As the coronavirus pandemic pushed the Western Student Recreation Centre to limit operations, countless students are forced to find alternative ways to stay active.

By committing to an at-home workout schedule and following these four tips, you can keep your “summer-bod” amid gym closures and cold weather.

Set small fitness goals

Setting unrealistic expectations is a common mistake for novice gym-goers. For example, telling yourself you want to run an additional two kilometres without stopping by the end of the year is a far more realistic goal than running an additional ten kilometres by the end of the week.

Instead of setting unrealistic fitness goals, start small and gradually increase your goals as you’re able to dedicate more time to fitness. You will likely feel more accomplished when you achieve these smaller goals than barely accomplishing more difficult ones. This will give you resilience to continue to pushing forward with your workout routine. 

Commit to a realistic workout schedule

An effective workout does not need to be any longer than 20 minutes — the longer the work out, the more likely you are to dread it. Even a bit of daily exercise makes a great study break as it helps clear your mind and distract you from day-to-day stressors. 

Whether you prefer to workout in the morning or evening, sticking to a specific time is ideal for forging a regime.

Set a timer for your workout so you know exactly how long you've been at it, and how long you have left to go. If you only have 30 minutes to get moving, then you better start quickly.

Don’t overdo it

No matter how long you want to workout for, don’t push yourself to the point of never wanting to workout again. As important as physical exercise is for both your body and mental health, you need to ditch the “all or nothing” mindset — a little goes a long way.

Try taking 30 minutes to an hour out of your day to get your heart pumping and focus on minimizing the pressure you might feel to have an efficient “arm-burning” workout. Try to have fun with it instead.

Don’t hesitate — just do it

Do you find yourself wanting to commit to working out several times a week but keep repeatedly failing to meet your goal? That’s because you’re hesitating more than actually doing.

When you stick to a workout schedule, you should prioritize that time slot just for exercise. When you find yourself hesitating whether you should workout, take this piece of advice and just do it. The combination of self-accomplishment and relief post-workout can help overcome any plateaus.

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