At last! It looks as though we are coming towards the end of lockdown and the country is beginning to open up again. With this newfound freedom and a fresh start, some of us are going to find it relatively easy to find our motivation for fitness.
But for others of us, particularly if your mobility has reduced due to the simple fact of being used to being indoors for so long this winter, getting motivated is going to be tough. The body and mind have adjusted to being indoors and relatively isolated, and they might be reluctant to change.
So much has happened (or more precisely, not happened) during this time. I know people who have been so bored they have been working during times when they normally would be out and about, just to keep themselves busy. And who hasn’t spent hours on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket watching Netflix because it’s been so cold and miserable outside? We as a nation have collectively been sitting for longer than we ever would have pre lockdown.
But now that spring is coming and the rules are easing over the next few months, we are all going to want to get out more, see family and friends, and make up for lost time.
Exercise is a great way to start slowly waking your body up, to get used to more movement again, and to building up more stamina. Confidence in your body may well have dropped and we need to start building that back up again too.
Some of you may have found you have stuck to a great exercise routine over the last 12 months, while others will need a little extra push to get started again.
Whatever your personal circumstances, don’t worry about what has happened in the past, just focus on the future. And to help you, here are my 7 top tips for finding the motivation you need to start exercising again.
1. Put your workout clothes on when you are going to exercise. Don’t think about it too much, just put them on and start exercising. They don’t have to be the latest fitness gear - it can be a set of clothes you put to one side that are specifically for exercise only. But by doing this it psychologically prepares you to exercise and increases the chance of you actually following through.
2. Write down how you feel after your workout. Most people know how good you feel after exercise and yet it is not something we will try to do regularly. Writing down how you feel, so you can refer back to it, will help motivate you to find that feeling again.
3. Variety, variety, variety. There is nothing worse than following one plan over and over again that gets so boring it demotivates you. This I find is a key reason why someone will stop exercising. Exercise doesn’t have to be one type of exercise alone. You can change it up to include walking, gardening, a low impact class, running, even belly dancing! Or if you like dancing, there are so many fitness dance classes out there that you can join. Find what interests you and keep changing it if you get bored.
4. Surround yourself with motivation. This comes in many forms such as: motivational music that is sure to get you moving; people who will encourage you to move; engaging with a programme that offers accountability thereby encouraging you to exercise; or finding a trainer who will provide the motivation for you so all you need to do is turn up.
5. Everything can be easier in a group. Not everyone is a group-orientated person, however, it really can help. In my classes most of my client’s dislike exercise but know it is good for them. Having that friendly support network and knowing people will chase you up if you don’t attend is enough for them to turn up regularly.
6. Plan your workouts and put them in your diary. We all attend any meeting we schedule and would never dream of cancelling. Treat your workout with the same type of mindset. Book time in and make sure you attend. I find if I leave this too open ended the day can fly by and the workout still hasn’t happened.
7. Try making small changes to diet to get back some energy. This could be by introducing different types and colours of food that will give you more nutrition. Also, try drinking more water and/or eating fewer refined sugars. Making a few changes will naturally increase your energy levels and motivation to exercise will follow.
Find what works for you and get moving again.
1st Step Rehab Fitness Support is here to help you get exercising and stay motivated. To find out more contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07846 597460. We are always happy to help!