Exercise Archives - Medshield Movement

How To Motivate Yourself To Work Out

Knowing how to motivate yourself to work out when you’re tired, feeling meh or even having to start alllll the way from the beginning can feel so hard! We have some advice that can help you get back onto the fitness wagon!

Maybe the first two or three weeks of January you had a streak going… A programme, a goal, regular workouts that you stuck to. But now, as time moves on, lockdown lingers and work picks up, that motivation can start to fade and you start missing a session here and there…

Or maybe you haven’t been able to get started this year. You haven’t found a routine or a goal or something to drive you to get up and move your body.

Either way, we are here to help!!

With the below tips and advice, we’ll show you how to motivate yourself to work out!

 

Accept That Motivation Doesn’t Happen Every Day

That’s right! There are days when you will have zero motivation to do anything. And that’s okay! Because there are other far more powerful tools to help you: routine and discipline. Building a routine means that even though you might not feel like exercising, you know that, say, on Thursdays you run. And the discipline to follow that routine means that on Wednesday evening you pack out your clothes, set your alarm and when you wake up in the morning, you don’t even have to think, you just go.

 

Get Accountability Partners

Make fitness dates with friends, family or colleagues. These do not have to be in-real-life! They could be virtual fitness dates, like committing to doing that live workout together, tracking it and comparing your calorie burn and taking sweaty selfies and sending them to each other. Commit to meeting for a socially distanced run or getting your 10 000 steps in.

The more you surround yourself with people who are into working out, the more you will do so too!

Check out some of our amazing free workouts: Mapule’s HIIT session, Amy’s HIIT energizer session or Jonathan Boynton-Lee Workout Programme.

 

Join a Club

While our world looks very different right now, we still need community. Join a fitness club or get a coach in your area. Joining a running club often means you often get access to running coaches and a programme, plus you now you’ll have like-minded people with you on the same journey. Even if connecting in real life isn’t possible, many of these clubs and programmes set up whatsapp groups to stay connected, share data and motivation.

You will need to share your data with your coach and this alone will motivate you and keep you accountable! And this all leads to the next point…

 

Pick A Goal

Picking a goal looks different to how it did before, because we don’t have as many “races” happening in real life or on the calendar, but many organisations are still doing virtual events! A good example is the Pirates 21km – Joburg’s toughest half marathon! Where you can enter and run the route any weekend in February. More info here!
Focusing on a fitness goal instead of a weight-loss goal can also be more motivating, because weight can be such a fickle thing and not always easy to see results. But if you focus on a fitness goal, like being able to run 10km without stopping or doing 10 full push-ups in a row, weight-loss and strength will be natural benefits while you feel like you’re achieving a skill.

Need some help? Check out our ClickFit downloadable programmes, free and exclusive to Medshield Members. Try the two-week basic body-weight kickstart, the four-week total transformation, the six-week HIIT workout or the eight-week total transformation programme.

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Here are 5 ways to Instantly Get a Mood Boost

The start of the new work year and the lingering pandemic can leave many of us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and in need of a quick mood boost!

Here are five easy ways in which you can give yourself that mood boost!

 

  1. Get up and change your body position.

 

This could be a simple movement, like standing up and stretching your arms toward the ceiling or even shrugging your shoulders up and then away from your ears a few times. This helps us to release tension that we often tend to store in our neck and shoulders and create a sense of relaxation.

 

Also, just the act of moving your body and changing position can help to change your headspace.

 

  1. Play your fave song.

 

No matter where you are, pop your headphones on and play your fave mood-boosting song. Better yet, take some time over the weekend or in the evening to create a mood-boosting playlist that you can tap into when you need it. Try this playlist.

 

  1. Watch a funny video.

 

Seriously. There’s a reason why these videos go viral – they make people laugh, which instantly boosts your mood. Search “funny animal videos” in youtube and allow yourself five to 10 minutes to zone out and laugh at goats. Try this.

 

  1. Take a quick walk or practise some yoga

 

Moving your body changes your energy and getting fresh air can revitalise the brain and rejuvenate the body. Practising a few yoga movements will also help to relieve stress and offer you a mood boost. Need some help? Check out our videos here.

 

  1. Practise Gratitude

 

Taking a few minutes to write down or even think of three things you are grateful for in this very moment, can give you a mood boost. The consistent practice of gratitude has been shown to help increase overall feelings of contentment and happiness.

 

Know When It’s Time To Ask For Help

 

Prolonged anxiety can lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness as well as physical symptoms like exhaustion, lack of sleep and heart palpitations to name a few. If you’re feeling overwhelmed to the point where your daily life is being affected, your behaviour is changing and you’re starting to feel depressed, reach out. Speak to your doctor, ask for a recommendation to see a psychologist or call the SADAG helpline: 011 234 4837.

If you need to find a doctor, click here for a list of doctors on the Medshield Network.

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Quick, Beginner-Friendly Yoga Stretching For Runners

As much as I love running, it really tightens up my hamstrings, calves and hips. Practising yoga is a great complementary exercise  to running, because it helps to stretch those tight muscles, create more flexibility and prevent injury.

I’ve designed this beginner-friendly yoga for runners sequence that you can do at home in your lounge or in your garden (if you have a wall). It will take between five and 10 minutes, depending on how long you’d like to stay in certain postures. I recommend at least 30 seconds, but you can stay for up to one minute.

