While your workout motivation may have been at a high at the start of the New Year, chances are, it may have waned a bit by now. If you’re wondering how to stay motivated to work out for the rest of 2022 and beyond, read this. Here, two expats share how they plan on sticking to their goals of getting in shape – and staying that way – well past February.
Lloyd Colling (British-South Africa) shares his workout motivation
Lloyd wasted no time in making fitness a part of his regular routine when he arrived in Singapore just seven months ago. He immediately enlisted the help of no-nonsense personal training gym Ultimate Performance Singapore (U.P.), where he’s been training twice a week for the past six months.
Focused on weight-based resistance training, Lloyd’s U.P. workouts initially incorporated a whole lot of pull-ups, split squats, row pulls and other strength training exercises. After 12 weeks, Lloyd’s personal trainer had him step it up to “beast mode”, adding more weight and new exercises into the mix. Lloyd even added a third day of training to the weeks leading up to Christmas, tacking on extra body- conditioning components including an Aerodyne bike, ropes and the farmer’s lift (“Trainer’s orders!”). Lloyd tells us more:
What inspired you to get in shape?
The trigger for me was moving to a new country after a separation, and having a rethink of what I wanted my life to be. I also wanted my two boys (aged eight and four) to be proud of their dad. Now, I do whatever my personal trainer tells me to; he’s been very helpful in adapting the plan to multiple surgeries and COVID setbacks.
How do you stay motivated to work out?
My boys are my workout motivation. They are 8,000km away and, for the short term, we chat via iPad; I now have them doing my trainer’s split squat exercise! Having them in my corner was the driving force of my motivation; I found myself drawing on this early in the first few weeks and after the 12-week mark, when I had to remind myself why I needed to dig deep and push harder.
How do you remain driven to eat healthily?
For me, it’s less about dieting and more about making sure to get the correct amount of nutrients each day.
When you get into it, it can be fascinating to understand how food affects your body – what gives you an energy boost (beetroot!) and what slows you down. Thanks to the help of U.P., I now know what works for my body.
How do you get yourself to work out when you don’t feel like it?
I started adding more activities outside the gym, including a 50km bike ride, HIIT class and two six- kilometre runs. Once I saw the benefits of the gym work, I wanted more; group activities help with motivation.
Also, tiredness is a killer. Reducing calories and carbs will drain the life out of your day; I added magnesium supplements to sleep better, and increased testosterone with pine pollen, zinc, brazil nuts and almond butter, butter oil and cod liver oil, and vitamin D3, to help keep me energised.
Amparo Espadas (Spanish) shares her workout motivation
After experiencing some health issues and a string of sports injuries, Amparo found that she had to swap sports for another activity that could help her get her fitness back. So, she decided to give Pilates a try. For guidance, she looked to FitNut Loft, a boutique fitness studio in Bukit Timah that offers Pilates, personal training, group classes, nutrition coaching and more. Some of her go-to classes include Reformer Pilates and FitNut Loft’s signature class, Strong and Lean, which combines Pilates techniques with weight training to build strength and stamina.
Now, nine months into her thrice-weekly training, Amparo’s still at it. She’s getting stronger by the day, and looks forward to getting fitter throughout 2022 with her fellow FitNutters, a supportive tribe of women mostly in their 40s and above who need motivation, accountability and a fun group to exercise with. Amparo tells us more:
How do you stay motivated to work out?
My main motivation is looking back at a time when I was fit, and knowing that I want to get that level of fitness back again. I used to play lots of sports, but was never a “gym goer”. After many injuries and some health issues, I had to stop playing some of the sports I had enjoyed. So, I started doing Pilates and found that I really liked it! It has proven to be a perfect solution for me, as I’m getting my strength back.
I believe that finding the right kind of exercise is crucial in keeping motivated. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you will most likely stop doing it.
How do you stay motivated to eat healthily?
Honestly, that’s a tough one for me because I’m a foodie; I love food – all types and from everywhere! But, I know that if I don’t eat healthily, it will be much harder for me to achieve the level of fitness that I want.
What keeps you working out, even when you just don’t feel like it?
I know myself, and I know that I will find any excuse under the sun not to work out. The trick is signing up for classes to hold myself accountable. I sign up for classes at specific times and on specific days, so that it’s on my calendar and part of my weekly plan.
I also purposely picked a fitness studio that was close to me so that I don’t have any excuses when it comes to going there.
This workout motivation article first appeared in the February 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
Need more tips on how to stay motivated to work out and meet your goals? See our Health & Fitness section