How to stay motivated to workout at home

Let me start by saying, I miss the gym and I’m positive that I’m not alone in this. It’s become such an important part of my daily routine and it’s so relaxing for me. But I would rather stay home and look after my wellbeing given everything that’s going on in the world right now. With COVID-19 causing chaos across the world, many of us who like to focus on fitness are now retreating to our homes to complete our workouts, and that’s a really good thing. Apps like Fitbit and trainers like Alice Liveing and the Body Coach are offering free online services and routines to help people keep fit during this time, and it’s incredibly positive to see people coming together for the right reasons. Yet, having the resources at your fingertips doesn’t always make it easy to stay motivated, especially when your home is now your safe haven, your office, your gym and everything else in between. So how can you stay motivated and keep the momentum going with your home workouts?

  1. Follow a plan

If you’re like me, having a structure is everything. If you have a training plan that you would typically follow in the gym, try to adapt it for the home environment, where possible. I’ve been using my coffee table for dips, my stairs for box jumps and my breakfast bar for varied press-ups, and I’ve also invested in a variety of weights to serve different purposes (16kg kettlebell for lower bodies exercises and 8kg for upper body). But if you don’t follow a routine and just tend to opt for what’s machine or class is available, start one. Follow the guidance of people like the previously mentioned Alice Liveing and the Body Coach on Instagram – they’re full of great, helpful tips that will encourage you to keep moving. 

2. Stick to a routine

When do you usually work out? Is it before work, during your lunch break or in the evening? And how often do you usually workout? Whenever you’d usually squeeze in a gym session or fitness class, stick to that routine. If you’re working remotely right now, get up at your usual time, set up your environment to your liking and just get your workout done. You’ll feel a lot better for it.

3. Track your activity

I often find that it’s hard to know how far you’ve come if you don’t keep track of what you’ve been doing. If this social distancing/ self isolation period lasts for a few weeks or more, it might be quite hard to remember what you’ve been doing in your day-to-day (especially if it feels like you’ve been sat on your bum for the majority of the time!). Fitbit helps me stay incredibly motivated because all my data is visible in one place. I’ve set up goals of how many times I want to exercise per week and how much I want to move each day, and I try to stick to this. Whether you want to fall back in love with your fitness tracker, download an app like Nike Run Club to keep track of your runs, or if you simply want to create an Excel spreadsheet to mark your progress (and routine), do whatever works best for you. And at the end of all this, it may help you to set new targets when you get back into the gym. 

4. Make it fun

There’s nothing worse than doing exercise that feels like a complete chore. If you haven’t got the heavy weights to hand that you’d usually enjoy using, consider investing in an alternative like resistance bands – they’re easy to store, affordable and help you feel as though you’re working your muscles. Or if you want to do something else entirely, why not try Pilates or Yoga – something a little more soothing during this period of uncertainty? There are so many videos on YouTube readily available to you, now is as good a time as any to find a new passion to reignite your love of exercise and keep you from getting bored. 

5. Phone a friend

If you’d usually train with a friend or value the group mentality of a class and you’re now having to workout alone, it can feel quite lonely – and that’s not motivating at all. But technology is a wonderful thing and at this time, it can help you to stay connected to loved ones. Consider hosting daily or weekly FaceTime/ Skype/ WhatsApp group workouts, where you and your gym pal(s) follow the same workout routine at the same time. It might not be the same as physically having them in the room, but they can help to spur you on, and even help to make you feel a little bit competitive again. 

These are just some tried and tested tips from me to you. But I’d like to know, what’s keeping you motivated?

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