Lockdown Coaches blog 2.4 – By Nicole Taylor
Brian and Alice are tough acts to follow, but I am here to try to deliver some words of wisdom about getting motivated to work out in the middle of a pandemic.I don’t know about some of you guys – but I absolutely LOVE working out. I love coming into the gym, gossiping before a workout, trying to keep up with Pauline on a Saturday morning, coffee at raglan, fistbumping on SugarWOD after class, and I even enjoy a primer. I love sweating, lifting weights, battling away at gymnastics, getting out on my bike, playing squash.
Despite all of that, most days, the thought of working out during lockdown has made me want to stab my eyes out. Every day, even though I know how important exercise is, and that it’s the number one thing that will make me feel better, I can think of 100 things I would rather be doing – and most of them involve being parked up on the couch with a packet of salt and vinegar proper crisps.
I don’t know how many of you are in the same boat, but I thought I could share some tips that I have found that keep me going, as well as some other wisdom I have come across (reading is my change-up from the last lockdown) – hopefully some of these might resonate with you.
If you have found some other things that work for you, please add below – the more the better!
The thing to remember is – the same things will not work for everyone, so if any of these sound ridiculous to you, that’s fine. Just ignore and move on to the next.
1. Focus on “being” goals – this is all about your identity. The research suggests that if you identify as someone who exercises you are WAY more likely to actually get out there and do something. Repeat after me: I AM SOMEONE WHO EXERCISES.
2. Remove as many barriers as you can – make exercising as easy as physically possible. For example, get dressed straight into your workout gear. As silly as sounds, sometimes the thought of getting changed is enough to put me off. If you need to, plan your favourite outfit, leave your shoes somewhere handy. If you are planning on doing a workout with dumbbells, DO NOT store your dumbbells in the attic – get them out and leave them somewhere that’s easy to access.
3. PLAN – and be realistic here. If you need to, schedule time in your work calendar – an important meeting with yourself. or Book this in with your partner / bubble buddy/ kids. And hot tips – make sure you schedule enough time, and schedule for a time that you will actually stick to. I LOVE a sleep in – so there is absolutely no point pretending that I am going to get up early for a workout. That would be setting myself up for failure before I even start the day.
4. Have a designated workout space. I live in a 90 sqm apartment – and this has been a game changer. In the last lockdown, we would convert the home office into a home gym, and then back to a home every day. It was incredibly unmotivating for working out. There’s also a bit of research about having a third place – home, work and some other place – which is usually the anchor of our community time. I’d hazard a guess, that CCW is that third place for most of us. It turns out that having the lounge as ALL OF MY PLACES was a terrible idea. Instead, we now have a wee set up in the hall way. I’d recommend the same – whether it’s a space outside, in your garage or in your hall way like us.
5. Choose something that you actually like! Just because we all do CrossFit in our regular lives DOES NOT MEAN that you need to CrossFit right now. Be kind to yourself and pick something that you actually want to do – whether that’s a walk, a run, a bike ride, a yoga session – that is totally fine. SOMETHING is better than nothing.
6. Find an accountability buddy – this can be virtual or in your bubble. Whether it’s jumping on the live workout, finding a few friends and doing a workout on zoom, or dragging your bubble mate out for a workout. Fitness is more fun with friends!
7. Pick a standard time and place to work out – it is WAY easier if you take the decision-making out of it. If you wake up knowing what time you are going to work out – all you have to do is show up.
8. Reward yourself. Here’s one that could sound a little silly you – like a small child with a star chart, I give myself a tick on the calendar every day I manage to work out for half an hour. It feels SO good to add that tick, and it sucks getting to the end of the day and walking past the empty calendar space. It doesn’t need to be a tick on the calendar – maybe you let yourself watch Netflix while, or after, you have done your workout. I also love listening to podcasts of interviews with CrossFit games athletes. The only time I get to listen to these are while I’m working out.
9. Just start. And if you hate it once you start, then stop.
10. Find a goal – or something to work towards. I am lucky enough to have a rowing machine at home, so I have (possibly foolishly) decided to test and retest my 2k time at the start and end of lockdown. The thought of making that next 2k a little bit easier/faster is what keeps me getting back on the rowing machine every day. Having a challenge or something to work towards might just give you that bit of motivation to get your workout in.
The thing here is, it’s not about getting PBs right now. It’s about making sure you are looking after your mental, physical and spiritual health and staying connected to your friends and family.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
And if your workout involves “bombing a hill” on your skateboard, make sure you wear protection.