So much of our fitness can be determined by our mood. How we feel, how we are thinking about life and what we want to do for ourselves is driven by our mindset and how we are feeling. Even with the best of intentions, the doldrums of winter can get us down, compounded by a pandemic with lockdowns, it’s hard to find motivation to stay fit no matter how much we value their benefits to us.
These are 5 tips for helping to get your head in the game this winter, and yet another lockdown.
1) Stay hydrated – This is one of the most basic things you need to do for your nutrition and general fitness. Being hydrated not only keeps our muscles and joints lubricated, and moves toxins out of the system, it also plays a huge part in our mood and how we feel. If you’re feeling relatively good in the morning, and find your spirits are taking a turn in the afternoon, think about how much water you’ve had. It doesn’t have to just be water, fruit and veg, herbal teas and juices are great for hydration too.
2) Focus on quick wins – We often think that if we can’t go long and hard, that there isn’t any point, but this is simply not true. Our minds work on a reward system and getting things done / ticking boxes. I am a huge fan of a five-minute workout and my Fit in Fives are built on this idea. Feeling the reward of enjoying a quick workout can keep us on track, and often we can trick ourselves into getting 5 minutes done, and once we get going and feeling good, it’s easy to keep going.
3) Grab a friend. This was an easy one pre-pandemic, but even during lockdown (at least here in London), we can meet with one other person outside. Meet a friend for a walk or a run, or join a virtual community – the power of social media for getting a digital pat on the back cannot be under-estimated. The women in my Sol Movement community have never met in person but have grown close and say our community has been“life-giving” during the pandemic.
4) Have a plan. How many times have you shown up at the gym, been overwhelmed with all of the options only to lose motivation when you’re not totally confident with what you should be doing. To achieve results, having a plan gives us assurance that we are working toward something, and making progress. You can find a plan on Pinterest, but I cannot recommend enough hiring a coach to customize a plan for you and your goals – it’s a great investment that you will never regret.
5) Do what you love. This cannot be underestimated. If you think you “should” be doing something, but that thing does not bring you joy, you’re not going to keep going for long, because it’s just miserable! During my weekend runs along the river, I love seeing the swimming club enjoying a plunge in the Thames. They are happy swimming in the cold waters in the brisk mornings because they are doing what they love and enjoying their community. Whether it’s dancing, running, walking, body building, or yoga – find something you love and it won’t be work at all.
6. Everything counts. This is one of the simplest tricks I've found to keep myself on track: letting everything count as a step toward my fitness goals. While juggling all of the responsibilities that we have, prioritizing our fitness and wellbeing can feel like a burden. When we adopt the mindset that everything counts, and we acknowledge the little things that we do to be active, our minds shift from having guilt for what we didn't do, to having joy, and celebrating what we have done. Celebration, even in just the simple form of acknowledging the activity, plays a huge role in maintaining our motivation. During these cold, dark winter months when there is nothing alluring about getting outside for a walk or a run, and especially for those of us in Lockdown, when it's a struggle to find time to get it all done, let the little things count. For me, this has meant dance parties in the kitchen with the boys at 7am, or turning on the activity app on my watch to count playtime with the boys as a workout. Change the definition of what counts as an activity so that you can keep making progress to your goal.
If you’re stuck in a rut, not sure even where to find a plan, and especially if you’re feeling lonely during this winter season and lockdown; if you’re lacking motivation and inspiration, join our community – it’s free and full of women of all level of athletic interests and pursuits and we’d love to help you thrive in 2021. Email me email@example.com to be added to our community.