Struggling to up your fitness game post lockdown? Lacking motivation? Feeling like everyone else has got fitness all figured out but you can’t seem to get started or make it stick?
2020 has been one hell of a ride. With pretty much ZERO warning we were thrown out of our routine and into a new world of lockdown, furlough and self-isolation as the world shut down. We’ve had to adapt, adapt and adapt again as restrictions have changed, trying to figure out what we can/can’t do and what we do/don’t feel comfortable with. All in a constant state of change and uncertainty.
So it’s OK if your fitness levels have dropped. It’s OK if your energy and motivation didn’t instantly fire back up when the restrictions were eased. It’s OK if it’s taking you a while to find your way with a new fitness routine.
And we’ve all been here before, right?
Maybe not in a pandemic – but I bet there have been times when you’ve fallen out of your fitness routine for other reasons (a holiday, an illness, an injury, Christmas?) and struggled to get back into it.
Your fitness levels may have dropped but deep down you know that as soon as you step it up again you’re going to see and feel the results FAST. You know that you can get back to that place of energy, motivation, confidence and DRIVE once again!
You just have to get started. And remember that THIS IS THE HARDEST BIT.
Taking that first step to get back on the fitness wagon after some time out is always the hardest bit.
But don’t worry. I’VE GOT YOU.
Today I’m bringing you my 5 top tips to FIRE UP your motivation and get you back ON the fitness wagon once again!
- USE THE POWER OF MONDAY
Never underestimate the power of Monday! Exercising on a Monday sets the tone for the rest of the week. If you skip your workout on a Monday, it becomes SO MUCH easier for you to skip it on a Tuesday and a Wednesday…and that easily turns into…“oh there’s no point starting now, I’ll start next week instead”.
When it comes to getting started, it’s mind over matter. Remember that our behaviour drives our motivation (not the other way around) so give yourself a little nudge to get started on a Monday and then use the momentum to keep you going for the rest of the week!
- COMBINE EXERCISE WITH SOMETHING YOU LOVE
Music? Get your favourite playlist going! Music is essential to getting you in the right frame of mind to exercise and will get you pushing even harder without you even realising it.
Friends? Make it social. Use fitness as a way of also catching up with friends. It’s so much easier to feel motivated when other people around us are doing the same thing.
Clothes? New gym gear that you feel good in is a brilliant motivator! Confidence is half the battle.
Food? Arrange to fuel up with your favourite brunch afterwards.
Combining exercising with something you love makes the turning up part so much easier and the whole process a LOT more fun, I promise.
- HAVE A PLAN
I never used to have a plan in the gym. I used to just rock up and spend half the time wandering around aimlessly trying to decide what to do. Then I’d do a couple of sets using a weight which felt about right and then get distracted and move on to the next thing. The result? An unsatisfying workout, little progress and ZERO motivation!
As soon as I made a plan and used it to keep track of what I was doing, I had something to aim for. I was able to push myself a tiny bit more each time and really began to see and feel the difference it made to my strength, fitness, consistency and drive. A plan gives you a focus and a purpose for your workouts, and will absolutely up your motivation levels at the same time.
- QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
You don’t need to spend 5 hours a week in the gym.
In fact, going too hard too fast will do you NO GOOD AT ALL post-lockdown. It increases your risk of injury (your body isn’t used to that level of exercise!) and there is every chance you’ll run out of momentum as you become fatigued from over-training. If you’re training at the right intensity, you can get a great cardio workout done in around 20 minutes. So dedicate a set time for your workouts (one that’s not overwhelming) and train smarter, not harder.
- SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
As you start to increase your exercise again, good quality fuel, sleep and hydration become even more key. If you’re tired and lacking energy, your motivation levels will be low too. A nutritious meal, lots of water and a good night’s sleep will get you feeling strong, energised and ready to train the next day so you are much less likely to be using tiredness as an excuse!
So give these 5 tips a try and let me know how you get on. But the bottom line?
Go easy on yourself.
2020 has been rough. We don’t need any more stress! Now more than ever we need to be using fitness in a way which lights us up, gets our energy flowing and makes us feel ALIVE again. And if we can do this, we definitely won’t be struggling to find motivation!