Springfree has the pleasure of introducing guest blogger, Rosie MacLennan. She is a hardworking and determined Canadian athlete that works constantly year-round to achieve her goals. Here she explains why getting outside, staying active and incorporating others into your training can keep you motivated to overcome your challenges and reach success together.
Thank you, Rosie, for sharing some excellent tips!
Over the past year, we have all had to get really creative about staying active and fit at home. For me, this was a major adjustment, going from peak preparation with my trainers to being active from my living room. At the beginning, it was a bit challenging, but here are a few tips and tricks that have helped make it fun, exciting and challenging.
- Get Outside!
While it may feel restrictive to be stuck at home, I think it is easy to forget that we have the entire outdoors to explore! Any opportunity I get, I take my activity outdoors to get some fresh air. Whether it is setting up a workout circuit in my driveway or backyard, creating walking, running, or bike routes near me, heading to a park nearby for a workout or looking up walking/hiking/nature trails that are around. Getting outside and active not only gets you some much-needed fresh air, I find that fresh air and being in nature is really calming.
- Make it a family activity or include your friends
It can be hard to stay motivated on your own, particularly for those of us who are social or a little bit competitive (ahem, not me!! :p). Especially with some physical distancing restrictions still in place, it can feel pretty isolating, but it doesn’t have to be! Growing up, being active with my family was how we interacted and created strong connections. To this day, I often love activities as a way to stay in touch with friends and also to hold me accountable. While we have not been able to train in the same way as a team, we are using online platforms to do work outs together. I find it easiest when you schedule weekly time with your family and/or friends to do something active - whether it is going for a walk, a fun game or activity, a sport, or a more structured work out.
For work outs, with my husband, friends, or teammates, we will often each pick an exercise or two that we like, then put them together for a workout. We have done this in a field, spread out, or online from our living rooms. We have also often set time aside for stretch sessions, which give us a chance to catch up and get in some much-needed stretching for mobility and recovery.
- Make it a challenge
I don’t know about you, but I am a little bit competitive. For me, tapping into that competitive side is always helpful when trying to accomplish a goal. Rather than phrasing something as “I need to do…”, I will often re-phrase it as, “I challenge myself to…”.
I will often start my week by setting out goals, almost like a check list. I write them down somewhere that is visible so that I can actively check it off when it each element is complete. l also find it helpful to bring someone into it with me, like my husband. Our goals are not the same, but we communicate what our goals are to each other, then check in every couple of days to see how it is coming along, so that we can support each other in the journey. Our challenge is to see that each week, we both accomplish everything on our list.
Another way to position it is to set a timeline (a week, a month, whatever fits), and see how many times you can get active in that month with an ultimate goal you are working towards. For me, the first thing that always falls off is my cardio work outs. As a starting point, I challenged myself to do one bike workout a week for three weeks. By framing it as a challenge, it taps into a different part of your motivation/mentality and encourages you to live up to it rather than feeling like you are doing something because you have to.
- Explore new forms of movement
When restrictions postponed team events, I went from all out peak training to being at home trying to stay active. At first it was incredibly challenging to try and figure out what to do, but then I realized this was actually an incredible opportunity. With most gyms/exercise classes being forced to close, a lot of them went online and provided content. It became really easy to find all these different classes/movement opportunities that I had never tried before and it was really easy to explore them to find different classes that I liked. Whether you stick with the class or not, it was a really great way to get new ideas on how to move and how to stay active, that I had never incorporated into my routine. For example, a friend of mine started offering online barre classes, or I have been doing Pilates online. Challenging yourself to try a new class each week is a great way to introduce yourself to new movement, new communities and potentially find something that you really love!
My Favourite Forms of Movement (Besides Jumping):
- Park workouts
- Coming up with a list of my favourite exercises (body weight squats, jump squats, push ups, crunches, glut bridges) and putting them into a work out circuit
- Interspersing running with my favourite exercises
- Meditative or social stretches
- Either stretching with soft music and soft lighting before bed
- Zoom workouts/stretches
- My teammates and I have been going on Zoom for our workouts and stretch sessions to maintain that social connection and to challenge each other. Most of our workouts require little or no equipment!
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