Don't let your fitness suffer just because you can't go out.
As we saw the doors to gyms across the country close, our workouts are mostly confined to the living room…right next to the sofa. Not only is Netflix calling, social distancing means we should only be leaving the house when completely necessary, and our usual routines are on hold. Without the gym, equipment you’re used to, and friends to keep you going, you may be struggling for motivation. That’s why we spoke to Kevin Jackson, Head Coach at the ‘UK’s Best Crossfit Gym’ Form Leeds, to get his top tips on keeping fit at home.
“Looking after our health and keeping fit should be part of our regular routine, and it’s more important now than ever,” says Kevin. “We’re all experiencing a complete change in our lifestyles. Working out won’t just improve your fitness and stop you feeling sluggish when you’re at home all day, it will give your mood and mental wellbeing a boost.”
Top tips for keeping motivated
This is first because staying motivated relies on your consistency and persistence to build habits. Habits are the actions you perform every day, and the more consistent you are with exercising regularly, the more it becomes a natural part of your day and less of a chore. Be persistent and stick to it.
Creating a clear plan with goals is essential to success. Focus on small, actionable goals, such as on the time you plan to spend exercising. Anything from deciding to exercise three times a week, to doing a fifteen minute workout six days a week. You can have fitness goals to build on too – it could be improving your number of unbroken press ups or how many burpees you can do in a minute. Plan daily, weekly, monthly, or all three. Adapt the plan if it’s not working or things change. Whatever your goals are, stick to the plan. And try not to think too big, it’s all about small wins and taking each day as it comes.
Keep to a routine
Once you have your goals, keeping a routine will help you stick to them and build those habits we talked about. Start the day right, whether that’s waking up and working out, having a shower, or having a coffee whilst checking your emails. Have your routine in place and stick to the plan for each day. Know what time you’re going to work out and prep your workout gear and dedicated space in advance. This all starts the night before – make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night, so you feel energised and ready to start the day.
Create a training plan
If you like to mix up your training, your body still likes a routine so it can adapt. Don’t randomly choose your workout on the day, plan for it. Try doing similar style workouts on the same days of each week. It could be a run on Mondays, yoga or stretching on Tuesdays, and an intense functional fitness, Crossfit or HIIT workout on Thursdays and Saturdays. The duration, intensity and movements used can change, but try stick to the days for that style of training.
Don’t do too much
It’s not just about how hard you work but optimising rest in between workouts – if you’re not getting enough sleep and looking after your nutrition, you won’t reap all the benefits of your training. And don’t beat yourself up if you need a day off, recovery is just as important. If your body feels tired but you still want to move, go for a stroll.
Keep in touch
We may be social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get fit with friends. Set up a Whatsapp with your usual gym class mates, download the Houseparty app and do workouts on video together, or challenge your family to workouts and compare scores. We can still keep each other motivated.
Choose styles of exercise you enjoy, even if it’s dancing around the bedroom to your favourite songs, or walking up and down the stairs. Just move, get a sweat on and let that be the time of day you focus on yourself, and switch off from everything else that’s going on.
“Remember it’s in your head, it’s all about building habits that will stick around for good,” adds Kevin. “Even if you don’t feel like exercising, remind yourself of the benefits and know that you’ll feel better not just afterwards, but in the long-run."
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