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A lot of things have changed amid coronavirus, including how we get our daily exercise. Whether you were a self-proclaimed gym rat or were ready to get a fresh start on your physical fitness before the shelter in place orders went into effect, you likely found your plans completely derailed.
While your local gym might not be open right now or you might not be ready to start working out again in a crowded space, there are ways to keep your fitness goals in-check by exercising at home. However, it is arguably harder to do. If you’re lacking motivation or creativity, we have you covered.
Make a Plan
To make good habits stick, it’s important to have a plan in place to support your goals. Make it part of your summer checklist to create a workout routine that you can actually stick to.
When creating your home workout plan, start with these things in mind:
- When you’ll work out (in the morning before work, during your lunch break, or at the end of the day)
- Where you’ll work out (your bedroom, living room, backyard, etc.)
- What your goals are (losing weight, gaining muscle, upkeeping endurance, etc.)
- Which exercises you’ll do (cardio, weight lifting, HIIT training, etc.)
Get Your Gear
For most of us, we don’t have a bunch of workout equipment lying around, especially if this is the beginning of our fitness journey. That means you might need to invest in some essentials, like a few weights, resistance bands, a floor mat, and the right clothing. Before you make any purchases, do a little research. For example, look into your options for at-home weight training systems and best running shoes for women. Having the right gear and equipment can make all the difference in the effectiveness (and enjoyment) of your workouts.
While you might need to buy a few things to bring your at-home workouts up to par, you can also work with what you have on hand, such as:
- Using water jugs or laundry detergent jugs instead of hand weights
- Substituting a workout bench for a sturdy chair
- Running your stairs instead of using the elliptical or stair-stepper
- Grabbing a towel or robe tie as an alternative for resistance bands
- Using a basketball (or other round object) instead of a medicine ball
Hold Yourself Accountable
One of the hardest parts of working out at home is holding yourself accountable and keeping up your momentum. It can be easy to get distracted by your phone, TV, and housemates—especially if the offer for fun plans arises. To help you resist the temptation to skip your workout, put a reminder in your phone or add exercise to your daily planner to remind yourself of the commitment you’ve made. Having to ignore that reminder will be a lot harder than simply forgetting or a quick mental rationalization as you walk out the door.
Another way to hold yourself accountable is by setting measurable, realistic goals that you want to achieve. Let’s look at some examples of good goal-setting:
- Workout for 45 minutes, 5 days per week
- Run 3 miles every morning before work
- Do 3 hours of cardio per week and 3 hours of weight lifting
Last but not least, make your home workouts enjoyable. It can be easy to get burnt out if you make working out a chore. Try to remember that it doesn’t always have to be hardcore, you can also try fun exercises that make your workouts more enjoyable. You can even make it a social activity if that helps you stick to your fitness commitment. There are plenty of ways to inject fun into your exercise routine:
- Start a running group that meets a few times a week
- Call up your friends over Zoom and follow the same HIIT routine
- Alternate cardio like running with other activities like dance classes
- Create a few workout playlists that keep you motivated
- Participate in online challenges with friends or other members of your gym
- Set up a rewards system for yourself (hit all your fitness goals for a month, get a new pair of fun yoga pants)
- Walk interesting routes that let you discover new places or sights in your city
Get creative with your home workouts and you’ll soon see that not being able to follow your typical gym routine can actually be refreshing and more enjoyable than you thought.