We're all guilty of telling ourselves that working out doesn't come as a priority. However, lockdown has had a major impact on not only our mental health, but also our physical health.
Some have found a new love for fitness, but others have found that staying inside has been the easiest way of coping. With the end of lockdown finally in sight, you may be eager to stop being a couch potato and get that summer grind on, or you may just be wanting to reap the benefits which exercise has on our mental health.
Research suggests that regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It can also lift your mood and improve sleep. Despite this, we're all guilty of having an inner voice telling us to skip our workouts. With the hardest part being having the motivation to get up and do it. Here's a few tips to make that first step that little bit easier.
The first step. This one may sound pretty straightforward but hear me out. Put your workout clothes on without even thinking about it. You'll find that once you've got your sports gear on, there's no going back. By thinking about it for too long, you'll only put yourself off more each minute. Find something you feel comfortable and confident in. If you plan to do a workout the next day, leave your workout clothes somewhere you go everyday - end of the bed, next to the shower. If you see the clothes, you're more likely to put them on.
film a 'transformation' video.
YouTube is filled with transformation videos of before and afters'. Why not start your own? If you're looking to workout for the physical benefits, you can vlog your journey. It may also help to film some of your workouts and describe how you're feeling so that you can see your progress. You don't need to post it anywhere; you can just do it for you. It may sound cheesy, but it's a great place to start. Alternatively, just take pictures of your progress and make a note of how you felt after a workout to refer back to when you lack motivation.
change it up.
You wouldn't make yourself watch the same film or read the same book a number of times, so why should you do it with exercise? There is nothing worse than repeating the same workouts every day. You'll not only find yourself getting bored, but also less motivated. Find a variety of exercises when you enjoy. Go for a bike ride one day, then complete a home workout the next. In terms of home workouts, you can find a great range on YouTube. 'Emkfit' is a great channel to use, full of dance HIIT workouts which last around 20 minutes. If you're looking for an upbeat mood booster, it's definitely one to try.
You may have also heard of Chloe Ting who took TikTok by storm in the first lockdown. She has a website of free workout programs, which you can access and do from home. If a high impact workout isn't what you're after, walking is also a great way to burn calories and release some serotonin. It can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running. By having a variety of workouts, it'll be more fun and you're more likely to stick to it long term.
get a workout buddy.
Working out with a friend or in a group makes everything better! By combining your social time with exercise, you can motivate and push each other. If you’re stuck at home, it’s still possible to workout over FaceTime or zoom.
get a good workout playlist.
Nobody wants to work out in silence and hear themselves heavy breathing. Get yourself an upbeat, motivational playlist which makes you feel as if you’re ready to tackle the world.
Spotify has a number of ready-made playlists for whatever mood you’re in. Keeping your playlist updated regularly willhelp boost your motivation.
Finding motivation for exercise starts with making it a priority. So, next time you're thinking of skipping your workout, try one or two of these tips. Once you start, you may find there’s no going back.