EXERCISE. It’s something that we all know we should be doing, especially now with the Corona virus forcing gyms to close, and upsetting our normal daily routines. And while we are supposed to self isolate and practise social distancing, it’s not an excuse not to get up and get moving. Motivation can also be especially hard if you’ve just lost your job and are suffering financial hardship and stress. And there are plenty of other reasons (and let’s face it – excuses) for not being motivated to get up, get dressed and make time to get our bodies moving. It’s too cold outside, … I hate exercising, …. I’ll do it after watching my favourite show on Netflix.
Regular exercise plays a crucial part in our overall health and wellbeing from giving us more energy, clearing our minds of negative thoughts, to paving the way to a great night’s sleep. There are so many studies that show the positive effects that a little bit of exercise each day can have for our mental health.
So, how do you bite the procrastination bullet and get motivated to exercise?
GET DRESSED IN YOUR BEST WORKOUT GEAR. Find your brightest and best work out clothes and put them on. This action means you’re pretty much halfway there and there’s only one more step – get moving!! Getting dressed in your workout gear motivates you to get active and serves as a constant reminder that you should exercise. You can change back into comfy clothes later. The simple act of getting dressed and getting started begins the process of starting to change our habits and our associations around exercising regularly.
BEAT THE NEGATIVE MINDSET. To some, just the word ‘exercise’ triggers instant exhaustion and negative connotations. Shifting your perspective and emotions attached to exercising is one of the biggest motivators and hurdles. You don’t have to adore exercise or turn into an athlete; you just have to shift your mindset from it being your most dreaded activity to something that will make you feel great, healthy and set a good example for people around you.
Tell yourself that you can quit after you’ve walked to the front gate, or out to the garden, by giving yourself an out, it is easier to start, and once you’ve gotten to the front gate you can keep going or go back inside – most of the time, we’ll keep going because we’ve made it this far, but if you do want to go back to bed or the couch today, that’s ok, you gave yourself permission. But the key is to do it again tomorrow and maybe walk a bit further, or go a bit longer.
MIX IT UP. Exercising doesn’t have to be in a gym environment where you’re comparing yourself to others or paranoid that everyone is watching you and judging you (and now of course this isn’t an option with our recent lockdown changes any more). Exercise comes in many forms! Walking around your neighbourhood, riding a bike, swimming, skipping, yoga, pilates. Mix it up so that you don’t get bored and tired of repetition. There are some wonderful free classes on YouTube that you can do within your own home and don’t need any equipment, or put on some of your favourite music and just dance to it and you get the added benefit of music making our minds feel so good as well.
SET GOALS. Goal Setting is an incredibly powerful tool. When you set yourself a goal, you immediately start feeling motivated to achieve it. You’re challenging yourself and visualising the outcome you want from doing it. Every step in your exercise journey takes you closer to the goal and drives you to reach it and be a better version of yourself. To hold yourself even more accountable, tell someone about your goals, so that you can have some external motivation, or even better yet, rope them into some goals of their own and you can work on them together.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a big deal, its just about getting your body moving doing something you enjoy. Take the pressure off and just do it, laugh, have fun and don’t take it too seriously!