Starting a new year can be an exciting and motivating opportunity to make big progress on your fitness goals. But what happens when the new year coincides with the world experiencing a global pandemic? Like it or not, this worldwide event is happening, and is simultaneously taking a big toll on many people’s motivation, habits, and health. So, while it may be advisable to cut yourself some additional slack this year, maintaining healthy habits is important regardless of external factors. Here are 5 tips for reaching fitness goals while in lockdown:
1. Consider a Workout From Home Program
Many people are hesitant to work out from home because they don’t have the right equipment, or feel they aren’t getting a “real workout” if they don’t do their workout in an actual gym facility. But did you know high-intensity interval training is thought to not only be effective but may also help you to burn more calories than you would with other forms of exercise? HIIT workouts can easily be completed from home without fancy equipment, and there are a ton of free resources online. Many online fitness trainers offer free HIIT videos and even 4-, 6-, or 12-week programs which you can schedule into your weekly workout routine to keep you on track.
2. Don’t Underestimate The Power of a Daily Walk
When you are working from home it can be easy to spend the whole day at home without leaving the house. While often underestimated, regular brisk walking has been shown to help with maintaining a healthy weight, improving mood, and strengthening bones and muscles. While working from home it can be all too easy to just work through lunch, or maybe even take a nap on lunch instead of doing something active but taking a 30-minute break at lunch to allow yourself to de-stress and add some movement to your day. Not only will this boost your mood (and potentially work performance), it can also help to keep you motivated and in shape!
3. Consider Hiring a Healthy Meal Prep Company
Many people put a lot of guilt and pressure on themselves to cook extravagant and healthy meals while in lockdown because they feel they should have the time since they are home all day. However, in reality with this pandemic, many of us are actually busier than ever! Whether you’re a parent trying to juggle homeschooling alongside your full-time job or a professional in a booming industry, it’s important to realize that staying home has not made us less busy. If you are working hard towards fitness goals, but you don’t feel you have enough time to cook high-quality, nutritious meals, consider purchasing prepared meals from a healthy meal prep company. This can help you to stay on track with your goals, while not adding the extra task of cooking.
4. Find a Virtual Workout or Accountability Buddy
Staying motivated when it feels like the whole world is drinking wine from their couch is tough. Finding a friend to hold you accountable for your at-home workouts can be key to ensuring you don’t skip any of your scheduled activities. Start with scheduling online workouts 2 or 3 times per week and consider either doing the workout videos at the same time or even over a streaming software such as Zoom.
5. Set Smaller, More Reasonable Goals
If your goal is to lose 50 pounds over the next year, consider looking at your goal on a monthly (or even weekly basis) rather than on a year-long scale. Instead of focusing on the 50 pounds, you may want to lose over 1 year, consider focusing on the 4 pounds you will lose in one month. By breaking up your goals into smaller tasks it helps to maintain motivation without triggering overwhelm. Oftentimes, we give up on our goals when they feel too difficult or totally unachievable. Focusing on smaller components of your goals may help to keep your motivation game strong.
While the pandemic won’t last forever, the healthy habits you put into place today can. No matter how far you feel from your goals today, you will be one step closer tomorrow if you just start. The best way to keep your motivation going is, to be honest with yourself and support yourself where necessary to stay motivated with your fitness goals during the lockdown.