Staying motivated can be one of the hardest parts about reaching your health and fitness goals. Some days you just can’t find the motivation to put on your sneakers and get a workout in. You create all sorts of excuses to avoid your workout: the bed’s just too comfortable; I still have 8 weeks until my vacation; new season of XYZ series is on and I don’t want to be the only one that hasn’t seen it yet. On top of this, the stress and change in your daily routine from the pandemic has probably added to the challenge as well.
But if you want to start seeing results, consistency is key. Here are some of my tips and tricks for staying on track even through a pandemic:
1. Invest in a coach/trainer
A good coach or trainer will keep you motivated, hold you accountable and help you reach your fitness goals. Now there are even virtual trainers that will coach you right through your phone, in the comfort of your home workout area.
2. Find something you enjoy or try something new
If you don’t enjoy your workout, you’re not going to stick with it. No matter what, it'll always feel more like a chore you don't look forward to. Find something that you actually enjoy and look forward to doing. If outdoors is currently an option for you, go for a walk or a hike, or try something new at the gym. If you’re currently restricted from local lockdown measures, keep an open mind and be flexible: trying a new home workout video may be just what you need.
3. Set a new goal
So you were finally able to finish that 5k you always wanted to run. Congrats! But now the thrill has plateaued and you can no longer find the motivation to get back into your running shoes. You need a new fitness challenge! Take it up a notch and try a 10k next, or try something different like an obstacle race or squatting your weight. There are also many fitness challenges or even fitness challenge apps you can find by doing a simple google search.
4. Reap immediate health benefits
The long-term benefits of being physically active are far and wide, but did you know there are also immediate health benefits?
If you have been feeling stressed by the pandemic, then some physical activity may be exactly what you need.
The CDC says that a single session of a moderate to vigorous physical activity can yield immediate benefits, such as reduced stress, improved thinking and mood! It can also reduce the risk of depression, anxiety and help you sleep better.
5. Don’t wait for motivation
Sometimes your motivation may never get there. And that’s OK. Don’t get caught up waiting for it. Sometimes you just need to not think about it so much and just get a workout in. In the end, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll feel better afterwards, even if it was just light activity.
By: Rachel Yarger, Vegan NPC & NFF Bikini Competitor
Reviewed and fact-checked By: Scarlett Full, in-house Registered Dietitian