Stuck in a Rut? It might be okay

Being “stuck in a rut” is usually considered a negative thing. But from my perspective, it all depends on what kind of rut you’re in.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a rut is a track worn by a wheel or habitual passage. It becomes so worn, that once something goes in, it’s hard to get out.

Apply this to your fitness and nutrition goals, but stop thinking about “ruts” as bad habits. Instead, ingrain some good ones in your head. Replacing unhealthy routines with positive ones is hard, and it is a process – but once you do, the rewards are endless.

Here are a few ideas to get your started.

  • Exercise every day.
  • Take the stairs; always avoid the elevator when stairs are an option.
  • Let the other car take the close spot. Not only is this friendly, it forces you to take a few extra steps.
  • Drink water at every meal.
  • Eat a vegetable at every main meal of the day.
  • Stretch when you wake up and before you go to bed.
  • Snack on almonds and light string cheese, or something similar and well-balanced.
  • Eat the same thing for breakfast, if it’s balanced and appropriate for your goals.
  • Don’t eat after dinner, unless you have a balanced, portion-controlled snack.
  • Write down what you eat, as you eat it.
  • Read, breathe deeply, or take a warm bath at the end of your day to help you relax.
  • Avoid “cleaning your plate.”
  • Drink green tea instead of coffee in the afternoon (one I am working on!)
  • Do a series of planks or pushups before bed.

These “ruts” are lifestyles, habits and patterns that only get more deeply engrained with time. Remember from the definition above … going over and over the channel makes a deeper rut. Practicing these habits and holding yourself accountable through journaling, telling someone or using a tracking system is the best way to get stuck.

Don’t forget to have a reward system in place –  even if the reward is just to feel better. Record that, reflect on it and get stuck in some healthy ruts!