Mixing up your workouts 'boosts motivation to exercise by 40%'

It’s no secret that exercise motivation during this third lockdown is at an all-time low.

But, if you’re sick of jogging, and can’t be bothered to do yoga in the living room again, there might be a tactic that could make you feel more motivated – mixing up your routine.

It seems variety really is the spice of life, as a new study has found that regularly changing your fitness regime and trying new things could boost your fitness motivation by almost 40%.

The study by the HUAWEI Watch GT 2 Pro, supported by sports psychologist Prof. Andy Lane, says that chopping and changing between things like HIIT workouts, pilates or even something completely different like hula hooping, could be the key to keeping you active.

The research reveals that one in five people (20%) find that mixing up their workouts gives them the most motivation to keep going, with 35% saying that setting themselves goals is key, and 32% who find that tracking their progress is the best incentive to get them lacing up their trainers.

The post-workout rush of endorphins is also a significant factor in boosting motivation, with over half (51%) of Brits citing the feel-good factor as a reason they keep up with their exercise plan.

‘Getting fit and doing regular exercise is a goal many of us want to achieve and mixing up your workouts can really help aid motivation and enjoyment, particularly during a challenging time like this,’ says prof. Andy Lane.

‘Goal-setting is a highly successful method of raising motivation, but understanding that you need to vary your training is really important if you wish to get fit and enjoy training.’

A recent review in the Health Psychology journal emphasises the importance of changing the types of goals that people set, which can involve learning new skills, and trying new activities along with trying to perform better.

Although 76% of Brits state that regular exercise has a positive impact on their mental health, 41% admit they’re struggling to find motivation to keep going, with one in five (20%) working out less during lockdown than they did previously.

This data suggests that changing up a fitness routine and trying something new, even virtually, could help get people back on track.

Three different workouts a week is seemingly the magic number for motivation, with a quarter (26%) who stay motivated to exercise trying this number of workouts in a week. One in 10 (9%) work out five times or more a week.

The findings also reveal that the most popular activities Brits are adding into their lockdown routine are walking (70%), running (31%), cycling (29%) and strength training (24%), with 21% striding up the stairs to get their steps in. 

Former footballer and broadcaster Jermaine Jenas, who is working with Huawei on the Mix It Up workout content, is passionate about the mental and physical benefits of trying different types of exercise.

‘The current lockdown situation is undoubtedly difficult for many people,’ says Jermaine.

‘I’m a big believer in the benefits of exercise for mental health, and I’ve found that mixing up my workouts throughout the week helps keep me motivated and happy. From kicking a football around to practising yoga, there are lots of different exercises you can do indoors or outside, every little helps.’

Even outside of lockdown life, Brits tend to throw in the towel after an average of three weeks after starting a new workout plan. 16% lose losing motivation after two weeks or less. But an impressive 29% say they don’t lose motivation at all. 

45% of respondents say that they’re lacking in motivation as they get bored of working out, while 45% also admit that they just don’t feel like exercising.

‘Motivation to be physically active can be achieved by going for a run, going for a walk, riding a bike, learning to improve your golf swing, shadow boxing and many more different options,’ continues Prof. Lane. 

‘Setting goals for each different activity helps us focus, raises excitement and encourages us to continue. When you set goals and have a way to see progress this aids motivation.’

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