Adjusting to the ‘new normal’: How to fall in love with fitness once again

The pandemic that transformed the future of fitness and changed your daily routine might have significantly affected your exercise compliance. Your strong drive to consistently move every day is important so you can achieve your desired health goals. How can you regain your motivation to exercise with this “new normal”?

Revisit your goals and write it

If you want to achieve something, you need to write it down. Create a lifestyle journal that includes your goals, workout, food intake, sleep, and thoughts. This behavior signifies your intention and readiness to commit to a new habit. Set realistic goals that guide you with your new journey.

You can start getting your health numbers: weight, body fat percentage, and medical test results (blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol, uric acid, etc) to have a clearer picture of your current health status. Your current health needs can greatly motivate you to exercise and improve other aspects of your lifestyle.

Your realistic goals and action plans can be as follows:

“To improve my health numbers (improve my sugar and cholesterol level) in the next 2-3 months, I will try to do 30 to 45 minutes of brisk walking every morning and two to three 30 to 60-minute strength-training sessions every week.”

“To lose two to five pounds in the next 4-6 weeks, I will burn at least 300 calories from my formal workouts (cardio and strength training) or complete at least 10,000 steps every day”

Fix your exercise environment

The exercise environment can play a huge role in one’s motivation. I know several people who can only work out with all-out energy if they are in their most ideal exercise space. Explore your house and choose the best exercise spot where you think you can be at your strongest. Invest in

exercise equipment and gadgets

that will make your exercise sessions more enticing.

Challenge yourself with healthy tasks

Why not challenge yourself to create consistent healthy lifestyle behaviors, instead of focusing on weight loss?

I love challenging myself when it comes to workout and eating. I usually make a four to eight-week countdown before an important occasion four times a year: before a long break like Holy Week (April), midyear (before July), my birthday month (September), and New Year. Through the years, I was able to incorporate the small challenges that I made in my lifestyle.

Here’s an example of my weekly healthy lifestyle challenge:

Week 1

Exercise: Do 15 minutes of yoga poses at least twice a week

Eating: Avoid caffeinated drinks

Week 2

Exercise: Add 45-60 minutes run per week

Eating: Make healthy afternoon snacks consistently (+ week 1)

Week 3

Exercise: Add three 10-minute pure core workouts per week

Eating: More vegetables than rice per meal (+week 1 and 2)

Week 4

Exercise: Stay consistent with my steps (at least 10,000 steps daily)

Eating: Minimum of eight glasses of water per day (+week 1,2 and 3)

You can also make your own doable fitness and healthy eating challenges and create your schedule based on your target date or occasion.

Add variety to your exercise routines

Combining my usual strength, core and cardio workouts with indoor cycling and outdoor running keep my motivation because of different physical challenges and exercise environments. Aside from your usual effective routines, every once in a while, it is important to try other physical activities that can stimulate your muscles and senses. Check different exercises online, join Zoom workouts with your friends, explore outdoor activities like running, hiking, biking, and other sports.

Connect with people

Social connection is important for one’s mental health, especially nowadays when we are confined at home. You can still

virtually connect with others and get the same amount of motivation that you experienced before

. It is therapeutic to see others move with you and with other exercise participants while listening to an instructor with upbeat music. Or you might also get more motivation with the help of a fitness coach for an extra push and the much-needed exercise guidance.

Move, and at the end of the day, just reward yourself

I always reward myself with a cold glass of coconut juice right after every workout session and at night, I watch one episode of a Netflix series with my husband. Regardless of the duration and intensity, give yourself any form of reward for completing an exercise task. It can be a relaxing evening bath, a quiet moment when you can meditate, listening to your favorite playlist, or playing your favorite musical instrument. Aside from your daily rewards, you can also buy yourself exercise clothes/gadgets on a monthly basis or treat yourself to salon visits.

Be flexible with your approach–every day

If you want to achieve something, you really need to work hard for it, and this always involves your constant readiness to be adaptable to unforeseen changes that may come your way like a sudden change of schedule (work, family, etc and/or changes in mood and energy level.

Be kind to yourself and don’t focus too much on your failures. Consider a lapse as a learning opportunity that can build your resilience. Recognizing your ability to bounce back from setbacks can strengthen your motivation to pursue whatever goals you have.

Email the author at

[email protected]

or follow her on Instagram @mitchfelipemendoza

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