Working for myself means that I am essentially desk-based at home and to be honest, aside from not having the house entirely to myself during the day, lockdown hasn’t been wildly different to my usual lifestyle. And yet despite this, the last few weeks have brought with it some surprising new initiatives, perhaps in part due to the inevitable slow down from my pre-lockdown lifestyle.
Along with many of you no doubt, I’ve embraced clearing out and spring cleaning and have even ticked off a few of those nagging chores at the bottom of the “to-do” list. I’ve yet to start reading an “actual” book, but it’s on the list!
However, the one achievement that I’m most proud of is that I have finally embraced the world of online exercising. You may be surprised to hear this as I’m a huge fan and often recommend these in my blogs and lifestyle advice, as a practical and achievable way of incorporating exercise into a busy day.
I know the benefits and have done many on an ad hoc basis. I also know that the secret to achieving the full benefits of following any workout or exercise schedule is not how hard you train, or how long your train for….it’s consistency. And since lockdown started, I have been consistent for 31 days so far..it took me a little while at the outset to get going, but once I did, it hasn’t been difficult to prioritise my exercise session. I even found myself happily exercising at a time of day I had never considered before, just before dinner for example and once, just before bedtime!
Whilst we all know we should be exercising regularly; we know it keeps us fit and healthy but we’re also probably great at making excuses to miss a session.
I have done the sessions regularly and I haven’t given up and I feel incredible for it! Let me share with you the 3 simple rules that have made it so easy for me to achieve this new flow of consistency, ironically gleaned from one of the online trainers I have been following Julia Marie
My top 3 rules when it comes to exercise
Never Miss a Monday
If you start the week with an exercise session, you set the tone for the week. You start as you mean to continue through the week and that positive mindset is a huge aid to ensuring that happens. Engaging your brain is just as important as mobilising your body.
Never miss 2 days in a row
I get it, some mornings you just don’t feel like exercising! Your muscles ache, you get engrossed in a phone call or chores and find you’ve missed that sacred hour’s slot you had allocated or you simply don’t get round to doing it, for whatever reason! And then the same happens the following day. That’s the time to be harsh on yourself and stick to this rule, whatever it takes. On Day 2, a form of exercise must take place otherwise you’ll find yourself facilitating a more relaxed approach and consistent regular exercise becomes much harder to achieve.
Exercise for at least 4 times during the week…more days than not
There are always constraints that mean you have to swerve away from the best-laid plans. Knowing that the days you exercise should account for more days of the week than the days with no exercise, will mean you are more likely to find a way to slot a walk or quick 10min exercise session into your routine, to make sure you don’t end up with more non-exercising days. Remember, it’s not the difficulty of the session or the duration; it’s simply doing it.
What happens if you stick to these exercise rules?
If you stick to these 3 exercise rules, you’ll soon find your workout becomes a ritual; it happens as part of your daily routine and feels effortless. The decision making has been done and you just do it. Your body and mind are synchronised and expect the workout, so you’ll find there’s far less wavering about whether to do or not each day.
You may still find it necessary to schedule your workout…even better. If you plan it into your schedule and you’re sticking to these 3 rules, you’ve given yourself the best possible chance of ensuring your workouts are non-negotiable.
Want to be more accountable when it comes to your health?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I’ve been working on something BIG that I’m almost ready to share with you!