It’s January and it’s darn cold! The days are shorter and nights are longer. The ground is frozen. That’s right, it’s winter in NEO. 

In our new normal, things have changed quite a bit. There is a fear in the air. People are indoors most during these months. 

Similar to the feeling in early March (when quarantine began), the cold weather is affecting us more than it normally would. As we are now confined inside, the motivation to exercise on your own or in your own space becomes more of a challenge.

If you’re someone who isn’t planning on working out indoors at a gym OR is waiting to see how things transpire, I want to tell you exactly what you need to do to make the next few months (or weeks) as successful as possible. Below are 4 key points with action steps that if you follow, you will see amazing results!

ONE: You need to understand that your health is more important than ever

I can’t stress how important physical exercise is now more than ever. In a study titled “Maximal Exercise Capacity is Inversely Related to Hospitalization Secondary to Coronavirus Disease 2019” by Clinton et al. they aimed to investigate the relationship between maximal exercise capacity measured before severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and hospitalization due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). What they found was data further supporting the important relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and health outcomes. The major point that was found was that people who were infected and had greater cardio were found to have less severe infections, shorter hospital stays, and were less likely to be on ventilation. 

So when you’re at home and you don’t feel like exercising or you aren’t motivated, you need to remember that your fitness level can be a major differentiator during this time of your life. This may be the major motivator you need to stick with it during these times.

Action: Create a reminder, put a picture on the home screen of your phone, put a post-it note up on your mirror…set some sort of reminder for yourself for what your motivation is! Why do you need this? Why do you need to exercise? Those constant reminders are imperative to success.

TWO: You need to have a goal in mind

As the saying goes “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. The best way (in my opinion) to think about your goals is to define what success looks like for you over the next X amount of months. If you plan on training at home for the next month, 3 months, 6 months or more, by the end of that time what would you consider success for yourself? What would make you happy if you achieved it in that set amount of time? 

The longer you go the bigger the goal can be. The shorter the time frame, the shorter and more attainable goals you should create. 

Lastly, goals don’t need to be called goals because at the end of the day, a goal means that it has an ending. So if that word causes stress, change your mindset to setting MILESTONES for yourself.

Action: Look into the future and define success. What does it look like? It could be working out 5 days a week and not missing a workout for 90 days. Pick something that you will be proud of! And always remember that goals and milestones can change, as long as you pivot and continue to move towards your next goal or milestone.

THREE: You need a structured plan

The next step (and that might be now) is you need to have a structured plan that will either keep you in the shape that you are currently in or will work to improve your overall fitness. 

I would advise that having a structured physical activity (a workout) for a minimum of 30 minutes, 3-5 days per week on top of unstructured physical activity such as walking, yard work, hiking, etc. More specifically, this needs to be tailored to what your goals are and what you are looking to achieve. The majority of people that we have conversations with at RTC are looking to lose weight, increase strength and energy, and get more fit. Regardless of what your goals are, consistency and adherence trump a perfect plan that is not executed.

So when I say “have a plan”, you need to create a calendar of what your workouts are going to be based on the equipment that you have, the goals you created, and the time that you have in your schedule.

At RTC, we make this really easy for people who were going at it by themselves with our bodyweight only, at home workout e-book. You can re-download those here if you would like OR you can subscribe to our daily workout of the day emails if you have equipment and feel comfortable modifying workouts to meet your needs and abilities. 

If you need help with a more specific plan or don’t know where to start, join our remote coaching program where we can customize your workouts to your goals and equipment access. Your coach will also check-in with you regularly online via our RTC app. 

Action: Take out a piece of paper and write out your action plan. If you don’t use our workouts or advice from a Coach, create your first week of workouts and training. Put a day and time to every workout that you do. Make sure the training that you’re doing is tailored to your needs, schedule, and goals/milestones that you put in place. As an example, if a goal of yours was to hold an unassisted handstand, then there should be structured skill work and accessory work built into your week to help you accomplish this!

FOUR: You need some level of accountability

Once your motivation is in place, your goal/milestones are identified and your training plan is created, you need to make sure you’re being held accountable to get it all done. The biggest reason why someone hires a personal trainer or a coach isn’t purely for their knowledge or expertise, or the fancy equipment they might have, or even the results that they will get. The biggest reason why someone hires a personal trainer or a coach is to hold them accountable. If you’re going at it on your own this winter it will be on you to hold yourself accountable for getting your training in.

The easiest way to do this is to have a support system or other people that you can lean on to make sure you’re doing the things you need to be doing. The best option at home could be a relative or a spouse that you recruit to do your workouts with you (we call these people “account-a-bil-a-buddies”!). If that isn’t an option, you will need to rely purely on your motivation around your goals to hold yourself accountable.

Action: If you haven’t yet, write out your goals on a piece of paper (it could be on the same piece of paper you started writing out your plan) or a post-it note. Put that note somewhere where you can see it (like in step 1) everyday like on the mirror or your fridge. Then, I want you to create reminders on your phone every day so you’re reminded that you need to train. Lastly, I want you to workout at the same time every day. This will create a structured routine that will eventually become a consistent habit. Once something is a habit, it’s a lot harder to stop!

If you’re used to working with a coach in a group setting or a trainer in a 1-1 setting, going in at it alone can be challenging but there are always other options. If you find yourself not able to stick with your plan or need accountability, we are here to help.

Our remote coaching and programming options are incredibly successful in helping people just like you crush their goals!

Just remember, we are always here to help! #RTCAnywhere