4 tricks to hitting your January fitness goals when you're short of time


Have you had an exercise break because of lockdown or the festive season? Want to get back on track with your fitness goals this January? Jess Ennis-Hill shares her advice on how to get motivated, even when your schedule says otherwise

What with lockdown, home working, home-schooling, Christmas at home and all the juggling all those things bring, this has been a surreal time for all of us. And it's no wonder our motivation to exercise has gone up and down like a yo-yo.

If this sounds like you and you want your fitness focus back, there are a number of mind tricks you can play on yourself to help you stay committed.

“I know how much of a struggle it can be to exercise when you have lost motivation, you're busy and there are a million and one other things you need to do,” says Jennis founder, Jess Ennis-Hill. “But there are lots of tips and tricks I’ve picked up over my career that really help me make the time to fit in those workouts.” Here, Jess shares a few of those golden nuggets.

1. Call exercise ‘me-time’

Avoid thinking of your workout as a chore and reframe it in your mind as something that’s just for you: essential time for you to step back from any stresses. If you do that, I promise you’ll be more likely to prioritise it.

2. Think about the way you’ll feel afterwards

Instead of focusing on the effort it takes to get your kit on and get started, always focus on the way you’re going to feel after your workout. That buzz you get after exercising and the feeling of achievement when you’re done makes the effort well worth it.

3. Something is always better than nothing

When you’re tired or there’s a lot going on, you might not feel like going for a run or doing a full 30-minute circuit. And, at the same time, you may think there’s no point just doing five minutes. However, even if you can squeeze in just five minutes of activity, it’s better than nothing at all – and, according to scientists , it can have a huge impact on your body and brain.

To help you out with some quick, snackable fitness sessions, I’ve shared my favourite five-minute workouts in the Quick Blasts section of my Fitness app. There are also 9-minute HIITS and 20, 24 and 29-minute sessions, so whatever time you have, there’s a circuit to suit.

4. Think of this as a warm-up period

Don't put pressure on yourself to view your January fitness sessions as all or nothing. Instead, think of it as you gearing up for something. That way, you take the pressure off and give yourself credit for whatever you do manage to squeeze in.

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