Women’s Fitness cover model Nicki Petitt juggles her PR business with online fitness coaching classes and manages to stay in peak condition by varying her workouts. By her own admission, she loves exercise. Nicki shares her top tips on boosting exercise motivation.

Nicki Petitt is a 35-year-old PR consultant who has been running her own PR company for five years. Based in Surbiton, Surrey, Nicki works with start-up companies and global brands, including sports apparel and home fitness apps, as well as race organisers. She juggles her busy PR job with running her ‘side hustle’ business – fitness coaching, which she now does online through Zoom. Nicki is in great shape despite her busy schedule, so we asked her to share her top tips on exercise motivation and getting the most from your workout…

1. Make the most of the summer

Get out and move. Do not underestimate the power of walking. Fresh air will clear the mind, ease the body back into movement and up your step count fast. Move as much as you can to hit those 10k steps.

2. Find an activity you love

Exercise shouldn’t be seen as a chore. Nor should it solely be about burning calories and losing weight. Find something you can look forward to, be it an online yoga class or HIIT workout or a 1-2-1 Personal Trainer session in the park to kick start your fitness again. Gelling with that trainer or the style of workout is key to creating a long- term habit and enjoying every step of the journey.

3. Have a schedule

Set aside regular times for your workouts, treat it as your ‘me-time’. Before long, it’ll be second nature to start or end your day with a home workout, run or bike ride.

4. Buy yourself some new kit

This might just be the inspiration you need to get back into shape again. I’m definitely guilty of this!

5. Set yourself a goal

Be it running a certain distance, at a speed, or signing up to a virtual run to support your chosen charity. Make yourself accountable.

6. Buddy up with friends

If motivation is an issue, find a class to do with your friends. might not be with each other in person but logging onto a team Zoom workout and seeing your friends there, knowing you’re training together, pushing through the reps together in real-time, will make you feel incredible. Every session, I am amazed by the energy, the hard work by all my clients and the massive smiles at the end. It really is such a strong community.

7. Use technology

There’s so much content ready for you online, be it social media, or fitness apps, that can keep your workouts varied so you don’t get bored. Maybe you respond well to setting yourself a challenge – learn a new skill, learn how to headstand or handstand!

8. Make the most of home workouts

We’ve all had to adapt and invent new ways of training and coaching. Home workouts are here for the long haul! People have realised just how easy it is to build a home workout into their working day, no commuting or queuing for showers. Once something that could have been viewed as quite lonely, training on your own in your front room, now through zoom a whole new community vibe has been created. It’s brought people together from all over the world and reunited friendship groups.

9. Don’t feel bad about missing the gym

Heading back to the gyms can’t come soon enough for some people, those treadmills and weights have been seriously missed! Human interaction, gym equipment, training in a different environment to that of your own home… some people need it in their lives to provide structure and a feeling of escape. 2020 just proves that we are not limited by the gym’s four walls; we can adapt and learn to create an even more positive training experience but for some, the gym is the preferred exercise environment.