By @JournoChels

This year, many of us fell into the winter slump and never quite managed to pull ourselves out of it. Thanks to gyms not being open and with nowhere nice to go, it was very easy to continue with the festive nibbles way into the spring. But with BoJo announcing the lifting of the lockdown, maybe it’s time for you to slither off the sofa and get yourself moving.

Credit: Kieran Cleeves/EMPICS Entertainment/PA Images

Credit: Kieran Cleeves/EMPICS Entertainment/PA Images

Do something you enjoy

My top tip when it comes to diet and exercise is to do something you enjoy. Don’t make it a punishment or a chore, you just won't stick to it! An hour walk a day will be more beneficial in the long run if you can stick to it, than attempting a run that you’re not ready for, and quitting on the second day. There are so many different exercises out there, go and find something you love - not everyone’s a runner!

Get a goal

Having a goal gives you so much more motivation when it comes to exercise and diet. It allows you to see the progression and motivates you to keep going! Whether that is to get your steps in every day or to aim towards a longer or faster run, you will feel so much better when you can see yourself getting closer to that target and it will make you want to carry on. 

Routine your life

Make your diet and exercise regime a habit. Having an allocated time, or day of the week where you have planned your workout will make you much more likely to stick to it. Write it into your diary like you would a meeting at work, this is time you owe to yourself. You wouldn’t let your client down, so don’t do it to yourself!

Trick yourself into half

Some days, you really won’t want to work out - and that’s normal! Nobody feels motivated to exercise every single day, not even fitness professionals! On the days you feel like this, go in with the intention to only do half the workout. This will take away the daunting feeling as the workout will feel easy compared to other days, but there’s a high chance that when you start, you won’t want to stop and you’ll complete the full thing! Sometimes just getting is the hardest part. 

Music makes you move more

Music can really affect your mood, and you can use this to your advantage when it comes to exercise. A good playlist can save you from moments when you’ve just had enough. A good tune or your favourite song could be the reason you run the extra mile, instead of heading home listening to a downbeat track. Upbeat playlists work best for me, but take some time to think about what you want to listen to, to perform your best.

Avoid restrictive diets

Try to avoid going on a super strict diet which means restricting all of your favourite foods - it will be impossible to stick to and you will only go and go on a crazy ‘binge’ when you finally crack. Have you noticed it’s always the people on these crazy restrictive regimes who seem to be forever-dieting because they can’t stick to the ridiculously low cals and without their fave foods?! You just don’t need to do it to yourself! Everything in moderation is the secret. If you want that burger - eat that burger - as long as it’s not every day!

RELATED: Don’t give up and don’t give in: How to prioritise your mental health post lockdown

While many of us may have begun this year with goals and new year’s resolutions, if we learnt anything from the turbulent year of 2020 which we just left behind, it is that sometimes you just have to take things one day at a time. With things ever-changing, it is once again paramount that we prioritise our mental health and remember to give ourselves those breaks which we might not be getting in our usual ways.

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