The COVID-19 pandemic has been both physically and emotionally challenging. The entire world is experiencing the impact of anxiety that came with fighting the worldwide health emergency and a complete change of lifestyle. The new work from home culture has worked as a catalyst in creating a sedentary lifestyle where lack of workout motivation has been a common experience. And there are studies that prove how this has impacted the overall mental wellbeing of people.
According to a survey of 1600 people by the Public Library of Science, those who experienced anxiety and depression during the pandemic were also found to be the least active. And limited access to gyms and workout equipment was one of the leading reasons for low levels of physical activity.
Importance of Staying Motivated
People who associated physical exercise with appearance ended up lacking fitness motivation when the pandemic locked us inside our homes with no one to meet. But working out has more benefits than just an impressive appearance, such as:
- Improved immune system
- Better brain function
- Improved mood
- Better bone and muscle health
- Reduced cardiovascular risk
- Increased energy levels
- Improved sleep quality
There are endless reasons to exercise consistently, and it is up to you to keep the fitness motivation alive.
To help you in your journey, we have some suggestions on how to stay motivated to work out. Read on.
An Exercise Plan for Consistent Workout Motivation
Follow these steps to create an effective workout routine:
Understand That We Are in a Pandemic –
Guilt is a common feeling when you are not able to accomplish big workout goals. And guilt can often set us further back. So, it is important to tell yourself that we are in a pandemic and not feeling motivated is only natural. Stop beating yourself up for not meeting your own expectations. If you are able to run even a kilometre, give yourself credit for that. Be kind to yourself and set realistic expectations.
Prioritize Workouts –
Motivation means keeping yourself going despite the odds. So, do a little every day, even if that means doing a couple of simple cardio exercises. You do not need to follow complex workout routines. Stick to the basics and make sure there is some physical activity each day to keep you motivated and in a good mood.
Find the Most Convenient Time –
You do not need to stick to a schedule if you usually have busy days with work and life all happening at the same place. Find time to do a round of push-ups or a short rope-skipping session between Zoom calls. Exercise whenever it works for you and create healthy patterns.
Do What You Enjoy –
If you can’t manage to exercise at all because of stress, anxiety or workload, find out what you enjoy. If you like a good yoga session or a leisurely walk, make time for it, even if it is just 20 minutes a day. You will be able to get rid of the feeling that you are not doing anything.
Track Workouts –
Rather than aimlessly trying to get in shape, set a definite goal and track your progress. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated. A fitness tracker or even a smartphone app will be very beneficial.
Be Consistent –
It is alright to have off days. But instead of completely skipping workouts, try doing basic and short exercises to stay consistent. If needed, team up with a friend so that you can keep each other motivated.
Other Important Tips to Stay Motivated to Workout
Try New Things –
Now that you are working out mostly at home, you can comfortably start trying new activities, such as Pilates, line dancing, boxing, etc. All you need to do is research helpful YouTube videos for a good start. Something new to look forward to will keep you motivated.
Create Your Own Home Workout Space –
So what if you can’t go to the gym for some more time? Set up your own home gym to keep yourself motivated. Replace heavy machines with simple yet effective home workout equipment. You can also diligently follow a workout routine with something as small as a resistance band.
Eat Healthy –
Food greatly influences our mood. So, be conscious of what you’re putting in your body. Avoid foods that make you feel lethargic. Start your day with a healthy drink or meal. Simple eating habits will help you see changes and motivate you further.
Take Virtual Fitness Sessions –
Find a virtual instructor for help and motivation. Just a simple Google search, and you will find several virtual fitness classes. This is also great for people who have just started working out during the pandemic.
Use Everyday Cues as Prompts –
Anything can act as a cue. For example, your favourite news program can be your prompt for your treadmill routine, or finishing dishes can be your reminder to walk. These simple cues will create a habit and help you continue without faltering.
This pandemic is tough for everyone, but it will eventually come to an end. The best thing you can do for your body and mind is to continue exercising. So, focus on short-term goals and keep yourself motivated to achieve the long-term goals, such as better overall health and a sharper mind. Simple changes now can have a wonderful impact on the rest of your life.