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How to get back into your exercise routine

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This month we have a very topical guest blog written by Betsan De Renesse, a specialist personal trainer – How do you get back into an exercise routine when you’ve completely lost your mojo? 

Lockdown seems to have left a great number of us reaching for a glass of wine at the end of the day instead of our trainers. We feel emotionally and physically drained, and as much as we know that a little bit of movement is going to help us feel better in body and mind; how on earth do you get your motivation back when your gym membership is paused, and even buying yourself some new leggings seems pointless? I think the key to getting motivated in your living room or garden is to adjust your mindset. ‘No pain, no gain’ is highly unlikely to help us going when we’re just saying it to ourselves. 

Exercise has nothing to do with food. 

Start by separating exercise from food. Yes, we may have all been enjoying some home baking and possibly feeling a little less ‘toned’ but if you punish yourself for eating as a form of motivation to exercise, it’s highly unlikely you’ll stick to it and even less likely it will be a positive relationship. The only consideration you should have when linking food to exercise is ‘have I eaten enough to fuel my exercise?’ and maybe ‘do I need to wait a little longer to digest my meal before exercising?’

Find something you’ll really enjoy 

Find a form of exercise you truly enjoy. You don’t need to ‘feel the burn.’ Try walking with a podcast, dancing or yoga… anything that doesn’t necessarily feel like a workout. 

Don’t do an exercise you don’t like.

If you hate running, don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t been running. 

Exercise because you love your body and not because you dislike it. 

Try to think of exercise as a treat, or a chance for some me time. If you observe both of the points above and choose something you like and not something you hate, it should help. Also, without the lure of the social gym setting to distract you, focusing on exercising for you will become a primary motivation. You’re amazing and you deserve the time you dedicate to this workout. Enjoy it. 

Observe the post exercise buzz

Try to remember how you feel after you exercise. It’s cathartic or energising? Do you sleep better? Have more patience with your children? Does your body image jump up 3 notches? Really concentrate on how you feel post workout and use it as motivation for your next one. 

Break it up 

Fitness is very frustrating in that it’s hard to build up, but seems super easy to lose. If the idea of a 40 minute sweaty session fills you with dread, or you don’t think you could even manage it, consider breaking your workout up over the day. With 2 under the age of 3 it’s often the only way I get my workout done. 

Lastly, be kind to yourself. We’re living through something really hard. If you don’t do a moments exercise until lockdown lifts, that’s totally understandable. Try to speak to yourself like you would to your best friends. Show yourself compassion. If you know that exercise will help your physical or mental wellness, and you just needed a little help to get yourself motivated (during lockdown or generally)… I hope this helps. ‘No pain, no gain’ may motivate you temporarily, but to truly make exercise a part of your life, you need to find your love for it. 

Betsan is a pre and postnatal exercise specialist and the founder of the Glow Method and the Glow Method at home. For more information visit her website

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