These certainly are interesting times, but things are gradually returning to normal. With the negatives, there are always positives. The time off work has enabled us to reflect on aspects of our life; perhaps addressing your finances, learning new skills, spending more time with your kids and finally, finding a love for exercise!
So if you have started exercising during lockdown, or are new to exercise and struggle to motivate yourself…I am speaking to you today!
With workplaces re-opening, it is likely our daily exercise routines will be put on the back burner because “we’re too tired” or “I don’t have time”. Don’t fall in to this trap. Exercise is great for many reasons and we should all make this a high priority in life.
So take a look at our tips on how and why you should continue to exercise, now that you have returned to work.
- Eat Healthy
Many of us have started to cook and bake with our free time, allowing us to get inventive with healthy meals. It’s very easy to fall back into the same routine of grabbing lunch at work, or a £3 meal deal from Tesco. Save yourself time in the queue, get up early, make a substantial salad and grab some fruit! Maintaining a good diet will not only fuel you better for your day, making you more productive, but also you’ll have more energy to exercise after work. Alternatively, evening meals are a great opportunity to make larger amounts and take to work the following day. Pasta is full of carbs and will keep your engine running.
- Goal Setting
This is a really important one. Even if you’re a regular exerciser or just starting out, everyone should have a goal. It might be that you want to perform better at your sport, lift heavier weights, gain muscle mass or lose weight . Whatever this may be, be clear on what goal you want to achieve with a realistic time scale- this might be before your holiday (fingers crossed air travel resumes before the summer is over!) or a 12 week period. Having a goal is great for your own motivation- always have this on your mind and hopefully this should keep you going.
- Get up Early or Go Straight from Work
Time is perhaps the main reason why our exercise routines drop off. The best way to overcome this…get up early and workout before work. Whether it’s going to the gym (again, fingers crossed for these re-opening soon) or a home workout, plan your session with enough time to shower. Sure, this will be hard to get used to but you’ll feel energised for your working day. Alternatively, go straight after work. Don’t get into a habit of sitting down at home first, because this will often result in you telling yourself: “I’ll go tomorrow instead”. It’s much easier to exercise while your mind is still active from working. Neither option will be easy, so be diligent!
- Invite a Friend
Now that lockdown rules have eased, why not invite a work friend to workout with, whilst still following government guidelines. You can motivate each other, which may just help you to continue your exercise routines. Don’t use the excuse not to exercise because you have to visit someone that you haven’t seen for a long time- get them to exercise with you.
- Incorporate Exercise into Work Travel
If you’re really struggling for time, why not think about cycling or walking to work. This will save you time and a great way to incorporate this in to your work routine. Although, this may not be as intense as your workouts, it’s a great way to maintain motivation. It’s also a good habit to squeeze your glutes whilst at your desk, squeeze you shoulder blades and regular walking every hour to prevent blood pooling. These postural exercises don’t give you an excuse not to do your full workout, but are great additions if for some reason you are tied for time.
- Get your Kids Involved
Having Kids around the house can make it difficult to exercise, so why not get them involved. This is a great opportunity for them to learn about exercise- why it is good for us and why we do it. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with the kids, without realising you’re exercising. Exercising doesn’t always have to be regimented, i.e. going to the gym for an hour… why not go for a kick around at the park with the children instead, or play a spot of Tennis.
- Spare Time for Yourself
I have just mentioned that getting your kids involved is a great idea, but it’s also worth sparing some time to yourself. If you have a partner or spouse that you live with to take care of the children for an hour, use this opportunity to go for a run. It can be good for your mental health to have some time to yourself.
- Get your Money’s worth
For those of you that have bought gym equipment, or bought an App on your phone, don’t waste your money now. Continue to use these tools. We all like clean houses, but why not put the equipment somewhere that reminds you to use it periodically. I always have my resistance bands on the back of my door and weights under my desk and is now a daily routine in the morning to do a couple of sets. These little sessions may not qualify for full routines and you may only do 5 minutes at a time, but will definitely make you feel good to start the day and probably make you want to do more exercise later.
- Improve your Mental Health
We all know the benefits of exercise are countless, but with us all back to work, we are likely to be under more work stress. This is a great reason for you to continue exercising, regardless of the time you have available. If you make exercise a priority, you’ll find time and fit it in. Exercising is known to improve mental health, stress, anxiety and depression, as well as improving general mood, due to the release of endorphins- our “happy hormones”.
- Improve your Sleep
Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep is common among us, and can often result from worries, anxieties, whether it be from work or family issues. Exercise can help your body turn off your mind from daily stresses, and the hard work you put in, your body soon needs to rest. Your body and brain will both want a rest after a day of exercise, and a good sleep can make you feel refreshed and ready for the next day.