Our lifestyles have changed dramatically in the last year due to living in varying levels of lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. People have a new way of operating, whether it’s working from home, having a home gym set up, having weekly virtual meet-ups with friends. Our lives were forced to change and adapt; for many people their exercise habits were adjusted from working out in the gym to home, and for others they were introduced into the world of exercise, discovering the physical and mental benefits that that offered.
For many regular exercises, returning to the gym was a no brainer, but for those used to their new way of working out, new to the gym or perhaps nervous about the transition into public places, working out from home was still appealing. It has benefited many people in positive ways, like stay at home Mums can now workout without needing childcare. However, as convenient as working out from home can be, I also completely understand how motivation levels can vary. So if you’re struggling to keep yourself moving and grooving, here are some top tips and ideas to help you along the way:
Find your why
This is probably one of the most important, and will be different although slightly similar for everyone. It is extremely hard to motivate yourself to move your body, if you don’t have a reason behind doing so. I highly recommend taking a moment to find your inner motivation in the benefits of exercise which appeal to you. This may be something you have never thought of before, so it might be difficult. Just put pen to paper and let your brain unload. You might find things such as; to build up physical strength and fitness, to feel healthier and more energised, to work towards a goal, lift your mood, clear your mind or just feel like you are achieving something positive each day. For me, I am constantly motivated by my goal of building a body that is ready to tackle whatever challenges life throws at me, maintaining my fitness and health for my family to be able to go on adventures. It makes me feel physically and mentally better every single day and is now part of my life.
Invest in the kit you need
Investing in weights, a yoga mat, workout bands etc although inexpensive compared to a gym membership, it will also help the variety of your workouts which will also keep you motivated. By investing in kit you are more likely to maintain motivation knowing you have committed to your fitness journey.
Discover your own workout space
Trying to figure out where to work out every day eats into your precious workout time. Find a space in your home and use it as your area for exercise. It doesn’t matter if that is; a space in your hallway, the living room or the garden. Keep your exercise essentials nearby such as a yoga mat, water bottle and any of your equipment you have. This removes any chance of excusing your workout too.
Plan your workouts into your week
Sitting down on a Sunday and planning your week ahead can help hugely and give you a realistic approach to how much exercise you can commit to. Adding structure to your day can make you feel more organised and ticking it off where scheduled will make you feel so accomplished. Even write in your diary the time you are doing it! If you are struggling still, why not arrange to do a workout with a friend/family member over Zoom or suggesting they could join you!
Once you have planned your week workouts, write it down and add a tick sheet to your fridge/ somewhere you will see it regularly. You will be visualising it every time you see it and will gain a huge satisfaction every time you complete a workout.
Mix it up & try something new
With the world shifting over to ‘virtual’, this is a unique opportunity for you to take advantage of the current climate and switch things up and try different workouts. You may fall in love with something you may have never considered or thought you wouldn't enjoy.
Start a challenge
Whether you start a 30-day yoga challenge, or create your own challenge, like being able to complete 5 full press ups in 2 months...whatever it may be, by having a goal, writing it down and having something to work towards will help you keep turning up even when you don’t feel like it. Tell your friends and family what you are doing when they show an interest and ask you to report back! It can be so very fun to challenge your body in new ways and it is essential to keep your workouts varied to avoid boredom.
Use online tools
We live in a world of youtube, blogs, with an extreme health and fitness focus in this climate. You can find a workout plan, follow along videos, or invest and join an online fitness community. Finding an individual who has the same fitness values as you can be useful and you can follow their workouts on IGTV/youtube.
Find a LIVE class
If you have switched from gym workouts to home workouts and are missing the community element of the gym or classes, then tune into a live workout online. There are so many on instagram live every morning. It’s like having a trainer with you so you are more likely to keep going.
Let go of the expectation that workouts are long and hard to be effective. Let’s just think of exercise in terms of little tokens - especially when you are stuck for time. If you can't commit to 30 mins at a time, break it down - do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch time and 10 minutes in the evening… without even realising you have accumulated 30 minutes of exercises in a day where you didn’t think it would be possible. We need to switch our mindset to quality not quantity, intensity and form not ‘an hours sweaty hard workout’. Celebrate all the small wins and victories!
When you are really not feeling motivated, It is important to remember to listen to your body and rest when necessary. If you’re not feeling a workout on the day you had planned, or have tired of working out and are finding it tougher than normal, then be gentle with yourself and try again the following day. Keep up the good work, you are awesome!
Written by Amy Gomer @amyrosannaruns