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Sports psychologist offers tips on regaining motivation to exercise amid pandemic

Posted at 2:45 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 10:41:09-04

You may be giving yourself a lot of reasons to give up on exercising right now, but a sport psychologist says there's more to it than just staying in shape.

“It's not good for anyone's mental, emotional or physical health to be inside for an extended period of time and exercise really is so vital to our wellbeing,” said Dr. Julie Emmerman, a sport psychologist.

Emmerman says exercise can help with depression, anxiety, stress and more. However, she recognizes people may be facing new hurdles.

You may not have as much time between working from home and taking care of the kids. Maybe you found your motivation at the gym. Or, maybe you were working towards a race that got canceled.

It could come down to finding a new reason to keep going.

“You can still have goals, but they need to be relevant to this point in time, so changing relevance might mean well, I'm exercising now because I'm committed to my general health. I want to be personally responsible to my health,” said Emmerman.

Emmerman says this is a chance to change up the exercise routine you've fallen into.

Use some creativity to work with the options you have. You could try group training over a video platform or challenging a friend to follow a new routine with you.

Emmerman also points out that everyone will have limits to what they can do and that's OK.