In the northern hemisphere, spring’s arrival brings more active, outdoor time! But staying active and connected can be challenging during a global pandemic. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise. While these factors permeate every area of your life, they are also a particularly potent influence on your health, your relationship to your body and perhaps a changing attitude toward fitness.
If you were a gym-goer, you might be missing the camaraderie that comes with seeing your fellow community members in the conditioning room, or maybe the friendships you built in group fitness classes kept you coming back for more. Perhaps it was the motivational instructor cheering you on as you push through that last set of burpees that helped you exceed your expectations. It may certainly feel like you are now left to your own devices. And for social creatures like us, all this can be demotivating.
The Bright Spot can help you stay active and motivated
To start, get up and get moving today! You’ll get immediate gratification in the form of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals will prime your mind for another day of working out. The buzz you get after a good workout is a miraculous mood-booster and a wonderful way to get back on the fitness wagon. Think of it as a reward. You really don’t need to overthink it. In fact, start as soon as you’re done reading this blog by visiting the activities page on the Bright Spot.
Make a longterm plan
And of course, it’s no secret that regular and continuous exercise has a positive effect on your overall mental health, so make it a priority and stick with it in the long run. Studies say that regular exercise reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, and after the year we have all had, nurturing our mental health is certainly a welcome salve!
One way to ensure you reap all these benefits is to make a fitness plan. Get your calendar and schedule your workouts for the next six weeks. The standard recommendation for most adults is 150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity activity per week. Consider splitting the week up into five 30-minute workout sessions, or two-hour-long classes and a 30-minute outdoor walk or jog.
Mindful reflection gives your new routine even more staying power
After your six weeks are up, take some time to reflect by journaling about your experience.
Grab a pen and paper and start writing down answers to these questions:
1. How are you feeling compared to when you started?
2. Are you seeing any changes in your mood?
3. Do you see any changes in your body?
4. Do you feel stronger in your day-to-day activities?
5. If so, how and when does your newfound strength show up in your regular life?
Many people report feeling more emotional resilience and physical endurance. Your hard work starts to permeate your life and taking a moment to mindfully reflect on all of this is yet another motivator that will keep you coming back for more.
After the first six weeks are up, it’s the perfect time to assess if your routine needs a change. Maybe you can increase your fitness frequency or try new styles of exercise to keep your mind and body evolving. In other words, take it to the next level!
Other health conditions can improve with exercise, too
Some types of exercises can even help with conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and even chronic pain. By finding new ways to move and stay motivated, you can take charge of your overall health. Focusing on something you can control – like your fitness sessions – can also bring about feelings of empowerment which can feel grounding during times of uncertainty.
We are looking ahead to a brighter future when we can be together in person again. Until then, we know that a variety of online classes, inspiring instructors and connections to others will help you meet and exceed your fitness goals, plus we promise you’ll have a lot of fun! And that’s the best way to ensure long-term commitment and success.