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The past year has been a real emotional rollercoaster. It's challenged us all and tested our resilience in ways we have never experienced before.
For me personally it's definitely affected my mental health, my motivation, my energy and my mood. I've had some highs and lows but what I've learned even more this year is that life is better when we exercise. When we push ourselves physically, we are able to change our mental state of mind and this is so powerful.
After I workout I always feel happier and more energised. I feel less stressed, I feel more optimistic and I see the world from a different perspective. It may only be a temporary lift in my mood and perspective but it does help and when I find myself falling back into a negative mindset I constantly remind myself "You will feel better after you exercise".
I often get asked where I get my constant source of motivation from and the truth is I don't always feel motivated. I have days where I can't be bothered to do anything and want to lay on a sofa eating marmalade on toast and ice cream all day. What I have though is discipline and good habits and on the days I wake up feeling flat and demotivated I just remind myself of that feeling of clarity and energy I get after exercising and I go and get it done.
One thing I've found really helpful is setting myself short-term fitness goals and challenges. This month it was to run my fastest 5km race and next month I plan on trying to do 25 pull ups in one set.
These goals are not body image or weight loss goals. It's a real measurable thing to work towards each day and as you get closer to it you start to feel so proud and motivated.
So my advice for 2021 is to shift your goals from being just about weight loss or body image and exercise to feeling good. Do it for your mental health. To feel energised and to get stronger and fitter. Do it because you want to feel less stressed and be more focussed and productive at work. Do it because you want to sleep better and wake up feeling more positive.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do when you feel down is to exercise but the link between exercise and your mental health is real. You can change the way you feel about yourself and the world if you choose to move your body.
And remember exercise doesn't just mean burpees and sprints. All movement is good so go for a bike ride around the park, walk through the forest with your dog, do some yoga in the garden or try one of my HIIT workouts in your living room.
One thing is guaranteed about 2021: you will come out of it stronger, fitter and healthier if you choose to come with me on this journey.
So I challenge you to set big or small goals this year, put in the work and enjoy the journey.
Just remind yourself that you will never regret a workout and always feel better afterwards.
Happy New Year.
Lots of love,