Forget the “pause-button mentality” for your workouts

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Shutterstock.com/ Jacob Lund

Anyone who has ever undertaken an exercise or diet routine understands what the “pause button mentality” is. You get in a couple of weeks of solid exercise or excellent eating habits when something comes up in life that makes “pause” your workout.

For example, you may have been doing great at the gym for weeks, going in regularly and working up a sweat each and every time. However, vacation is coming up, so you declare that you will wait until after your vacation to start up again. Maybe the holidays are coming up soon, so you figure you can set aside your diet for a little while.

This “pause-button mentality” may seem like a reasonable course of action, but it may actually be sabotaging your diet and exercise regimen. Read on for why it does and what exactly you can do to change it.

Many people think that it’s perfectly fine to take a break when it comes to their exercise routine or new eating plan. After all, wouldn’t it be better if you take a break now and again? It’s perfectly understandable why you would want to do so. In some cases, it seems as though you would make better progress if you started back when life felt easier. This is also why you hear people making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight- it just seems easier to make a fresh start.

Here is the major problem we have seen time and time again. The imaginary pause button does give you some relief. However, when you hit it over and over again, you’re getting used to taking breaks. You start allowing yourself to hit pause when any little problem arises in your life. The holidays, a relative in the hospital, a stressful time at work, your vacation- the list is endless.

That’s because there will always be some type of obstacle in our way. Life happens, and you cannot plan for the problems and setbacks that may have you reaching for the pause button.

So instead of hitting that pause button, adjust your dial. Instead of pausing completely, dial your efforts down a bit. For example, you may be able to get in the amount of exercise you need every single week while eating the healthiest of meals. If you are faced with an obstacle in the road that makes you want to pause the two, dial them back instead. You don’t need to stop working out completely; instead, go to your gym a couple of times less per week. Sure, you may slip up and eat more while on vacation, but make up for it with some healthy choices during that time as well.

Remember, there is a major difference between turning your dial down and turning it completely off. There will always be something that can get in the way of your diet and exercise program. But instead of stopping completely, dial it back a bit and keep going. It will be much easier to pick it up when life settles down if you haven’t quit altogether.