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Well-Being |Stay motivated with FitFans

FitFans is a Leicester Tigers initiative designed to get supporters of all ages active, even at home. We post new sessions to the Tigers website every week, so take a look and join us!

Staying fit and healthy – mentally and physically – can be tough with the change to lifestyles resulting from the Coronavirus outbreak, which is why we are sharing FitFans tips with the Tigers community.

We are now approaching the end of two months in lockdown, and isolation fatigue and routine can become challenging. Mentally, you may have started to become bored with your exercise and the initial motivation may be waning.

This is why it is so important for you to re-motivate yourself.

Create new goals that are achievable and give yourself a new target to work to.

Now it’s also a good time to see if your efforts and hard work is starting to pay off by repeating Week 1’s fitness tests. A good measure of progress would be to see if you have increased your results by 10-15%.

This may not have occurred across the board of all the activities as it depends on what your goals were and the intensity of training you have been doing.

But 10-15% is a steady increase of results over a six-week period and a good indicator of whether your training is effective or stale and needs changing up.

Now is the time for you to create new goals or, if you haven’t started yet, to get going and start to make a change in your daily routine.

Remember, your goals and motivation to exercise and get fitter are completely individual to you. That also means it is down to you to improve them!

Don’t worry if you haven’t seen an improvement – just because you may not be seeing results quickly doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Remember that it takes around four weeks for you to see changes in your body, eight weeks for family and friends to notice, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world.

Ideas to motivate in lockdown:

Reach out to others for support

Consider joining a social networking site or online community with fitness trainers and nutrition experts as well as support from other people trying to lose weight and maintain healthy eating and exercise routines. People who get this kind of online support are proven to lose three times more weight than people going it alone.

  • Find a remote training partner at a similar level – a friend, work colleague, family member. This will keep you on track when you miss a workout or motivate you when you feel like quitting.
  • Follow health and fitness accounts on social media.
  • Tweet about how it is going, make a public statement of intent, engaging your social network to help you achieve a challenging goal (Couch to 5K, 26.2 Challenge).
  • Commit to do something challenging physically to raise funds for a charity.
  • Use the huge resources on YouTube or daily classes with the stars like Joe Wicks.

Think fun and variety

By nature, humans need change and variety to stay motivated. We also need to have fun, even while we’re working hard. Do both!

  • It's difficult in lockdown but try to change your scenery, take different routes for a walk or run, exercise in different rooms or places you can get to easily. Behaviour is often shaped by our environment rather than our will-power so mix it up.
  • Workout variety also challenges your body in unique ways, which may introduce you to new muscle groups you didn’t even know you had. Try some new challenges and disciplines such as Yoga or Tai Chi, or classes such as Zumba or Spin to keep your workouts fun and different. They’re all easily accessible on YouTube and internet no matter your level.

Add music to your workouts

Music is a huge motivation when it comes to exercising. Certain songs can strike a personal chord and help get you over a hurdle. You can change your playlist to go with different workouts.

Reward yourself

You cannot expect to change a lifetime of habits and indulgences straight away, so make time to reward yourself every now and again.

  • If you can afford it, buy yourself new clothes or a new training gadget as a reward, have a plan to do something special once lockdown is eased such as a day at a spa or have a professional massage.
  • If possible avoid edible treats, but a cheat day once every two weeks will not go amiss (as long as you work it off the next day).

Remember bodies are built in the kitchen

Changing your nutrition and diet is the biggest thing about losing weight and making the transition from body fat to lean muscle mass. You have to be just as motivated with your diet as your exercise.

Here are some more tips on how to stay on track:

  • LIMIT not ELIMINATE – eliminating your favourite foods and cravings will only make you crave them more. Try to cut back slowly or give yourself certain days when you are allowed them.
  • Choose 1 or 2 healthy habits to adopt, not 10-20. When you feel you have accomplished this, add another 1 or 2 while maintaining the originals.
  • Allow yourself a cheat day! As we said earlier, it is very difficult to cut out everything unhealthy, so you may want to allow yourself one day where you ‘reward’ your efforts. But make sure you aim to work it off the next day

Exercise of the week – A Refresher

After 5-6 weeks of sustained exercise, or perhaps no exercise, it’s good to throw in a refresher routine to shake things up and test out muscle groups that may have missed out in your previous sessions in lockdown.

This week we will look at a workout to get you going and push you forward, boosting your energy levels as we face the weeks to come.

Complete 20 repetitions of each exercise before moving on.

Remember always to stretch before and after exercise. This can boost performance and recovery. Stay hydrated and, if you feel unwell, stop and seek medical advice if needed.

Jumping Jacks

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms relaxed by your side, jump and widen stance while raising arms to horizontal, return to starting position to complete one Jumping Jack. Repeat and try to be as dynamic as possible to get the heart and body pumping.

Shoulder Taps

Take up a standard press-up position holding body straight, head slightly above horizontal with arms straight and core engaged. Keeping body position under control, take your right hand off the ground and touch your right shoulder, returning hand to the ground in a controlled manner. Repeat for left arm, complete 10 shoulder taps on each side.

Climbers

Remaining in press-up position, holding body straight and firm, simulate running by raising your right leg, lifting knee under the chest, returning back to starting position, alternate legs as if running on the spot, action to be fast and uniform. Remember to keep core and upper body firm and in control to resist forces of leg drive and sustain strong press up position.

Bicycle Crunches

Lying flat on your back with arms by your side, engage core, legs straight and lift feet 18 inches (45cm) off the ground. Simulate cycling action while horizontal, ensuring legs remain off the ground. Complete 20 rotations of each foot in a swift but controlled manner, keeping core engaged at all times. Remember to breathe!

Leg Raises

Lying flat on your back with arms by your side and legs straight, lift feet 6 inches (15cm) off the ground and hold for 2 seconds. Raise legs in a controlled manner to 45 degrees and lower in a similar fashion, returning to 6 inches (15cm) above the ground. To assist in making this exercise really work, use the 2-second rule, holding at 6 inches for 2, raising your legs to 45 degrees in 2 and returning back to 6 inches in 2 and repeat. Complete 20 lifts and holds, keeping legs straight and together at all times – try not to let your heels hit the ground.

Sitting Twists

To finish the set – sit up with knees bent and feet together. Engage core and slightly lean back to lift both feet off the ground and try to find the balance point, pivoting on your backside, where you have control can hold this position clasping your hands together in front of your chest. Keeping the strong core and the balance of the position, rotate both hands to you right side, moving shoulder and upper body to twist your torso, return to centre and repeat on left side for one sitting twist. Repeat 20 times to finish you first set.

This is a challenging set of exercises, designed to test your core strength and ask questions of your balance and control. Take your time in making sure you maintain the quality in each exercise but feel free to push yourself once you feel happy you have that control in place.

New FitFans should try to complete three sets; if you’re feeling fit and want to test your stamina and fitness further, go for 5 sets or even 7, you’ll feel the benefit in all you do if you put in the time.

Have fun, be healthy, stay safe