If you lost your motivation for home workouts somewhere back in April, you can find solace in the fact that you’re definitely not alone. Thanks to the lack of gyms, the option to live in leggings 24/7 and a definite lack of reasons to leave the house recently, Youtube and Zoom workouts went the way of our home baking efforts—tried it once, then went back to the couch.
Now, even though the gyms are re-opening across the country, we're deep in the throes of winter, with cold weather, late sunrises and early sunsets thwarting our plans to get fit again. So if you, like us, need a little help in getting your sweat on again, here's a few tips to help you get your training back on track. And while we're hard at work on that summer body, let's all agree not to judge each other huffing and puffing up every flight of stairs.
Try Group Training
With the fitness industry seeing the rising need for personalised training, without the hefty price tag, group-based training like F45, 12RND Fitness and boutique gyms with class-based memberships have surged, proving a popular form of training for many fitness enthusiasts. Even when the mere thought of a workout is more than you can bear, you can always rely on the classes’ high-energy levels to help you through, with music, participants and instructors always sure to gee up even the most unenthusiastic participants. The energy and momentum of the group will carry you all session long, keeping the thought of quitting or slowing down well and truly at bay.
Keep Yourself Accountable
You wouldn’t not rock up to work (or at least we’d hope you wouldn't), so try to hold your fitness regime in the same regard. If you tend to ghost those AM sessions, arrange to exercise with a friend to keep you committed to the plan and away from the snooze button. No fit fam? Try a weekly habit checker like this handy desk pad from MiGoals—seeing those daily workouts ticked off (or not ticked off) each week will give you that sense of accomplishment and the motivation to keep it up.
If you sign up to group training, you’ll be pleased to know that most of their booking systems keep you accountable in making it to your appointment. Often places will slap you with a cancellation fee if you’re a no-show or late-cancel and others will even email you when you’ve missed a sweat session. Guilt trips served up hot to your inbox? We like.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if the idea of burning calories isn’t motivating you, perhaps rocking a fresh new kit will. Insert devil emoji here. While it may seem superficial, sometimes getting motivated to get your sweat on can be as simple as dressing in activewear to take you seamlessly from work to workout, eliminating the added hassle of changing. With brands like Jaggad and P.E Nation leading the way when it comes to making activewear a part of every day, dressing with the mindset and intention to move your body has never been easier (or looked better). So if you’ve been eyeing off a pair of dope new tights or an oversized tee, treat yourself. Here's some ultra bright threads to kick you off.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
If a brisk walk gets your heart rate soaring or your last rigorous exercise was rowing in year 10, you might want to ease back into things. Overexerting or placing too much pressure on yourself can lead to burning out and even injury. If you were working out five days a week in your pre-COVID days, aim for two or three times per week, and slowly build on your regime from there. Similarly, something is always better than nothing, so don’t feel obliged to grind for 60 minutes. An effective 20-minute workout is enough to get you pumping and ready for more, especially when you’ve got the time and stamina. Taking this approach will ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed and you can tackle your goals, one small sweat at a time.
Make The Time
“I don’t have the time” is possibly the biggest (and poorest) excuse for not being active. Approach your time as you do your money and try to ascertain where all those precious minutes are being funnelled. After all, time is money. One simple hack is to check your iPhone screen time. Yes, actually check it. If you spend more than an hour of your time browsing social media apps and texting, it’s time to put the phone down and your runners on. Using your time more effectively also means you can go to bed earlier and get up for that early AM sweat session. You'll also be more productive at work and able to squeeze in a class during your lunch break or make a timely exit from the office at the end of the day for a late-night pump.
Set Short Term Goals
Even if you were pumping out 100 push ups with ease back in March, it’s probably best not to set that as your first goal as it can be daunting and leave you feeling unmotivated. By setting yourself small challenges, you can gradually work towards an end goal while celebrating the little wins along the way.
Going from zero to 100 overnight may seem like a good idea, but it’s an easy way to set yourself up for failure. Assess how long you've been inactive (be honest) and set your goals accordingly. You need to take into account your current well-being, lifestyle and priorities and curate challenging but achievable short-term goals around them to help you succeed.
Getting fit again is great, but you should also be checking your sleep habits—here's how a sleep routine could help.
Image credit: Gursimrat Gand