Staying Motivated Working Out at Home
How can we get motivated, then stay motivated to do a workout, when it’s the same routine over and over again?
You’re not alone though. It’s thought that over 1/3 of people in the UK have gained a bit of weight during lockdown. And over a third of them stated that a lack of motivation was the issue.
And it does hold some credit. Workout motivation can drop rapidly when we can’t mix things up. When we can’t have a fresh approach. We don’t have the same options that we did before lockdown, so keeping motivated can be a challenge in itself!
But how can we beat this? Well, we need to get a bit scientific……
Get Dressed Up
You’re probably not leaving the house to do a workout, unless you are running outdoors of course. But if you are doing a home workout, the last thing you want to do is attempt a workout in your pyjamas.
According to The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology published a 2012 study on Enclothed Cognition — the idea that the way we dress affects the way we feel.
People performed better at what they set out to do if they were dressed for the occasion. So, in this study, the subjects did better in attention-based tests when they were wearing a lab coat, then those who were not, suggesting that your attire may even affect your performance.
This can be such a powerful tool when it comes to working out. If you dress for the occasion, you’re far more likely to be ‘ready’ to perform. Instead of doing burpees in a dressing gown, opt for your gym gear, and your motivation will rise.
Once you’re dressed and ready, what else can we use to motivate us?
Fitness apps are very popular, and with good reason. They are great at helping guide you towards a fitness goal, as well as keep you accountable. They offer a structure for a good routine.
In one study on the effectiveness of fitness apps, strength was shown to increase by 3.2% among fitness apps users. While workout frequency went up 3.8%.
However, if you want to create a more sustainable way of reaching your goals, fitness apps may not be the answer. 49% of people during the study stopped using the apps, showing that they can lose their effectiveness after a period of time. Yes, they are fantastic for initial motivation and setting goals and targets, but after a while they can still leave a lot of people without the motivation longer term.
Having said that, they are still a great way to get you into gear and start working out from home with a more rigid, structured plan. So, don’t dismiss them. Let’s use as many tools as possible.
Animals such as dogs get rewards for good behaviour, but this never seems to be the case with humans.
Its suggested that immediate rewards motivate people more than delayed ones. And if this works to motivate someone in their job, it can most definitely work with health and fitness.
Studies found that if you reward yourself immediately after a task, it has a big effect on the probability of doing that task more regularly.
So, how can we convert this to fitness. Well, after a workout, treat yourself with a tasty protein shake, or have a biscuit. Even have some downtime to read a magazine or watch an episode of your favourite tv show. If you connect these rewards closely with your workouts, you’ll find you’re more prone to doing them more often.
But what if you don’t respond to rewards?
Then use FEAR
What can be more motivating than having a biscuit after a workout? Having one taken away after a workout!! Possibly the greatest motivation we can have is over the fear of something being taken away once we have had it.
Using and utilising fear can be a great way to stay motivated (if done carefully and safely however).
Its suggested that we can be more motivated by fear than desire.
So, to incorporate this into your fitness goals, you could give your gym friend £2 every time you miss a workout with them. Or you could we them a pint for every workout you miss. The idea of losing something (in this case money) can be the driving factor to help you get exercising when you’re really not feeling like it.
Get some fresh air
I’d imagine if you are reading this you have probably been for more walks than you can ever remember doing. More and more people have been out walking in order to get out of the house.
But why just leave it at walking? Why not take a workout outside too?
There are so many benefits of exercising outdoors. It can increase your feeling of wellbeing, increase energy levels, clear your head, as well as give you a bit of social interaction (even if you are social distancing).
So, even if you can’t change your routine, try changing the place you work out to get your motivation back. This kind of change, although small, could hugely affect it.
When you’re searching for motivation to work out, and your limited to what you can do, remember that you can change lots of variables. It just takes a bit of imagination.
This could be your gym clothes, where you work out, what you use to work out, rewarding yourself, or even a bit of headspace.
These changes could make all the difference. So, let’s get Motivated!!!