How to motivate yourself to exercise during the pandemic

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

From our diet, sleeping time, to our workout schedules the pandemic has disrupted our daily routines to the point of upheaval – a total paradigm shift that has left us bereft and losing motivation to do the things we normally love doing. But despite the lack of desire to workout, exercise and maintaining our health have become more crucial now than ever before.

Among many other reasons, working from home may be one of the biggest factors why we lose this motivation to do physical activities. Although some might say that working from home gives us more time to do things we usually can’t do before the pandemic, most will argue that working from home consumes most of our time, as the lines between our work and personal lives are blurred to inexistence.

Aside from that, there are the errands to consider as well. Sure doing exercise only takes a few minutes, but piling up on all the work are the personal responsibilities we have to see through at home, chipping away once again from our energy usually reserved for working out.

Exercise is more crucial now

Exercise doesn’t just lower our risks for developing metabolic and cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, but it also decreases our chances of acquiring infectious diseases such as COVID-19. And now, more than ever, taking responsibility for our own well-being is more crucial. This is because despite the many changes, the fact that exercising is the best way to boost, not just our immune system, but mood as well still remains.

As exercise improves overall cardiovascular and pulmonary healthy, the better our body fights off infections. Apart from physical integrity, mental integrity also plays a role in improving our immunity. Recent studies suggest that mood disorders may be linked to an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. So all-in-all, exercise as both a physiological and mood improvement intervention greatly helps build your defenses against viral threats, large or small. 

This is not to mention all the other benefits of exercising that help protect the integrity of our immune systems, such as improving sleep. And, although it doesn’t sound important now, exercise helps us age well too. Looking at all the reasons why exercise is beneficial for us, really should make sense that we make the effort to stay motivated to stick to our routines. But that, as we all know, is really easier said than done.

So in case you needed some extra help with staying motivated, here are a few tips from the Pinoy Fitness team:

1. Make space in your home

Given the circumstances we are in, setting a certain area in your home where you can relax and put your mind at ease may be able to help keep a positive attitude. This area may also be your regular exercise space. Having this space can remind you that you have it ready for use anytime you want or need it. All you really need is a mat or a towel. There are a lot of things that you can do with those two.

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2. Dedicate just the right amount of time

They say that quality is better than quantity. This applies to your workouts as much as it does with everything else. This suggests that dedicating the right amount of time for your workout sessions is important. Meaning you should strike a balance – don’t over, or under do yourself with the sessions.

All you really need to do right now is focus on maintaining your health. Overdoing your workouts could lead to injuries that you really don’t need right now. Give yourself some proper rest in between workout days.

For days of work, it may be enough to just give yourself at least 20 minutes of jogging – that should be enough to maintain your cardiovascular health. Gym-goers usually take 45 to 60 minutes of exercise, but that’s should only be done every other day, again depending on your fitness goals.

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3. Set new goals

This will help in keeping you motivated to exercise. People, especially those who are into fitness, are competitive. We love to challenge ourselves to make us better, and we’re always aiming for our next goal.

So set your goals and keep them as your constant reminders for why you’re working as hard as you can amid the pandemic. Set goals, but make sure they’re realistic, such that you can fit it into your ‘new normal’ lifestyle. 

It also helps to write it down and revisit it daily. You’ll see that with every record of your performance that every improvement (and even challenge) can push you to show up to your workout the next day, and the next, and so on.

RELATED READ: 7 Things you can do if you’re not feeling well… (Mentally)

4. Make it fun!

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or ridiculously difficult. It should fundamentally be an activity that you enjoy. Be it an exercise that’s done as a sport, or dancing for exercise, or even a quiet yoga session, if it’s something that you find joy when doing, stick with it.

A good way to also make things interesting is by varying your routines. Mix up your workouts! Who knows? You may even discover your hidden athletic talent and develop a new skill!

Also, try hitting two birds with one stone! Bond with friends over exercise so you can stay healthy while keeping in touch. Plus, working out is definitely more interesting when you have your friends doing it with you. Nowadays, there are lots of virtual workouts done by groups of people. Organize a group exercise through conference calls. Call up the gang, and make exercise your new Friday Zoom shindig.

5. Reward yourself

Last, but most definitely not the least is rewarding yourself. However you view a reward, just make sure you do it. Go ahead and treat yourself after reaching certain goals because you deserve it, after all the hard work you put in just by choosing to show up and exercising.

Get some new workout clothes or a new pair of shoes. Eat that scoop of ice cream. Heck, eat a whole pizza! 

Exercise is one of the important pillars of leading a healthy life. It helps boost a lot of human aspects apart from those already mentioned. It amps up your confidence, stamina, and self-respect. It may be hard, but keep yourself motivated by maintaining healthy thoughts about exercising, and remaining hopeful of achievements. Sometimes, motivation is something that you have to dig deep down within your inner self.

As much as you put in the effort to actually lifting weights, sometimes the most effort goes firstly into maintaining a positive mindset. Remember, don’t think of exercise as a way to look good. Make it fun and not as a punishment to your body. Make it a lifestyle. Stay motivated.

Did this article help motivate you to get on that mat today? If it did, let us know over at the Pinoy Fitness Community! Maybe share a workout video or photo with us!

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