• Nicola Dale

How to Motivate Yourself to Workout at Home

1. Set Goals

Women in a forearm plank wearing a purple gym set, white trainers and her hair in french plaits

Goals are great for increasing motivation in all aspects of life. They give you something to work towards and a great sense of achievement and fulfilment when you reach them. They don’t have to be anything big but I recommend having a mix of short and ‘long-term’ goals. (Usually when I talk about long-term goals I mean ones that take 6months plus to reach, but in this case, I’m talking about ones within the time-frame of lockdown).

For example, my ‘long-term’ goal is to perform 3 sets of 8 full press ups. This is a continuation of one of my gym goals which fortunately I can continue at home. My short-term goals tend to be things I set for myself daily such as today I am going to spend 15minutes working on my mobility or I’m going to go for a walk when I drink my coffee in the morning. These may seem like minor things, but when you’re lacking motivation and feeling meh about your workouts, having it written down that you’re going to do these things can give you the extra nudge you need to get moving. And if you’re anything like me you’ll get satisfaction from ticking things of your list each day.

Some goals to try might be:

- Going for a run and seeing how far you can go without stopping. Then setting goals each day to build on this

- To fit in 3 10minute exercise snacks in your day

- Go for a daily walk

- Join an online class once a week

For more fitness goal ideas check out: Fitness Goals and Motivation

This brings me onto point 2.

2. Join Online Classes

There are so many Personal Trainers running online classes for little to no cost, through Instagram lives, Facebook pages and zoom. Whatever your financial situation, time available or ability there’ll be something for you. Joining a class means you have someone there to encourage you to keep going, plus a feeling of you’re in this together with the rest of the class members. There’s also countless home workouts on YouTube, it just takes a little trial and error to find the ones you most enjoy.

Some of my favourite classes to join:

- Lottie Murphy’s Pilates – I take her foundation class via Zoom every Friday morning. She also has lots of free classes on her YouTube to.

- @Esmee-Ldn on Instagram – be prepared to sweat, her lives are intense but so much fun

- @Aliceliveing also on Instagram – She’s currently doing a 28day Challenge where she’s posting a home workout every day. They’re all saved to her IGTV so you can start whenever you like!

3. Hold Each Other Accountable

How you’re feeling about staying active throughout lockdown is probably just how your friends are feeling to. So, work together to keep each other motivated and hold each other accountable.

During the last lockdown, my friends and I did daily zoom workouts, each of us running a different style class every day. It worked wonders and we stayed super active the entire time, so as soon as we knew another lockdown was upon us we set up a schedule and started it again. The best thing about it? We get to see each other most days, making lockdown feel a lot less lonely.

Another way I’m being held accountable is through a WhatsApp group. A girl I connected with through Instagram created it as a space for a group of us to share recipe ideas, fitness goals, achievements and set challenges to give us an extra push. This week we’ve got a step challenge to keep our daily activity high despite the rubbish weather.

4. Focus on Overall Daily Activity

It’s easy to get caught up on the amount of time you’ve spent on your planned exercise, or how many workouts you’ve missed because you’re in a rut. But it’s expected to be thrown off your usual routine during such uncertain times.

Instead of focusing on what you’ve not done, focus on the small things you can achieve. Go for a short walk, spend 5 minutes stretching, break up your day on the sofa with a lap around the house every hour, or focus on jobs around the house you’ve wanted to do for ages but haven’t got around to. You’ll be surprised how much of a workout having a clear out or doing some DIY decorating can be.

Women walking her dog down a cobbled street

Remember be kind to yourself, you don’t need to become the fittest you’ve ever been during lockdown. It’s ok just to focus on getting in gentle movement little and often.

Read more on increasing your daily activity here: Increase Your NEAT.

5. Follow a Plan

Purchasing a plan gives you a clear guide to follow and structure to your workouts. Plans can be super effective at getting results as everything you need to see progress is already built in, meaning you don’t have to think about it. I find if I’ve spent money on something I’m also more likely to stick at it because I want to get my money’s worth.

Before buying a plan make sure it was programmed by a personal trainer. There are a lot of unqualified people selling plans through social media and I wouldn’t recommend giving them your money. The minimum qualification your looking for is a Level 3 Personal Trainer.

However you decide to exercise during lockdown, my main advice to you is to keep things varied, don’t stress about missing a workout, lean on each other for support and motivation and be proud of yourself for whatever you do achieve.

For more tips, workouts to try and to see how I’m working out in lockdown head over to my Instagram @nicolaa_dale.

And for more articles on motivation check out:

- 5 Tips for Making Exercise a Habit

- Reasons to Exercise that aren't Weight Loss

- 5 Tips for Motivation

Until next time,

Nicola X

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