The past year has brought a global pandemic, and with it came many changes. For those with an active lifestyle, getting out of the house and scheduling in-person workouts has been difficult, as social interactions and group workout environments pose a risk of infection and exposure to Covid-19. Exercising with a mask on is not pleasant, and many individuals have opted to complete their workouts at home. With the reduction in scheduled workout classes and decreased social meet-ups, it may be hard to find the motivation for keeping active during a pandemic while at home. If you are one of many attempting to keep your exercise in check during these uncertain times, try implementing some of these proven tips into your daily routine to get the most out of your workouts and keep active during this pandemic.
Set Realistic Expectations
When it comes down to keeping active during a pandemic and determining when you will work out, it is important to set realistic expectations based on your lifestyle. Taking the time to list out your priorities and evaluate what is possible within the boundaries of your weekly schedule is key. Whether it is scheduling around your full-time job, or finding the time when the kids are napping or at school, visualizing and planning out a time that is most convenient ahead of time will increase your chances of hitting your workout each day. It is also easy to tell yourself that you can work out every day, however, in reality, life is unpredictable and there will inevitably be days when you just can't fit it in. Give yourself some grace and allow 1-2 days off to relax, recharge, and simply enjoy your life without the pressure to sweat it out.
Humans thrive on routine, and you may find that the more you take the time to exercise the more your body (and mind) will begin to crave and expect it. It's admirable to prioritize others and ignore your own needs, however, keep in mind that your ability to help others begins with your healthy mind and body. Exercise changes your body chemistry, and frequent exercise will increase your energy levels and improve your mood—it’s simple science. Keeping active during a pandemic and finding time to move your body will help counteract the increased stress or anxiety that this pandemic might bring.
Find Your Space
It may seem unimportant, but taking the time to create your workout space can pay off in the long run! If you are staying home more than usual due to the pandemic, carving out a personal workout space can give you somewhere to go. This also allows you to have a place away from others with privacy so that you can hone in on yourself and what your body needs. Have fun playing with colors and visuals—vibrant colors and motivational photos can go a long way to help you achieve your workout goals. If you need some zen and relaxation, consider hanging curtains or lights, plugging in an essential oil diffuser, and playing some calming music. Whatever you choose, make your space special, and most importantly make it somewhere that you want to be.
Dress for Success
Of course, comfort comes first, however dressing the part can make a difference in your pandemic workouts. Just like you would dress for success when attending a job interview or audition, dressing in comfortable and trendy workout clothing can spark a desire to exercise more frequently. You may feel tired from lounging around your house, however simply putting on a nice exercise ensemble can get you mentally prepared to work out, and it will hold you accountable to go ahead and get moving. If you “look the part,” you may even be motivated to get outside and exercise in the fresh air (socially distanced) around others!
One of the few positives of this pandemic is the realization that technology can support important activities of our lives and help us stay on track. Have you been holding off on purchasing new exercise equipment? Now is a great time to splurge on a peloton or smart TV that allows in-home virtual reality workouts. Not interested in buying new? Go ahead and utilize the technology that you may already have and maybe don't use as often as you'd like, such as a smartwatch, smartphone, air pods, iPod, etc. Take advantage of YouTube or Instagram for free workout videos that can expose you to new styles of exercise that you didn't know existed. Virtual classes are the next best thing to being there in person, and participating in these out classes can help you connect with others from the comfort of your own home.
Once you get into a good workout routine, schedule reminders in your phone or calendar to check-in, review your progress and remind yourself why you work out in the first place. It might be easy to fall back into old habits and forget why you started exercising. Schedule just five short minutes a week to evaluate how your workout routine is going, and ask yourself the following questions: “What do you like best? How is it going? What have you noticed has changed in your life, and what are the benefits? How have other elements of your life improved?”
Scheduling this time for yourself will lead to increased self-awareness, and will help instill routine and consistency into your life despite the uncertain times we are living in. Follow these simple tips to find motivation for continuing your fitness journey during this global pandemic.