My fitness routine falls into three categories: sedentary (shh, I’m watching Gilmore Girls), being active and proper exercise. Being active is taking the stairs rather than the escalator or walking to a destination rather than driving. Then there’s proper exercise. The type that turns your skin a shade of pillar box red and makes your muscles ache for days afterwards.
It’s safe to say all three of those are now a part of my daily lifestyle. We have a dog, I play Roller Derby and to improve my skating skills I run and do HIIT workouts at home.
This all sounds very impressive on paper but I do still struggle with motivation. Exercising doesn’t come naturally to me (post-workout I’m a sight to behold, my friends) and it’s something I have to work hard at just to not give up.
The last few weeks I’ve found myself in and out of my usual routine and although I’m still walking the dog and going to Roller Derby 5 hours a week, I’ve been guilty of opting for the sofa instead of my running shoes on the in between days.
So today, in partnership with Training Zone, the new activewear collection from M&Co, I’m looking at exercise motivators, which I’m hoping I can use as a guide for days when I’m feeling particularly sedentary. They might just give you some ideas too…
1| Have your equipment/kit on show and ready to use. Whatever equipment you use (yoga mats, weights, running shoes for example) having them in sight rather than tucked away in a cupboard will remind you to use them more often. Or if you workout in the morning be prepared to jump straight into your activewear (I couldn’t find my sports bra last week so cancelled my mid-week run – oops).
2| Need some me time? Use exercise as a chance for just that. Granted, it’s not as appealing as a shopping trip, massage or solo cinema trip but it gives you the opportunity to be alone (I’m talking to you mums!). Listen to new music, podcasts or books whilst you’re at it too. Me time is a great exercise motivator!
3| Write down how you feel after exercise. I sometimes look back through old Instagram posts when I’ve talked about a great run/Roller Derby session to give me the kick up the bum to get moving. Nothing beats that endorphin rush post exercise. Remind yourself of that.
4| The non-exercise days feel even better knowing you did something the day before. Mondays and Fridays are my rest days. I love them dearly.
5| Reward yourself. I know I shouldn’t reward myself with food post exercise (I’ve been known to order Pad Thai takeaway after Roller Derby training) but these little rewards might just see you through a gruelling HITT workout. Find a reward that will motivate YOU to keep going.
6| Plan a shopping trip for new workout gear and accessories. I started out wearing regular leggings, no sports bra (eep) and my favourite band tee when I began Roller Derby. When I realised the sport wasn’t just a phase I bought my first ever sports bra and I finally realised the importance of good sportswear. Including some new additions to my workout wardrobe from M&Co (listed below), I’ve got a new sports bag: the Art Medium Travel Tote c/o Kipling, which is now home to my workout gear and Roller Derby kit (currently in the wash!). I prefer monochrome activewear so the bag fits perfectly with its polka dot print, and it’s more than large enough for all my skating equipment and lightweight too. Sporty can be stylish too right?
8| Trouble sleeping? I sleep 100% better after I’ve exercised. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve had a 3 hours Roller Derby session or I’ve simply walked the dog. Lisa, go for a run if you want a good night’s kip!
9| Realise that exercise is less about the results. I often think people give up on exercise because they don’t see immediate results in terms of weight loss. I fell into this trap a few years ago, and it wasn’t until I simply found a sport I enjoyed that I grew less bothered about my weight. Instead, think about the positive physical and mental benefits for your everyday lifestyle.
10| If you’re really struggling to get yourself going make it a social thing. Find yourself a workout buddy, try a team sport or simply ask your partner to give you encouragement. You might just find strength in numbers.
Let me know what keeps you motivated in the comments below!
Disclosure: Collaborative Post