If you have seen the quirky videos doing the rounds on social media showing the early stages of "iso" life compared with several weeks in, then they may be resonating with you.
The shine has possibly started wearing off from the first couple of weeks of life in lockdown, where working from home and working out from home seemed like it could be a match made in heaven.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my gym classes and my weekend long runs with a gaggle of friends followed by a coffee catch-up and as soon as it is socially acceptable again I will be back to both ready to make up for lost time. But for the first couple of weeks of lockdown life, I enjoyed the change of pace of not having to go too far to exercise.
Without travel time, getting ready for work time and nowhere to be of an afternoon or evening, it seemed like exercising could not have been easier.
I rediscovered my love of running, found routine and rhythm to my week with a series of interval sessions at the park and even starting fantasising about running a parkrun PB (personal best time) for a flat 5km when this is all over.
I also transitioned to the online workout world with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions done right in the comfort of my own lounge room.
While the transition may have gone as well as could be expected for you so far too, there are a few factors that could derail your fitness program now. Personally, all of the extra time I felt like I had in those early weeks of stay-at-home life seems to have now disappeared and with the arrival of May, and a cold change, the real test has arrived.
May could possibly be the most critical month for training programs in a "normal" year.
Spring and summer are undoubtedly the most popular for taking up new fitness regimes with the weather warming up and more light hours. There is plenty of motivation for people trying to get into shape after a winter hibernation period when it's dark and cold in the mornings and much nicer to stay tucked up in a warm and toasty bed than to head outdoors to exercise.
There is a good chance if you are not already in a good training/exercising habit by May that you will more than likely just put it off until September arrives. That is why I rate May as crucial. Sticking to a fitness plan now or taking one up should give you a better chance of sticking it out through winter.
So how do you keep the motivation going when you start to feel a little unmotivated?
I try to not look too far ahead. Sometimes focusing on short-term goals seem easier to achieve than the longer-term ones.
Buddy up. Enlist a family member or friend to exercise with, at a social distance of course, and take turns planning sessions for each other. Having a buddy, even if you send each other a session to do then report back, provides accountability, a challenge and a social connection.
Plan. On the days I am not running, I am trying to do a strength session on our back deck. Planning has been key to this. Before I go to bed, I write the session I plan to do the next morning in chalk on the wall, so when I get up I don't need to think. I have the equipment ready to go and make it as easy as possible to have no excuses not to do it.
Combination exercises. Combining exercises uses more muscle groups at once and can be a quicker way to get a harder workout when time is lacking. They require little space, minimal equipment and can be done indoors. These could be a squat or a step-up with a shoulder press. In the "up" phase of both exercises, raise the hand weights above your shoulders to the sky keeping them in a line in front of your body.
You can lunge with a biceps curl or a triceps extension. This could be walking lunges with a biceps curl synchronised as you lower into the lunge, or performing a set with one leg then switch to the other. So, for example, do 10 lunges on your left leg with a biceps curl as you lower into the lunge then perform an overhead triceps extension with 10 lunges on your right leg.
Combine dead lifts with a row at the top of the movement, bent-over rows with a triceps kickback or even all three together, so dead lift, row and triceps kickback to work many muscles in a short amount of time.
Skipping is another good one for this time of year. Skipping is an all-over body workout and can help with balance, agility, strength and improving cardiovascular fitness. It can be done at home and with minimal space. Intersperse skipping with bodyweight exercises or do a session of skipping intervals. For example, for a 10-minute period, skip for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds.
If you can find ways to keep ticking over now, you will feel better once the warmer weather returns and once life goes back to "normal" and we can get play sport again, go to the gym or rejoin our running groups.
Option 1 (lower intensity): 10 squats with alternating single-arm shoulder press, 10 alternating lunges with a biceps curl, 10 bent-over row with a tricep kickback. Repeat twice.
Option 2 (moderate intensity): 20 step-ups with an alternating knee lift and shoulder press, 5 x 1 push-up with 2 renegade rows, 10 lunges left leg with biceps curl, 10 lunges right leg with overhead triceps extension, 20 ab curls with a rotation. Repeat 1-2 times.
Option 3 (vigorous intensity): 20 squats with alternating single-arm shoulder press, 20 skips with rope, 10 dead lifts with a row, 40 skips, 5 x 2 push-ups with 10 mountain climbers, 60 skips, 20 diagonal lunges with biceps curl, 80 skips, 30-second hover/plank, 100 skips. Repeat 1-2 times.
- Renee Valentine is a journalist, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. email@example.com