We’ve all been in varying levels of lockdown for weeks or even months now due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our lives have changed significantly and our schedules are up in the air, making it increasingly more challenging to maintain our regular workout routine and find a new normal. I completely understand if your motivation levels have gone through the floor, but doing some form of exercise on a regular basis during this period will have huge benefits for both your body and mind. So if you’re struggling to get yourself moving, here are my top tips and tricks to help you along the way:
Have a dedicated workout space.
Pick an area in your home and use it as your area for exercise, whether thats the living room floor or the patio. Keep workout essentials nearby such as a water bottle, yoga mat and any equipment you have – to remove any obstacles to starting a workout.
Find your why.
It is extremely hard to motivate yourself to move your body if you don’t have a reason for doing so. I highly recommend taking a moment to find intrinsic motivation in the benefits of exercise which appeal to you, such as wanting to build up physical fitness, work towards a goal, support your health, boost your mood, clear your mind or just feel like you’ve accomplished something positive. For me, I am constantly motivated by my goal of building a body that is resilient to whatever challenges life throws at it.
If you’re usually a gym-goer or a class attendee, then it might be worth releasing expectations and goals which rely on these specific environments, environments you cannot access right now. For example, if you don’t have access to barbells and dumbbells then pursuing a heavy deadlift PB isn’t a goal you can realistically achieve during quarantine. Instead, release expectations of what your workouts were before the pandemic and focus on what your workouts can be now. Personally, I have shifted my focus from strength to cardiovascular training and am working on building up my running ability – something which is completely new to me!
Try something new.
This is a unique opportunity for you to switch things up and try different workouts. For example, you can give pilates a go or start a 30-day yoga challenge. I have been changing things up by doing at-home barre workouts and even did a hip hop dance class the other day – it can be so much fun to challenge your body in new ways and it is essential to keep your workouts varied to avoid boredom.
Tune into live classes.
If you are missing the community environment of the gym or classes, then tune into a live workout online. I love jumping into live HIIT classes on Instagram, which are 100% free and super motivating, it is like having a trainer in your front room! I recommend Bradley Simmonds & Rhiannon Baileys live classes if you want a sweaty challenge and Psycle or Barrys instagram lives for targeted burners!
Use online resources.
Besides live workouts, there are plenty of follow along real-time workouts that you can find for free on YouTube or Instagram. If I am ever struggling to get motivated to move then I just tune into one of these and find myself powering through with much less mental effort than if I was training on my own. Some of my favourite YouTube channels include Lilly Sabri, Blogilates, Chloe Ting and MadFit. Of course, I should also mention my own you tube channel and my IGTV workouts here too!
Schedule your workouts in.
Adding structure to your day can make you feel more organised and accomplished. I recommend popping your workout onto your to-do list and completing it at a specified time which works for you. Want to go one step further? Schedule in a workout date with your partner, housemate or even digitally with a friend over Zoom.
Release the expectation that workouts have to be an hour long to be effective. Instead, I recommend doing “exercise nuggets” when you can. Whether that’s a 20 minute HIIT blast or a 10 minute core circuit. It is about quality not quantity, intensity and form not duration. Just do what you can – something is better than nothing, so celebrate the little wins!
Of course, it goes without saying that it is essential to listen to your body and rest when necessary. If you’re not feeling a workout today then be gentle with yourself and try again tomorrow, I promise you will feel amazing when you do get moving.