With school and university holidays thrown into the mix, living our daily lives at home 24/7 may have become even harder. Finding extra time and motivation to maintain your workout routine or do any exercise at all may feel impossible. But as we’ve raved on and on about in previous articles, keeping up your health and fitness during times of uncertainty and hardship is especially important! In today’s article we discuss tips and tricks to keep your motivation up and stay active at home or outside!

1. Join friends and family online!

Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your close ones! Whether it be over Zoom, Facetime or even Skype, find a medium to reach out to your friends and family and exercise together! Why not invite them to joining the same virtual class (Leap has 20+ virtual classes you can try – email us to start!), or setting a challenge or goal that you have to meet e.g. doing 30 daily push-ups and keeping each other accountable by snapping photos or a quick video.

Exercising with others keeps you accountable, and a little competition makes it fun and might just give you that extra little bit of motivation to get started.

2. Embrace your new ‘gym’ environment

Sure, you might no longer have all the space or racks of dumbbells and kettlebells to work with, but you shouldn’t let this stop your fitness. Find ways to implement your everyday household items into your workout. Some of you may already have ideas and substitutes in mind from the first lockdown such as cans of food, milk or laundry detergent, even the family pet!

Otherwise, simple house equipment such as small hand weights and resistance bands can be found easily from major retail stores, and are extremely useful for bringing more variety to exercises!

At Leap, instructors modify exercises for members both with and without equipment so do not worry if you don’t have equipment at home. (Email us to start!)

3. Exercise as stress-relief

The positive benefits of exercise, especially when regular, on mental health has been proved time and time again. With everything constantly changing around us, it’s essential to take time to unwind and release the tension inside of us.

Exercise lowers stress hormones in our body and stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps enhance mood which explains why we feel so good after a workout.

4. Start small and set realistic goals

Exercise doesn’t always have to be 45 minutes of intense exercise at a time. Make it more manageable by breaking it up into 10-15 minute blocks each day and squeeze them in whenever you have time. For example, are you waiting for lunch to heat up in the microwave?  Rather than reaching for the phone to pass the time, do some push-ups off the kitchen bench-top instead!  Or hold a plank, do some calf raises or squat pulses too.

Activities like skipping, shadow boxing and plyometrics (jumping) are examples of exercises which quickly elevate your heart rate and only need to be performed for short periods of time to be effective!

5. Welcome the new routine!

The best way to keep up regular exercise is to build and stick to a routine. Think about it this way – if you’d always complained about not having time for exercise in your pre-COVID routine, you now have the opportunity to develop a brand new routine, one in which you can carve out space for exercise.

Whether you’re starting from a daily walk outside or doing a virtual class each day, embrace the new routine and come out of lockdown on top!

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