Pandemic or not, you’d have to be superhuman not to struggle occasionally (or even frequently) with wanting to work out. What with 2020’s cancelled and postponed races to consider too, it’s totally okay if getting your kit on feels harder than ever. But it doesn’t mean you have to kiss your fitness goals goodbye.
As with anything, motivation is key, along with a sprinkling of goal-setting, mental strategies and blue-sky thinking. To help you keep up the momentum, we asked a few fitness pros on how they maintain their drive, even when the other 164 things they need to do in a day are screaming for attention.
So resist dipping into that bank of excuses and get that session done, with a little motivational inspo from the pros.
Amy Hunt – World u18 record holder for 200m and European Junior 200m and 4 x 100m Champion @a.myhunt
‘It’s very important to remember why you started, whether that’s a specific fitness goal, trying to improve your mental or physical health, for enjoyment or something else. It’s important these reasons come from within yourself.
‘Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture allows you to see how much you’ve developed since you first started. By appreciating your journey so far you can remind yourself that you’re more than capable of achieving your goals and that you have all the motivation you need inside of you.
‘When training isn’t going very well or I’m really stressed out from my studies, I like to remember when I was the one in the stands watching my idols compete. I remember being at both the London 2012 Olympics and the 2017 World Athletics Championships and how badly I wanted to race against the people who inspired me the most.
‘I find it really helpful to just remember my younger self and also my love for the sport. That inspires me to work through any problems and push harder to make my own dreams a reality.’
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Faye Edwards – group exercise manager at Third Space and fitness presenter @fayes_fitness
‘My motto is to live stronger for longer. Knowing that how we look after ourselves today will have an impact later in life is something that really drives me. Another focus I keep in mind is the positive and empowering feelings that fitness gives me, as apposed to working out for aesthetic reasons. Strength training has supported me to be more resilient and overcome life’s challenges with a much more positive mental attitude.
‘There may be off days but that’s okay; just remember that great sense of accomplishment after a workout. Even if it’s not always the best performance, it’s fine, because you did it! And something is better then nothing.’
Kate Rowe-Ham – PT and spin instructor @katerh_fitness
‘When I actually learnt about the real benefits of fitness for my body, during my Level 3 PT course, I stopped working out for the scales. I’ve always loved fitness but my mindset was all wrong. Understanding the benefits that good movement and diet have for overall wellbeing now provides me with all the motivation I need to start and stick to a programme.
‘When I plan and envisage the week ahead, it helps me stay focussed. I appreciate life can get in the way, but if you put it in your head or diarise your sessions like you would a meeting, you’re more likely to commit.
‘Signing up for an event or challenge, with a friend for added motivation, can also encourage you to keep moving and avoid making excuses. If raising money for a charity close to your heart inspires you, then that could give you added drive. It will make all the difference to your training goals knowing that you’ll be helping others.’
Kirsti Buick – WH junior fitness editor @itsmekirsti
‘I’ll be honest, getting moving first thing in the morning is not always what I feel like doing. But when I’m tempted to roll over for a few more minutes of snoozing, l always ask myself this question: ‘If you do this workout, how are you going to feel later?’ The answer is always the same – I’ll feel more energised and I’ll be more productive. I’ll be able to concentrate better at work, and I’ll sleep better that night.
‘Whether I’m lacing up to get out on the road or unrolling my mat for a home workout, I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something; something that’s important for my own health and wellbeing – and all before breakfast! Usually that’s enough motivation for me to kick off the sheets and get to it. Cliché, but it rings true for me: exercise is self-care.’
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