Seven ways to stay motivated when exercising at home: Goal-setting, variety and making it work for you

9 February 2021, 10:47 | Updated: 9 February 2021, 16:23

Try these top tips to keep motivated when exercising at home
Try these top tips to keep motivated when exercising at home. Picture: Marks and Spencer
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

It's never too late to set new goals, and working on boosting your health and wellbeing levels is a brilliant place to start. Try these tips to stay motivated...

Set goals

Planning is the most important - but overlooked - element of a new health and fitness plan.

Experts recommend using the SMART system, (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound).

This could be anything from making sure you get 30 minutes of exercise a day, or taking on a measurable challenge like signing up the to NHS's Couch 2 5k app, or setting a new weightlifting PB.

Make sure that your goals are tailored to you or you are destined to fail. If you've never regularly exercised, don't set a goal to run a marathon in a month's time!

You can also split your goals in to three tiers, short, intermediate and long.

A short-term goal might be walking 10 minutes a day five days a week, the intermediate goal upping the time to 30 minutes five days a week, with a long-term goal of completing a 5km walk by the end of February.

Keep track of your journey

A fitness tracker can help you monitor your progress
A fitness tracker can help you monitor your progress. Picture: Getty

Seeing things written down can be hugely motivated, and helps you stay accountable to yourself.

Write down on a piece of paper what your fitness goal is and stick it up so you are constantly reminded of what you are working towards.

Use a notebook as a fitness diary, jotting down your goals, what exercises you have done, and what you've eaten.

Apps like Strava or MapMyWalk are brilliant for monitoring how far you've gone, and using them regularly will let you see your progress over the weeks and months,

They can also be linked to fitness trackers and smartwatches to help accurately work out how many calories you've burned - you might be pleasantly surprised!

Look the part

Boost your self-confidence and reach your 2021 wellness goals with activewear that makes you look and feel great.

Marks and Spencer's new activewear range Goodmove has a huge selection of stylish and high quality activewear perfect for all activity levels, whether you're starting a series of home workouts, or are a more serious athlete.

Their 'squat proof' blackout leggings promise not to show your knickers when you squat, and their Go Seamless leggings promise no running chafe due to their revolutionary design.

Indoor activities are catered for too, with Go Balance yoga leggings - new this season - designed especially for comfort and stretch.

All of the Goodmove range is made from industry-leading breathable and sweat wicking fabrics, and constantly being updated with the latest colours and prints that women, men and kids will love.

From sports bras to stylish coats perfect for wintery walks, sometimes knowing you have gorgeous new kit to wear is all you need to get you raring to go.

The Goodmove range uses technology to create high performance clothes
The Goodmove range uses technology to create high performance clothes . Picture: Marks and Spencer

Make the time

With the pressures of homeschooling, keeping up with the latest developments on the news, looking after loved ones and working from home, it's not uncommon for the day to slip away from under you - taking your intentions to exercise away with it.

Try to set aside a window of time every day, or on set days every week, that you dedicate to your fitness, and make sure you see this as YOUR time.

Whether you're getting your pulse racing before or after work, it's guaranteed to clear your brain, get exercise is scientifically proved to be a real mood-booster - the perfect tonic for lockdown negativity.

If you can find a way to work exercise in to your daily routine, then even better.

Mixing up your activities means exercise will never get dull
Mixing up your activities means exercise will never get dull. Picture: Marks and Spencer

Change it up

For some people, the monotony of exercise is what puts them off - but getting fit at home doesn't have to equate to running laps around the block or park.

During the pandemic, there's been a surge in online fitness classes, and now everything from HIIT to yoga is just a click away.

There are even thousands of classes available to stream for free on YouTube and from Instagram fitness influencers.

Make the most of being able to dip in and out of different activities - who knows, you might find your new passion!

Try out new exercise styles and activities as part of your fitness plans
Try out new exercise styles and activities as part of your fitness plans. Picture: Getty

Find a buddy

Got a pal who also wants to use this lockdown to improve their health and wellbeing? Team up!

Whether you split the cost of virtual PT sessions, log on to the same online fitness class, explore yoga together, or make a date for a leisurely weekly socially distanced walk and a natter, you'll both benefit from the support and can share your successes.

It’s hard to stick to new fitness routines when you think you need to run a marathon or be burning 600 calories per class, so just stay in the mindset that any movement that gets your blood flowing and pump oxygen to your brain is a great choice.

It's also been found that having someone to hold yourself accountable to can help you stay focused and to 'show up' even when you might not be feeling it.

If you've got kids, why not get them involved too? Bike rides, walks, or jumping up and down to Joe Wicks are all brilliant ways to get moving and in to good habits.

The Goodmove range also includes outfits for kids
The Goodmove range also includes outfits for kids. Picture: Marks and Spencer

Reward yourself

If you’re trying to overhaul your lifestyle, it can sometimes seem overwhelming, so knowing there is something to look forward to can be a fantastic motivator.

However, traditional ‘rewards’ like a cake, or glass of wine can derail all of your efforts to get fit or drop a dress size or two.

This is why it’s important to change what your idea of what a ‘treat’ means.

Could it be a long bath as you listen to a podcast? Or giving yourself half a Sunday to binge on a box set or your favourite reality series? Maybe it’s buying a new lipstick or bits and bobs for a home pamper session.

Goodmove is the new activewear collection from M&S. Made for the modern mover, Goodmove has everything from sports bras, exercise leggings and jackets, made for your workouts. Whatever your level of fitness or activity, you’ll love Goodmove. Find out more.