The World Health Organization has recommended at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or a combination of both throughout the week. That’s at least 30 minutes of movement, five times per week., but many of us seem to find it challenging to maintain our daily routines as we learn to adjust with the new normal.
It can be challenging to stay motivated to keep up with exercise when we have to deal with the stress of working from home and having limited access to gyms if they are even open.
An inactive lifestyle can have detrimental effects on our health, wellness, and quality of life; however, maintaining an exercise routine at home can seem more like a ‘should’ than a ‘want to’ right now.
With so many people trying to adjust to their new normal, staying active can seem like much less of a priority. However, even a small amount of activity can make a difference to your overall physical and mental health. In a time when gyms are closed due to stay-at-home government guidelines, running is one of the most convenient exercises to do on your own.
Here are some tips on how to keep up the pace at home.
Remind Yourself of Why You Run
There are ups and downs to trying to keep the pace. Instead, acknowledge the difficulty and remember why you picked up the pace in the first place. Maybe you have a favorite mantra that you like to remind yourself of. If you stumble over that mental roadblock, remember the goal you set up for yourself – running faster over a certain distance, the total distance you’ve run, or even pushing your longest distance yet. The point is to have some kind of personal goal to measure each run against, giving you more reason to head out there with a purpose.
When your running feels like “should” than “want”, this can weaken your motivation. Words can be very empowering and transforming your choice into “desire” can be the motivation you need to hear. Inspire yourself to run and commit to your goal.
Invest in Equipment
The gym isn’t the only place to get that fat-burning heart-pumping cardio workout. You can do so at the comfort and convenience of your own home. If you have space available at home, a treadmill is a great investment to keep you motivated to run. When you’ve got your equipment at home with you, not being able to go to the gym won’t be an excuse anymore.
By having a treadmill at home, you don’t have to take countless turns around the hallway of your home and risk slipping or bumping into something. Just make sure you get a quiet one. You don’t want to disturb the neighbours, especially if you live in an apartment. Treadmills are naturally noisy machines but nowadays, quiet treadmills are available for you to enjoy the advantages of a healthier lifestyle at a sound operation.
Dress The Part
Even if you’re stuck at home and could run in your pajamas, there’s no reason why you can’t stick to your routine of dressing up the part for your workout. Putting on your running gear can set the tone for the day and make you feel more at ease to wear something you normally wear on your runs. According to Professor Carolyn Mair, author of “The Psychology of Fashion”, “Keeping a routine helps us maintain a sense of control and degree of normality in times when we are feeling a lack of control which leads to stress and even anxiety.”
What you wear can help you remain focused and increase your productivity. This is also a great opportunity to dress up for yourself and gain more confidence and positivity as you go about your activities. To continue what Mair has said, “what matters more than the actual garments we wear is that they help us feel good.” Not only will you look good, but you’ll also feel great afterwards.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
Variety is the spice of life. You may be comfortable with your current workout regimen but don’t be afraid to shake things up with your running. You might find that the more you keep things fresh, the more enjoyable the activity becomes.
If you become complacent in your routine, it can easily become mundane. Progress can turn stagnant which can lead you to become unmotivated and less focused in the end.
When you’re feeling stumped in your goal, when the going gets tough, don’t be afraid to take a break, rechannel your energy and try something new. By varying your motivation and trying out different things, you may be able to discover many things about yourself and improve aspects of your running that you haven’t given priority before. This renewed focus and interest in your activity increases awareness and more motivation.
Give Yourself Something to Look Forward to
It’s normal to feel frustrated when you can’t do your usual routine. Everybody is feeling this right now and you’re not alone. Don’t beat yourself up over it but enjoy experimenting with new workouts at home until you find something that sticks with you. If you feel your motivation starts to wane, remember how good it felt to sweat out all of your stress and worries away with a good workout and regularly review your goals and progress. Seeing your progress can boost your self-esteem.
It may also help keep your motivation elevated if you reward yourself to celebrate your success, big or small. It doesn’t have to be a grand reward. Rewarding yourself for meeting milestones can be as simple as ordering online something you’ve had your eye on for a while, having a pamper day at home, or indulging in a cheat day.
Incentives have a positive effect on keeping up the pace at home because you know you’ll be getting something that is of value to you.
Just Do It
Maybe Nike was on to something when they popularized “Just do it”. Action often comes before motivation. There are days when motivation is hard to come by and it may span for some time. The idea here is that just like a relationship, motivation needs to be nurtured to sustain itself.
You may not feel very motivated to keep running at the moment. Thinking of your running and the activities associated with it might overwhelm you and you find yourself not taking action. It’s normal. Some people don’t always look forward to their workout but somehow, find ways on how to work around demotivation.
How? You may ask? The answer is simple. Just start. Try choosing one simple task that you can do to chip off that wall of goals you want to achieve. When you find your flow, you end up having more progress than when you’ve originally started from. There is no need to pressure yourself into performing big leaps of effort. It’s the discipline of doing something little by little with determination and grit that makes the difference.
Reiterating the WHO’s recommendations on exercise, you’ll end up thanking yourself in the long run. Keeping up the pace at home requires determination, discipline, and motivation. When you practice consistency, you’ll find that the goal that intimidated you from the start is a goal you have already conquered.