Yoga Stretches For Runners

First we will focus on the calves and hamstrings. Begin in Downward Facing Dog and pedal out the legs as shown in the image below. Then move into your high plank and stretch out your calves.

Next we’ll focus on the hips. Move Low Lunge as shown below and really focus on pressing your hips forward. This will stretch your hip flexors. This move will also give you the added bonus of a good quad stretch for the leg that’s on the mat.

An area we often forget to stretch as runners is our feet! And yet this is a part of the body that takes a huge pounding. These two foot stretches may feel uncomfortable, so only stay in them as long as you feel you can. Rather take a short break and then attempt the stretch again.

The first stretch helps to prevent plantar fasciitis, which is a common injury among runners. The second move stretches out the top of the foot into the lower shin.

Lying down on the mat, we focus again on the hip area. This Reclined Cow Face posture targets the outer hips and the IT band. If holding your feet feels too much, then hold on to your shins. Really try to pull the knees closer in towards the chest.

Twists are really beneficial for the spine and the digestive system. This move is not as intense on the body as a full supine twist and is called a Windshield Wiper Twist. You can either hold for 30 seconds on each side as suggested below or gently move your knees from left to right a number of times for a minute.

This movement or posture really helps to release tightness around the lower back and hips.

To finish off this sequence, find a steady wall that you can swing your legs up against. The key to this posture is getting your sit bones as close to the wall as possible – they should press against the wall.

This posture is really restorative for tired legs and great to do every evening if you tend to spend a lot of time on your feet. Remaining still, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath will also help you to relax and de-stress.

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6 Warm-Up Moves For Runners

Avoid injury, perform better and feel better too, with these six warm-up moves for runners.
Have you ever just started running and thought “Agh, I feel terrible!”. It takes the body some time to warm up and if you start running immediately (without a warm-up), your body will often feel tight or stiff and you may hurt yourself.

Warming up areas of the body pre-run will help improve how you feel on the run as well as your performance. As a runner and a yoga instructor, I really feel the benefits of doing these 6 moves before running.
This is a quick warm-up routine that will take you less than four minutes.

  1. Ankle Rolls
  2. Figure-4 Hip Rotations
  3. Leg swings
  4. Cross Knees
  5. & 6 Bum Kicks and High Knees

 

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The Top 5 Moves To Activate Your Glutes And Work Your Bootie!

No matter what sport you do, it’s so important to be able to activate and use your glutes efficiently. These beginner-friendly exercises below will help you to target and strengthen your glute muscles.

What you need:

  1. A mat or comfortable surface with a towel on top.
  2. A thick band which you can tie around your thighs (you can try a pair of stockings)

If you’re a beginner you do not have to use the band, just be mindful in the bridge pose to not let your knees splay open.

This workout will take a total of 8 minutes only! And by adding this to your weekly routine, you’ll see improvements in your walking, running, cycling and other sports.

  1. Crab Walk
  2. Donkey Kicks
  3. Fire Hydrant
  4. Clam
  5. Bridge
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Jonathan Boynton-Lee Workout Programme

Upper body Workout
Skipping warm up minimum 5 minutes
Then do all 6 push and pull exercises below back to back, rest pause when needed. Repeat 3-4 rounds

PUSH
-Pike push up 1 min
-3 Decline push ups/3 push ups /3 Incline push ups keep rotating for 1 min
-Cobra push ups 1 min

PULL
-Pull ups 1 min
-Human pull over’s 1 min
-Inverted chin curls 1 min
Once you’ve completed 3-4 rounds of above move on to some finishers

FINISHERS (repeat three rounds of the below or any finishers of your choice)
-Burpees 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest
-Ski jumps 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest
-High knees 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest

LOWER BODY WORKOUT
Skipping warm up minimum 5 minutes
Then do all 6 exercises below back to back, rest pause when needed. Repeat 3-4 rounds

ANTERIOR LOWER
-Alt single leg box squats 1 min
-1 ½ bottomed out squats 1 min
-Jump squats 1 min

POSTERIOR LOWER
-Alt. single leg heel touch squats 1 min
-Sprinter lunges 1 min
-Plyo sprinter lunges 1 min
Once you’ve completed 4 rounds of above move on to the
finishers

FINISHERS (repeat three rounds of the below or any finishers of your choice)
-Burpees 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest
-Ski jumps 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest
-High knees 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest

ABS WORKOUT
Do the following exercises back to back, as little rest as possible
between exercises. Complete 2 rounds if you looking for a solid
15 minutes of ab work to ad to your workout
Scissor leg raises 1min
Knee to elbow lifts 1 min p/side
Leg lifts 20 p/side
Ski jumps 1 min
Plank builders 30 sec
Spidermans 30
Side to side bunny hops 1min
Black widow knee slides 1min

 

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Catch Your Breath with Amy Hopkins

Taking just a few moments each day to practice some deep breathing exercises can decrease stress, relax your mind, body and can help you sleep better. #MedshieldMovement Ambassador, Amy Hoppy reaffirms that breathing correctly is important for your overall well being. While its benefits are uncountable, here are some important ones that will motivate you to breathe deeper.

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