By: Kylee Bush, Ultimate Spark! Junior Coach
I am a retired competitive gymnast, so I know what it is like to go from training and exercising daily, to being at home way more than you’re used to. Through my experiences, I have found ways to make use of that time, and remain active in a new environment. For a lot of people it is hard to feel motivated to exercise at home, because of being used to a different environment, such as a gym. Here are some tips to remain motivated to stay active while being stuck at home.
1. Create a schedule:
When creating a schedule it is important to think of what time of day you feel most productive. Decide what types of activity you want to do each day of the week, and even what days you will consider to be “rest” days. Creating a schedule allows a clear picture of what you want to do.
Personally I find schedules to be very helpful. I usually choose to exercise first thing in the morning. I know most people don’t like working out in the morning, but that’s why creating a personal schedule is important. I usually workout before I even have my coffee, and sometimes I have to wonder how I managed to, but it works for me.
2. Hold yourself to a standard:
This requires self discipline. When deciding what this standard is, it is important to be realistic. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself, so keep this in mind. A good way to start this process is by sticking to the schedule you create.
I have a bad habit of comparing myself to my past self. I know that when I was still a gymnast I trained 22 hours a week. I know that because of this I have a strong work ethic, but that does not necessarily mean I have the time, and resources to meet that standard now. I haven’t done gymnastics in four years, and while I am still capable my body cannot handle that anymore. I have bad ankles, a messed up knee, and a messed up back, which were all reasons for quitting. I constantly have to remind myself that my standard has changed since then.
3. Set goals:
This ties in with the previous tip. When setting goals it is important that they are realistic. Unrealistic goals only create negative attitudes, and being positive is important when staying active. As time goes on these goals may be adjusted, but start off with some easy ones.
If you’ve never worked out consistently before, maybe your goal could be to do so two days in a row. I usually have to slow my roll, because I like to get ahead of myself. I am very much a goal oriented, and competitive person, which makes me want to constantly better myself. This is great, but it is important to be realistic, so you don’t end up hurt, or feeling defeated.
4. Be active for the right reasons:
Find an activity that makes you happy and makes you feel good. Don’t force yourself to do an exercise just because a friend said it helped them. This goes into the positivity aspect. There are many options for workouts, and activities, and each person is different. Don’t force yourself to run if you hate running, rather, find something else that you feel motivated to do.
I for one had never done anything except gymnastics, and physical therapy. Many other gymnasts could relate to me when I would say things along the lines of, “gym workouts just aren’t the same,” they felt pointless to me. I couldn’t run, because of my body and asthma, lifting weights seemed boring, and everyone said try crossfit, but to me it was gymnastics conditioning without body control, and a sure way to get hurt. It took time, and an open mind. I tried many things, and eventually got over the idea that weight lifting was boring. It came naturally to me, and made me feel satisfied and good about myself.
5. Stay positive:
This one is the most important. As long as you feel good following a workout that’s all that matters. Everyone’s body and mind are different, meaning that our accomplishments should also be different. If you can honestly look back and say you’re proud of what you accomplished, then that is all that matters.
To me, optimism fuels results. When negative, or pessimistic, thoughts creep in it brings a shadow with it. All that these thoughts do is make a person wish to give up. It is always important to see the glass as half full, when it comes to your own accomplishments. If you take pride in the little things, then slowly they will grow to become even bigger accomplishments. Positive thoughts fuel you, while negative ones only tear you down.
I hope that these tips, that I use, can help people who were in need of a push during these times. Remember to stay positive and focus on those goals. I would love to hear if you have any tips or if any of these worked for you!