Have you noticed that you’ve stopped moving over the past few months? Between loss of incidental activity (say taking the office stairs or walking from the car) and the shutdown of gyms and sports schedules, it’s logical that many of us would become a bit idle. Why does it matter?
Unfortunately, inactivity can be self-perpetuating, as our bodies become stiffer and less flexible and lack of positive feedback from endorphins and fitness gains make us feel, well, ‘blah’. Simply, there are solid physiological and psychological reasons why not moving makes it hard to move. So how do you reset your body and mind and kickstart your new routine?
- Set a goal. Well-considered SMART goals will provide structure and keep you accountable, which is particularly useful when you don’t have the support of your usual trainer or coach, team or fitness group. To fuel motivation, it is important to choose a goal that is genuinely desirable or important to you. Maybe you want to do a fun run in December. Your goal could relate to body composition. Or it could simply be being able to play a full round of backyard cricket with the kids.
- Join or create an online or social media group related to your goal - think a group created around your event or activity. This will help to provide support and positive feedback as you work towards your goal. If you prefer, you may choose to enlist a friend as an accountability partner and check in regularly by phone or email.
- Make it fun. Choosing an activity you enjoy, or at least don’t find torturous, will remove barriers to exercising. Within this, keep your demands of yourself moderate. This will not only help to guard you from psychological burnout, but help to guard against pain and injuries that may come from over training. Finally, science says that your workout ‘fit and playlist can reinvigorate your get-up-and-go. (Hello, neon trainer and iTunes!)