5 Ways To Stay Motivated To Exercise During COVID-19

5 Ways To Stay Motivated To Exercise During COVID-19

Motivation can be hard to come by when your routine has been wrecked and you’re confined to the same four walls every day. While the last thing we need right now is extra pressure to keep up a perfect workout routine, exercise is a useful coping mechanism. It’s a great way to optimise our physical […]

by | Aug 27, 2020

Motivation can be hard to come by when your routine has been wrecked and you’re confined to the same four walls every day. While the last thing we need right now is extra pressure to keep up a perfect workout routine, exercise is a useful coping mechanism. It’s a great way to optimise our physical and mental health and we all need that now more than ever.

RELATED: How To Maintain Your Mental Wellbeing During COVID-19

Here are some achievable ways that you can stay motivated to keep moving while we’re staying safe at home:

1. Find an activity that you actually enjoy

The science of motivation when it comes to healthy behaviours is strongly in favour of making exercise enjoyable. Forcing yourself to slog it through a workout that you don’t like because it’s popular or promises to give you a quarantine booty may not get you active. According to Dr Eleanor Quested, a physical activity and motivation expert at Curtin University, when we do things “because we want to, choose to and enjoy, sustaining motivation is much easier”.

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2. Make it social (distanced obviously)

It’s tough for me being away from my gym. I miss my gym buddies who keep me motivated and make even the toughest workout fun. Although we’re all staying inside and away from one another, that doesn’t mean that we can’t get some socialisation from our workouts. Many gyms are offering Zoom classes where you can still see your friends, or else you could take it online with mates yourself.

3. Set yourself some goals

Goal setting is an important way to keep you on track with exercise. While a lot of big goal events like fun runs have been shelved for the foreseeable future, there’s nothing to stop you making smaller but achievable and realistic goals. It might be something simple like a 30-minute walk every day or perhaps you can use lockdown to focus on a skill that you want to get better at. Ticking off these milestones feels amazing and keeps you going.

RELATED: Dietitian’s Guide To Eating Healthy In Quarantine

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4. Don’t buy into quarantine body shaming

The ‘no excuses’ tribe are out in full force right now, trying to get us all to use this enforced downtime to avoid COVID weight gain or work on your booty goals. This kind of thinking is unlikely to be helpful, according to Dr Quested. This focus on what our body looks like is “not sustainable [for motivation] but it’s also not very pleasant”. Disengage and unfollow anything trying to get you the best quarantine body ever act and instead, surround yourself with people and activities that bring you enjoyment and a sense of accomplishment.

5. Show yourself some compassion

Still not feeling like a run, yoga or quarantine burpees? Fair enough, the world is scary right now so it’s understandable to prefer the couch. Rather than berating yourself, try reaching for some self-compassion – what would you say to a friend in the same scenario? You’d reassure them and tell them that they can try again tomorrow, right? This attitude is more likely to get you moving than being cruel to yourself.

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This article originally appeared in the special Coping with COVID issue of The Suite Life.

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