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Motivation through isolation

Written by Lee Mullins, Exercise Physiologist with integratedliving

Our lives have recently changed due to COVID-19 restrictions which has resulted in our normal everyday routines changing. 

For a lot of people, this means working and exercising at home which can be a completely new and strange experience.  Although we are grateful to be able to work from any place with an internet connection, motivation can be hard to come by with many distractions and lack of routine.  Believe me, you are not alone!   

Below are some tips that can help improve your motivation to get moving:

1. Set goals

Start with simple goals then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too long term.

For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes per day five days per week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days per week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5km walk.

2. Make it fun

Find exercise that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep it fresh and interesting.  If you’re not enjoying your workouts, then try something different. Remember, you’re more likely to stick with an exercise program if you enjoy it!

3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine

Yes, most people are busy and can be hard to find time for exercise, but this is something that is important for your health (mental and physical) and needs to be prioritised. Schedule times and days for exercise sessions as you would with any other important activity – check weekly planner example below.

Research has found that sitting for long periods of time may negatively affect your health, even if you otherwise get the recommended amount of weekly activity. If you sit for several hours per day at work, aim to take regular breaks during the day to move.

4. Put it on paper

Write down your goals. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise and writing your goals down on paper may help you to stay motivated!

5. Join forces with friends, neighbours or others

You’re not in this alone. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise.  Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your kids.

6. Reward yourself

After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savour the great feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise.

7. Be flexible

If you’re too busy to work out or simply don’t feel up to it, take a day off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as possible. 

If you are unsure what sort of exercises are right for you, or you need a friendly face to help with motivation or accountability, try speaking with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for an individualised exercise program. integratedliving is currently providing virtual programs with regular coaching with our Exercise Physiologists. 

Interested in chatting with an exercise physiologist?