Lose lockdown weight gain by overcoming the common barriers to exercise
Get back into shape and shift your lockdown weight gain with these tried-and-tested tips from New Body Plan creator and Men’s Fitness cover model, Jon Lipsey
“I don’t have enough time to exercise”
Everyone in lockdown is having a different experience. Some friends of mine who don’t have kids and have (relatively) secure jobs that they can’t really do right now are telling me that they’ve never been so bored and that their days are dragging.
As someone who is struggling to juggle work and childcare, I can’t really relate to that (although I can envy it). What I can relate to is feeling like you don’t have time to train. So here’s what I’ve done that has worked well.
Quality time counts
• I’ve reduced the number of sessions I do a week. I used to do four or five but right now I’m doing three.
• I’ve also shortened the length of each session but increased the intensity. The overall calorie burn is therefore roughly the same.
• I plan when I’m going to do each session at least a day in advance. I try to do the session as early in the day as possible and I book it in to my diary as if it was a work meeting.
“I don’t have enough motivation to exercise”
This one is pretty understandable. It feels like the world has been turned upside down so you’d be forgiven that banging out some press-ups isn’t at the top of your to-do list. The thing is, no matter what’s going on in your life, being active is likely to help. It can help you physically – in losing that lockdown weight gain – and it can help you mentally, so it is worth digging deep to find the motivation to train. Here’s how you can do that:
: Take back control
There’s a lot about the world that it out of your hands right now, but exercise is one thing you are in control of. So tell yourself that you are the master of your own fitness destiny. Experts have shown that when you feel in control, your desired outcome is more likely to happen.
“I don’t have enough confidence to exercise”
This one isn’t necessarily related to lockdown weight gain, although it’s very possible that your confidence will have taken a battering in recent weeks while life throws some serious challenges at you. I speak from experience here because before I created New Body Plan, I didn’t think I had the ability to make a meaningful difference to how I looked and felt. I now know that I did have the ability to do it. And I know you do too.
Re-write your story
When we tell ourselves that we can’t do something, we’re telling ourselves a story. A made up story. So if you’re telling yourself that you haven’t got what it takes to follow a plan, it’s time to tell yourself a better story.
You see, unless you have a specific health condition, there is no physiological reason why you can’t get the health and fitness result that you want. It’s your head, not your body, that’s holding you back. So like my advice for developing motivation, it’s time for you to take control of the voice that’s in your head. You decide what you tell yourself. So tell yourself that you can do it. If you hold on to that thought, I can promise you that you will achieve your fitness goals.
“I don’t have any exercise equipment”
This is probably the easiest lockdown weight gain challenge to solve because you don’t need any equipment. If you have some, great. But if not, you can have a great workout without any exercise equipment, as long as you’re following a smart plan.
: No kit required
I’m currently doing some bodyweight training and I’m loving it. As a regular gym-goer, bodyweight training is a new way of exercising for me but I’ve really benefited from a fresh challenge and it is an opportunity for me to iron out any weaknesses before I get back into the gym feeling fitter and stronger than ever.
I’ve had personal experience of all of the challenges above – some in the recent past and some in the distant past – and I can categorically tell you that every one of them is beatable.
It would be really odd if you felt like you were sailing through life at the moment. There are so many uncertainties and challenges that are facing all of us. But if you can find a way to build regular exercise into your weekly routine – in any form at all – you’ll feel better able to tackle what life throws at you.
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