For many of us, lockdown has been an opportunity to really up our fitness game.
Despite gyms being closed and normal routines being completely upended, a third of Brits are actually working out more since lockdown began.
And we have had to be creative. Lots of us have taken up cycling, or got really into running, or we’ve been building strength and endurance with daily online HIIT sessions in our living rooms.
You may have found that working from home has given you more time to work out, as well as less socialising, fewer weekend plans and holidays to disrupt your fitness focus. If you can’t meet your mates for a mid-week bottle of wine, you’re much more likely to get up to exercise in the morning.
But when the pressures and demands of normal life start to return – commuting, socialising, family responsibilites – will all our good new habits disappear? We asked some fitness professionals for some tips to help us build fitness into our new normal.
Personal Trainer Alice Liveing says she has definitely noticed a surge in demand for fitness inspiration and ideas during lockdown, but she can understand why that may drop off as lockdown eases. Here are her top tips for staying motivated:
Refine your goals or set some new ones
Lockdown meant that many exercise goals had to be paused, and training took a new focus. Home workouts became big business and we also saw many people take up running and cycling.
In order to stay motivated, it’s important to reflect on what it is you want to achieve from your exercise moving forwards. Perhaps you’d like a new 5km run personal best, or to deadlift your own bodyweight?
Whatever it may be, clarifying your goals and working out a defined process of how to get there gives a real focus to your training and some much needed motivation. The feeling of also noticing progression towards your goal each workout will also help with motivation too.
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RESISTANCE BAND CORE 💥 I used some of these exercises in today’s workout and had lots of requests to share them. Here’s some challenging core exercises you can do from home using your resistance band! Let me know if you try them them! 1. Pallof press 2. Pallof press walk outs 3. Pallof press with overhead reach 4. Wood chops 5. Resistance band dead bugs I’d advise starting at around 6-8 reps depending on your training ability and building up from there! #HomeWorkout #StayAtHome #Core
And, it doesn’t have to be a performance goal either.
If you’ve found a new way of exercising during lockdown then perhaps your goal will be, for example, to commit to doing that workout three times a week.
Just sitting down to write the things you’d like to achieve from your exercise is the first step to feeling motivated to move.
Now we’re able to exercise together outdoors, why not make a social situation out of your training and ask a friend to join.
Whether it’s a workout in the park, a jog or even just a walk, having someone there to keep you accountable and make the workout enjoyable is a great way to maintain motivation.
Diarise your workouts
As our diaries start to fill up again as we transition out of lockdown, it’s easy for exercise to get bumped out for other social occasions and work commitments.
By diarising your workouts at the start of each week, you can carve out some time to ensure you’re able to exercise, whilst also mentally acknowledging that you’re going to do your training.
Keep your recovery routine
As the ability to get out more and enjoy life outside of lockdown increases, there may be the desire to ‘do more’ as we try and get back in to ‘pre-quaratine fitness’.
It’s important to remember therefore that recovery is what underpins long term adherence to exercise.
If you’re allowing your body adequate rest, good nutrition and enough sleep you’ll be in a good position to exercise regularly. However, if you come out the blocks too fast, there is every chance you can become injured, or run out of momentum as you become fatigued from too much training.
There is no ‘right’ amount of rest days, but checking in with your body and understanding when rest is best is key to long term progression.
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