Exercise motivation down the pan? How to maintain a routine when WFH – Expert tips

Joe Wicks hits head on ceiling during PE With Joe workout

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Whether you’re busy with work or running ragged trying to sort home-schooling in between Zoom meetings, it can be difficult to pencil in a few minutes for just you. Especially when all you want to do in those precious stolen moments is just have some peace and quiet, and maybe a nap. Getting your cycling helmet or running shoes on may seem too daunting a challenge right now, but a bit of exercise will help not only your physical health, but also your mental health.

Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment, helping to relieve tension and stress and boosting physical and mental energy.

This is because when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins.

These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, which some claim is similar to that of morphine, and act as a natural painkiller.

Dr Martin Yelling, Performance Coach & Garmin Ambassador, says there are five key ways to help you establish and maintain an exercise routine when working from home.

Be kind to yourself

The key way to help boost your motivation levels is to stop being so hard on yourself.

You don’t need to set unrealistic targets of exercising for 45 minutes a day when you know you’ll really only be able to commit to three days a week.

Dr Yelling said: “Being realistic about what you can commit to, as well as when and how much means you are way more likely to stick to it than setting lofty and ambitious targets that aren’t realistic.

“Start small and then build. You’re better to under promise and over deliver than over promise and become frustrated.”

Schedule your workout opportunity

Whether it’s a 7am start before you log in for work, a quick run on your lunch break, or even a walk around the block while your partner puts the kids in the bath, pencil some time out of your hectic schedule just for you.

Dr Yelling said: “When you work from home the hours (and days!) can blend seamlessly together.

“Segmenting your day and identifying a time slot to complete your work out can help you orientate your day, break up your workday, get you started and keep you motivated.”

Change location

Getting out and about is vital for our mental health, especially after having been stuck at home for the last 12 months.

Martin said: “When working from home breaking up your day by actually leaving the house and changing your environment can help you feel refreshed, energised and ready to face home working again.

“A simple change of scene, outdoors, in nature, ideally in daylight really helps.”

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Avoid procrastination

The issue that’s holding most people back – choosing the soda over the running shoes.

Dr Yelling warned not to let home comforts get the better of you. He said: “It’s always easy to stay in, get on with that ‘next’ piece of work that needs doing and miss your workout.

“Prioritising your time to exercise will make you feel better, your day flow more smoothly, you’ll feel better and probably be more productive.”

Your health is the most important thing so should be prioritised.

Set a personal progress goal

Dr Yelling explained: “This needn’t be too hard but something you can track and monitor your progress on.

“Wearables are a great way to do this. It’ll track your pace, running speed and heart rate making personal progress visible and achievable.”

Investing in technology is a great way to encourage yourself as well as to monitor your progress. Check out Amazon’s best selling smart watch deals here.

He explained: “There are also a plethora of exercise apps available that will help you stick to your regime.

“The Garmin Coach is an example of this, which allows users to send an adaptive training plan to a compatible Garmin watch.

“You also get to choose a virtual expert running coach and your race goal, then receive guidance with a free training plan that includes dynamic workouts selected for you.

“These workouts sync to your watch and will adjust to get harder or easier based on your performance in the plan.

“You choose from one of many plans that best fit your race goal, and receive dynamic workouts based on your abilities.”

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