As we approach the Winter months, maintaining an exercise routine can be incredibly demotivating. If you find yourself struggling to get up and out of bed, you are NOT alone. It is definitely hard to stick to a consistent fitness routine as mornings and evenings get colder and darker. So, we thought it would be helpful to share some motivational tips to get your gym regimen out of your “Notes” app and into action!
Peer Accountability & Motivation
If you are anything like me, some friendly competition can be the boost you are looking for! Surrounding yourself with those who have similar interests or even challenging them to surpass their goals can always be exciting. This turns a typical gym outing into a conjunctive task—where no one wants to be the quitter. Additionally, recruiting a workout buddy or group can assist in scheduling regular workouts while holding one another to the bigger-picture goal. You are significantly less likely to hit snooze or head home for the night if you know you are abandoning your fitness pal.
Joining Group Classes
Want to go even further? You could even try joining scheduled group classes. Speaking in terms of local opportunities, Queens has a robust number of group fitness lessons at the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) or peer support programs like the PE-Q program, which aims to improve mental health through increased movement behaviours. You can also get involved through clubs such as Queens Dance Club with beginner drop-in classes, or the Recreational Run Club where peers motivate you at your own pace. Also, there are intramural teams that can be done for some competitive and team bonding experiences. Alternatively, within the Kingston community, there are various businesses that specialize in group activities. For instance, SpinCo seems to be gaining a lot of attention.
Fig. 1. Queens intramurals provide a great opportunity for participating in consistent and fun workouts! Retrieved from GoGaelsGo.
Now, if you are more of a homebody, there are still ways that you can implement exercise within the comfort of your room. Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to connect with your favourite fitness influencers from home! I have had a good amount of experience with at-home workouts during the pandemic, which only requires a small open space. At-home workouts can be equally as effective and provide flexibility in your schedules. In addition to such benefits, many feel as though working out at home provides an increased sense of comfort and independence. Another suggestion would be to piggy-back exercises onto daily chores or activities, which can also be effective in maintaining a fitness routine.
Mental Wellness Benefits
Finally, something that has always motivated me to start is thinking about how good I will feel once I am done with my workout. When you exercise, your brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary glands produce neurochemicals called endorphins, which can provide a range of benefits such as natural pain relief (Harvard Health, 2021). They provide feelings of well-being and enhance the reward circuit in your brain, making you feel energized and de-stressed. Keeping this feeling in mind could motivate you to start that workout and achieve that feel-good energy!
Interested in learning more tips and tricks? Here are some resources that could help!
Fitness Apps: https://www.forbes.com/health/fitness/best-fitness-apps/
Harvard Health Publishing. (2021, July 20). Endorphins: The Brain's Natural Pain Reliever. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/endorphins-the-brains-natural-pain-reliever