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With coronavirus restrictions on gyms set be lifted from June 13 in the Australian state of New South Wales, much sooner than previously thought, we have suddenly found ourselves 5kg heavier and dreading to bring out the workout gear, let alone stepping near a gym.

I for one wish I was given some warning that gyms would reopen sooner so I could mentally prepare and lose some isolation weight. Ah, Covid-19 has changed so many things! The new normal is something I’m not sure we’ll ever get used to.

I know for a fact Covid-19 has changed the way I work out. It’s taken any type of ‘gym workout routine’ right out the window. Many of us have resorted to following workouts on Zoom, signing up to online fitness classes and replacing intense weighted workouts with ‘long walks around the block’ and running for hours. With thousands of us suddenly finding so much time on our hands, wouldn’t we have time to work out more? Maybe so.

The Covid-19 lockdown and isolation period has seen a sharp rise in online workout programs being purchased, with The Economist reporting that the wellness industry as a whole is ‘booming’.

With the fitness industry essentially forced to go fully digital, it really leaves no more excuses of “Oh I don’t have time to work out” and, “I can’t get to the gym”. With an endless choice of daily fitness classes streamed at different times of the day, now the personal responsibility of working out has fallen directly into the laps of individuals. But how can we motivate ourselves with so much going on around us? Why should people feel the need to work out?

I’m a fitness fanatic myself – when I say fanatic, I mean I can’t go a day without working out or else I’ll feel lethargic and guilty. Some of my co-workers think I’m crazy when I tell them this but, this has taken years of mental practice and as soon as Covid-19 came, I was left wondering what to do. The thought of not being able to go to the gym to work out and de-stress made me feel sick.

Literally.

I began taking long runs and I even created my own workouts. I can happily say that I’ve only put on 3kgs during quarantine. I thought it would’ve be more! You might be wondering, I said ‘only 3kgs’ and no, I am not making a huge fuss over it because Covid-19 lockdown was very difficult for many of us.

The side effects of Covid-19 won’t be fully known for a little while, but from what I can see and from talking to people, the mental side effects have been the worst offenders. This brings us to the core reason of working out: mental benefits and the endorphin rush that we experience after working out.

exercise

There is also the other side: motivation for working out.

This is all mental. The desire to workout is purely found in the brain.

Why should I work out when I can watch another episode of Suits?

See where I’m going with this?

We need to think about working out like the way many of us feel about our morning coffee.

Who can go without their morning coffee?

Not me!

Working out gets the blood moving, makes us sweat, makes us feel alive – not to mention the endorphin rush after we workout puts us in such a good mood.

Who doesn’t want to be in a good mood?

Many people also report feeling mentally sharp after they’ve worked out, especially if you work out before breakfast.

Amongst other benefits, some important, science backed benefits from working out include:

  1. Improved sleep.
  2. Increase in self-esteem and overall happiness.
  3. Improved cardiovascular health.
  4. Increased energy levels.
  5. Better skin (yes, I’m talking about you, pesky zits).

If all this isn’t enough motivation, then I have news for you – with a regular workout routine combined with a healthy diet, you can literally reshape your body.

No, I cannot guarantee you will begin to resemble Halle Berry with regular workouts, but I can guarantee that you will feel amazing and even start to look amazing!

Scheduling time to workout has never been more important than now. With the effects of Covid-19 taking their toll on many people, being able to feel good about yourself should be a top priority. When you work out, you feel like you’re in control.

This same mentality can help in other areas of your life too, whether that be trying to secure a job post-Covid, or simply trying to find some normality in your life amidst these crazy times.

The time to begin your fitness journey has never been better, so when those gym doors open on June 13, you bet your sweet souvlaki I’ll be in there pumping my weights!

For our GCT readers in Greece, gyms are expected to reopen on June 29.

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