5 tips to improve your fitness routine

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Overcoming workout blues is easier said than done, especially if you’ve spent the last few months cooped up indoors, on your couch, watching Netflix and giving into banana bread. But having a workout routine is important, especially since exercising keeps pesky seasonal flu at bay and boosts your mood. If you’re stuck in a rut and looking for some motivation to get moving, meet Sonali Swami. The 45-year-old athlete and Zumba instructor started weight training just eight years ago at the age of 37, and in 2016, won a bronze medal at the World Fitness Federation Asian Championship.

In the virtual edition of ELLE’s Masterclass on Instagram, Sonali chatted with ELLE’s Beauty and Health Director, Mamta Mody about how to stay motivated to workout. Here are her top 5 tips…

Believe in yourself

The first thing to do is to stop thinking of fitness as far off, unachievable miracle. “You have to begin by changing your mindset. Focus solely on yourself, ignore other people’s progress. Take it one day at a time and believe that you have the power to change your body,” explains Sonali.

Just show up

Don’t give in to laziness, “People think that workouts are effective only when they are an hour long. That’s a lie! Even 10 or 20 minutes of exercise is better than nothing,” she says. For fitness novices, Sonali recommends walking. “If you want to challenge yourself, just sit on your couch and get up [like you’d do squats]. This way, you will be working your legs which are a large muscle group,” she explains. Take up this exercise a notch higher by using water bottles as weights and increasing repetitions. Or, start by doing jumping jacks and if you have knee or ankle injuries, she suggests leg lifts.

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