When you’ve got your fitness routine nailed and have finally figured out what motivates you to workout, being put under lockdown can be a bit troublesome... especially if you find it hard to motivate yourself to workout at home.
For those who struggle, how on earth are we supposed to stay on track and continue on our fitness journey with this huge upheaval in the fitness industry?
Struggling with at-home workout motivation? I feel ya...
I know that my workout motivations - like many others out there - lie in hitting up my favourite classes in-person, feeding off the energy of others in class and being spurred on (or shouted at) by your lively instructor. I need to physically be immersed in the workout in order to focus… so the COVID-19 UK lockdown came as quite a curveball.
When the news of lockdown dropped, I for one was aghast. Not only at the thought of the impact it will have on numerous businesses and the self-employed, but also on how I was going to keep up my fitness. I felt incredibly guilty to be worrying about something so selfish, but fitness is key to my physical and mental health. And as it’s a very stressful situation, our mental health needs every help it can get! To be honest, I shed some tears in my initial panic.
But we shall prevail! With everyone across the industry banding together to live-stream classes and offer on-demand workouts, we don’t have to feel alone or despair over fitness whilst being confined at home.
Move At Home
I am astounded that I’ve been working out without physically being next to my beloved classmates and my instructors. It is down to MoveGB having their new service, Move At Home, live and kicking my butt into action.
Hundreds of MoveGB fitness instructors are now streaming their great workouts in the app, and if you're a MoveGB member you can get access to ALL streaming classes no matter where they’re located! From live-streaming to on demand workouts, the MoveGB app is now stuffed full of online fitness which you can explore from only £1 a week.
It’s early days but I want to share some quick tips I’ve discovered so far on how to motivate yourself to workout at home.
How to motivate yourself to workout at home
Find your workout commitment with live-streamed classes
When working out at home, it’s easy to dodge commitment. My previous working from home attitude to at-home fitness revolved around:
- “I’ll do it later”
- “I’m too busy to workout at lunch”
- “I’m too tired to workout after work”
- And the age old… “I just can’t be bothered”
The magic of doing live-streamed workouts at home is that you’re committed to your fitness session. You’ve booked in, an instructor is expecting to see you on screen and you can sometimes see your fellow classmates.
I treat it like an appointment or meeting even if I “can’t be bothered” - I’m holding myself accountable to show up and bring it. I don’t want to be a ‘no-show’ and disappoint the instructor who has put aside their time to make me sweat. And I don’t want to disappoint myself!
But how to commit to your live-streaming class?
- Put your workout straight into your diary once you’re booked in.
- Make sure you give yourself 10 mins beforehand to get ready and set your device up to live-stream your workout - don’t be late!
- Get rid of distractions - tell your housemate/partner/cat to go away for an hour so they don't butt in asking if you want a cuppa while you’re in a downward dog.
- Then focus on yourself and your body for the entire 45 mins/hour. Before you know it, it will be completed and you’ll feel so accomplished.
Get kitted out
It can be an annoyance if you don’t have any fitness equipment at home, especially if you missed out in the mad online rush as thousands jumped online to get kitted out.
But if you only have trainers and a yoga mat, or even just some cans of beans to use as weights, set up a fitness corner or room in your house which has everything you need to quickly burst into a fit of exercise!
I don’t want to have to hunt for my equipment and waste time in getting set-up if I’m already aware that my motivation could be gone in the next 5 seconds. Have your bits ‘n’ bobs laid out clean and ready to go.
Whether you’re following an online workout or just want to have a stretch/pop a squat or 20, having that space specifically dedicated to your body can help you focus and commit to your exercise.
Feed off the energy of your fellow streamers!
With lockdown in place, everyone who treasures their fitness are joining in on the online fitness fun!
I prefer live-streaming workouts as opposed to on-demand ones as I get that precious level of interaction which certainly helps when you’re stuck at home staring at the same old housemate day-in, day-out.
And of course, this interaction helps me focus and show-up to my workout:
- The instructor is on hand to motivate you when they see you flagging.
- The instructor can give advice on moves they can see people struggling with.
- You know that X amount of people are also doing the same moves and are just as out of breath as you.
- The class won’t stop even if you do (no hitting pause!) so I stay motivated to keep up. I also know that if I could hit pause, I’d probably not get back to it.
Everyone’s logging in and getting involved, creating a new kind of community which I haven’t encountered before. It’s a community that serves me a kick up the butt to participate whole-heartedly.
Now is the time to try something NEW
I had my routine and my favourite classes that I attended every week. But now that’s all gone to pot, especially without gyms being open! Silver lining? With fitness classes online on Move At Home, I can now discover a whole new world of workouts!
From twerking and Burlexercise to just trying a new yoga practice, I’m really spoilt for choice with MoveGB. It has put the zing back in my motivation as I can now think outside the box despite being at home. I’m no longer hemmed in by location - I can try something from a London Barre studio one day then a Bristol yoga studio the next!
I have all this fitness freedom at my fingertips now. I’m moving my body in new ways. I can get involved in workouts which I may’ve been a bit self-conscious to try before. If I’m twerking and looking ridiculous… the only witness will be my puppy. And I’m sure he’ll forgive me for putting him through that. Someday.
Ignore the thoughts that are trying to break your motivation
It is so easy to get distracted when working out at home. Thoughts can carry away your focus and when your motivation flounders mid-workout, it can be a real annoyance.
My thoughts range from “Jesus, I need to hoover” to “I wonder what time it is”, and even “I’m really hungry, maybe I can sneak off for a snack without anyone noticing”. And of course “I’m just going to check my phone in case * insert something which isn’t important *”
I thought that yoga would help me really focus, but ironically, the less noise in class, the louder my thoughts. This is something I’m going to be working on, but I found that doing the following helped quieten my mind and focus on the task at hand:
- Selecting 45 min classes definitely keeps me focused fully and less intimidated.
- Putting my phone far, far away.
- Keeping my fitness corner/room clean so I’m not having my face mashed up close and personal with a fluff ridden carpet.
- Wearing my usual workout outfit including trainers - feeling carpet under my bare feet while sweating just doesn’t feel right!
- Ensuring I’ve had a timely snack well before my workout to reduce my cravings.
And above all, I focus on the feeling AFTERWARDS.
The more I workout at home, the more satisfied I feel being at home. After I’ve worked my body, I feel energised, alert for working from home, calm that I’ve dedicated time to my body (and not just to Netflix), my digestion improves quickly… and I sleep deeper.
Even if my tips aren’t enough to get you motivated to workout at home, push through and then cling on to the feeling afterwards. That feeling means the world to me at times like this.
Sophie Saint is part of Team MoveGB and has been a MoveGB member for years - Turn'd Up dance fitness, yoga and BodyPump are the MoveGB workouts she cherishes. She also runs a travel and lifestyle blog with her sister called Saints On Plane. Check her out on Instagram!