How Self-Isolation Helped Me To Find The Exercise Routine That Works For Me

by Auriel Simmonds

I’ve always been one of those people who wants to have an exercise routine that I can actually do but that I still find challenging. Challenging enough that I know it’s having a positive impact. But I’ve found that this is a long and tedious discovery. Different routines work for different people. Finding the right one for myself seemed impossible. 

But then, I was forced to stay at home. No gym that I could fabricate an excuse to avoid going to. Just me, myself and my kitchen. Instantly I began to worry about the lack of every-day exercise I’d be missing out on by being stuck in isolation. But I didn’t allow this panic to overwhelm me. Instead, I used it. It drove me to do more research into exercise. Of course, I’m still no expert. But, my grasp on the importance and application of exercise in my own life has improved enormously. 

Goals

The idea of your personal best is a big thing in the world of exercise. And in the time that I’ve been making exercising a priority, I’ve finally understood how to create goals in order to achieve personal bests. Personal bests are extremely important when it comes to exercising. They help to guide and remind us of how we’ve improved from who we were yesterday. 

I did the same workout two weeks apart and felt an incredible sense of achievement the second time round because it felt easier. It made me feel confident in my ability to improve my fitness. It made all the sore muscles feel worthwhile. My approach when it comes to setting exercise goals is to be realistic. The most disillusioning feeling is setting a goal and feeling like you’re never going to reach it. Goals are supposed to challenge you but they are actually supposed to be reached! You can only run 3 miles if you can run half a mile to begin with! In being realistic with my goals, I am able to fulfil them and continue to create new ones. This continuous fulfilment encourages me to keep going…which is especially important for the days that I just don’t feel like moving from the sofa. Figure out what you want you want to achieve. It might be as simple as being able to do the perfect squat. Or something more complex. But as long as it challenges your capability, you’re doing well!

Fun

I believe that anybody who says that they enjoy running on a treadmill is either lying to themselves or to everyone else. Although I definitely enjoy going to the gym as I feel as though I can be productive in my workout, the monotony of a gym routine can grow tiresome quickly. And that’s when I started coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t go. And so, when I do my exercise routine at home, I base it on my enjoyment. I want my workouts to be more than just a way of losing weight and getting fitter. I want to have fun. There are thousands of YouTube videos out there that offer you all sorts of different workouts – cardio, abs, legs, strengthening, with equipment and without and so many more. It could be quite overwhelming. But I truly encourage anyone who struggles to motivate themselves to do some searching. There is bound to be a workout or exercise routine that appeals to you and is achievable while still challenging. Music is so important when it comes to exercising as it makes me feel upbeat and helps me work through the pain and makes exercising more of a fun activity than a chore. 

Company

Exercising alone can be boring. It makes it a lot easier to give up. Having someone to work out with will help to keep you accountable. But it will also make it more fun. I’ve been exercising with my sister and although she has a slightly better fitness level than me, we can still workout together. A great thing about exercise is that different moves can be simplified or made more advanced depending on your ability. This means that we are able to work out together and still achieve our individual goals. And we’re able to laugh at each other when we can’t figure out which arm to move with which leg! Or when one of us punches ourselves in the face when getting a bit too into it…yep, that happened! Working out with someone else is a great way to enjoy working out as it means you can be held accountable, have a laugh and challenge yourself.

Isolation is difficult. And people are coping in different ways. Incorporating exercise into my daily life has truly helped me cope. And that’s coming from someone who hasn’t stepped foot in the gym since January… 

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