes to keeping up with my workout schedule. I'm usually on it every single day without a complaint. Every so often, though, I'll have to skip two days in a row, maybe three. If I'm missing workouts here and there, no big deal, right? But does gym motivation disappear altogether after a certain time?

When I do skip the gym, I'm always full of excuses. (I'm too tired, too busy, too hungry, etc.) And according to Eric Rakofsky, director of fitness at The Well, it's good to know that sometimes these excuses are totally justified.

"Time is something that many of us simply can’t find enough of," says Rakofsky. "It's incredibly easy for one missed workout to turn into two, or three, and then before you know it you're playing catch-up with yourself. It is important to understand that there are going to be times when you miss a day or two. That's life."

Rakofsky says the key is to never skip more than two workouts in a row if you don't want to lose your gym motivation. But the healthy habit you've created for yourself shouldn't make it harder to accomplish your fitness goals by interrupting the rest of your life. Just a quick 20-minute at-home workout counts. "Your body is constantly burning calories, and workouts only ramp that up. So you want to constantly be in that state while also making sure you’re staying true to your goals," he says.

"Even for someone who has their workout schedule perfectly dialed in, it's incredibly easy for one missed workout to turn into two, or three, and then before you know it you're playing catch-up with yourself."

I know, I know—not skipping a workout is easier said than done. The good news is even when there's not a slot available in your jam-packed schedule to work up a sweat, there are still things you can do to make sure you stay on track.

"On those days where you simply can't find the time to work out, prioritize healthier habits and make sure you're doing everything else right," Rakofsky says. "For example, take the stairs and not the elevator, or avoid added sugar. Doing this will maintain your positive momentum as if you had worked out that day. Also, understanding the importance of being kinder to yourself and your process is critical. At the end of the day, you're doing this for you, so don't be harsh on yourself."

Keeping up with your workouts, eating a healthy diet, spending time with friends and family, and checking everything else off your daily to-do list in life is tricky when you're also working a full-time job. A clear intention and purpose, Rakofsky says, keep you from letting failure get the best of you. You know how important your goals are, and you want to reach them. And if you keep that front of mind, you'll be just fine—even if you miss a few workouts along the way.

If you're in need of some extra gym motivation, try the ultimate playlist from Spotify. Also, the majority of people say having nice activewear pushes them to exercise more.

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