As if it wasn’t already hard enough to find the motivation to exercise when we had access to gyms, fitness groups and sporting clubs, now with social distancing and so many places being closed, we need to find the motivation to exercise by ourselves at home.
Our society is no doubt facing a stressful and unprecedented time with Covid-19, however it is even more important during this time to try and maintain a sense of normality and staying active can help with that. I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that we should still consider remaining active. Firstly, research shows that exercise can support our immune system and secondly, exercise is proven to support our mental health.
Other associated benefits are:
- Reduce stress
- Improved mood
- Maintain strong healthy muscles and bones
- Boost energy levels
- Reduce the risk of chronic disease
- Improved sleep quality
Below are some of my suggestions to help everyone maintain a strong exercise regime during this time:
- Goal setting & routine
Having a clear goal and a set routine will make staying active so much easier. Your goal should ideally be a SMART goal as this will make you accountable in achieving it.
The following diagram explains exactly how to design a SMART goal. An example of a SMART goal would be: “I want to walk the dog for 30 minutes per day, for every week that we are social distancing”. This goal has specific and realistic targets that need to be met with an appropriate timeframe that it should be done for.
Everyone is completely different but a good way to stay active and motivated is to have a routine or schedule to follow that is written down either in your phone or on a piece of paper. You can do the same work out every day or you can try different forms of exercise each day, but having it written down means it is easy to follow and less chance of skipping days.
- Different forms of exercise
There are so many ways to stay active even though many facilities are no longer accessible. The type of exercise you choose should be something you know that you will enjoy and will adhere to. As long as we adhere to the 2 meter rule, we are allowed to exercise in our neighbourhood and parks, which means that walking, running and riding are all forms of exercise we can continue to participate in. Dancing, yoga or Pilates are also forms of exercise that can easily be done in the comfort of your home with no equipment. Whatever form of exercise you choose, just make sure you have fun!
Instagram is not only a good place to stay in social contact with everyone, but it is also a great way to find new at home workouts. There are so many fitness accounts on Instagram that post-free video workouts daily that you can easily replicate at home whether you have equipment or not. If you’re someone who likes having someone show you exactly what to do, it’s a perfect way to work out and find new exercises and workouts to try!
- Find a buddy
Unfortunately, due to social distancing this doesn’t mean find a friend to exercise with, it means having someone to keep you stay accountable and vice versa. If you have a friend that enjoys the same forms of exercise then you can both share workouts with each other and ensure that you both complete them. FaceTime or Zoom are great ways to stay in touch with friends while following social distancing measures and can be a great way to workout together without actually being together.
- Running apps
If you are someone who loves running, or even someone who wants to try running, phone apps can be a great way to become or stay motivated. There are so many free apps available to download that can track your runs, so that you can compare your times and even set goals to beat previous runs. If you aren’t someone who normally runs but would like to give it a go there is an app called “Couch to 5km” which is a program designed to help people who are beginning running. If you don’t need a program to assist you and more just want to time your runs “Map my run” and “Nike run Club” are two free apps (there are so many more too!).
- Home workout exercises
Keep an eye out on our next blog, as our exercise physiologist Samantha has put together a great home exercise routine.
Goodluck to everyone! Let’s stay healthy and active together.
By Jess Pratley
Jess works full time at our Thornlie Clinic. Book your Enhance experience online or call us today!