Need a little at-home workout inspiration? I’ve got you!
Okay, I know the word quarantine is getting a little old (and trust me, I am with you), but with recent surges in the coronavirus outbreak all over the country, I have a feeling that a lot of us are still staying indoors as much as possible.
With the number of new outbreaks finally decreasing here in New York City, I feel comfortable enough to get out for long walks, exercise, and limited exploring in my neighborhood — with a mask and social distancing practices in tow. The playgrounds just re-opened last week, and we have been taking Skyler (with caution) to several around us as long as we still continue to feel safe to do so.
That said, if you follow along on Instagram, you’ll probably notice that we try to get outside for an adventure — even if it’s just for a walk — every day. Without access to a private backyard, this has been essential for both my mental and physical health, and I’m very thankful for the beautiful parks around us.
As we enter Week 16 of being quarantined with at least another month or so before gyms start to reopen nearby, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the tips I’ve learned during this time of isolation. It’s not always easy to stay motivated and moving, and this is especially true when you add extra stressors into your life. So let’s chat about it!
Thank you for reading today, and please feel free to share what you’ve been doing in the comments, too.
Set a goal to move thirty minutes per day.
Does this always have to be an intense workout? No. But it can include a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout every once in a while.
I have a personal goal to work out (even if it’s stretching for recovery) most days of the week, and you can always catch a recap of what I’ve been doing in my latest Friday Favorites post. My workouts range from long runs and workouts that call for dynamic, heart-rate raising movements to online low-impact Pilates, barre, and yoga classes.
If I’m feeling sore or truly not up for working out that day (I try to listen to my body, versus my mind here), then I’ll opt for a longer walk outside that day and take the stroller for Skyler to hop in and out.
Some days my time to move is a dedicated hour or two to clean our apartment. You’d be surprised how many steps you can get in walking back and forth, tidying, mopping, wiping, etc.
The point is that your active time doesn’t have to be perfectly structured. Whatever you chose to do to get standing and moving around regularly will be beneficial!
If you aren’t sure how much (or little) you’re moving, wear an activity tracker.
I’ve worn my fair share of activity trackers in the past, and I have to say that the Apple Watch has been my favorite for all-day stats and tracking. I resisted getting one for years, and I finally caved before the holidays last year. And now that I wear one, I’m slightly obsessed with it. (I have this one.)
I talked myself into the purchase after I realized how much Skyler likes to steal my phone. Even if he isn’t playing with it, he used to have a bad habit of hiding it in places like his toy bin, in the sofa cushions, or anywhere else I wouldn’t find it for sometimes hours at a time. Having the convenience of seeing my texts, calls, and even emails come through on my wrist has been so helpful to stay connected, when I want to.
So that was the main reason I jumped into all-day tracking! An added bonus was to keep tabs on my daily activity. As someone who lives in a big city and relies on walking and public transportation to get around, I had no problem getting in more steps than I aimed for every day. But, living under quarantine has been another story. I have to be very conscious of how often I get up and make extra efforts to get those steps.
A few of my favorite features of the Apple Watch include tracking my workouts, a reminder to stand if I’ve been sitting too long, a reminder to breathe (with an app-led breathing exercise) at least once a day, and the ability to connect with friends and their daily activities.
My watch has admittedly motivated me to hit my daily move goal many times over, and even increase that goal. Some days I don’t realize how much I’ve been sitting until I look down and see a low number of active calories burned. I’m not all about burning calories to track progress, but it is eye opening to see and sure gets me motivated if that number is lower than usual at that point of the day.
Anyways, I guess this is a long way of saying that I used to intentionally opt out of wearing an all-day activity tracker, but I’m loving it more than ever to stay on track during quarantine.
Find workouts that you love to do.
Not everyone likes running, riding a stationary bike, or completing high-intensity workouts like CrossFit or Orangetheory. Some people prefer to workout solo while others thrive off of a group setting. It’s important to find out what kind of workouts you enjoy doing the most, and make sure that you incorporate them regularly.
My ideal week of workouts includes two to three strength training sessions at the gym, two short runs or cardio sessions, a barre (Pilates or yoga) workout, and a long walk or run on the weekend to round it all out. This would be the perfect set-up for me, because it includes the activities that I enjoy doing this most. This does not, however, mean that it is the ideal week of workouts for you.
Exercise shouldn’t be something that you dread, it should be something that you look forward to! If you haven’t found at least one type of activity that you love, then you might need to keep trying a different type of workout until you do.
If I know I’m going to a complete a workout that I like showing up for, it’s ten times easier for me to actually go to it or complete it at home. And when it all comes down to it, life is too short to be doing it any other way.
Workouts can happen whenever you need them to.
One great thing about working out at home during quarantine is that you can find a workout and follow along whenever you need to. I have a large list of go-to workouts free on YouTube (I need to update this!), and they are available to stream when it works best in my day to do so.
Some days I work out best without distractions (like during Skyler’s nap), and other days I just have to turn one on when I can … even if it’s for twenty minutes between a trip the park and cooking dinner.
I absolutely love group fitness classes, but there is certainly an advantage to being able to turn on any workout you can find online whenever and wherever you want to.
If you’re more consistent with a schedule, find the days and times that work best for you and aim for that each week. And if you need to, write them down … even if it’s on an empty calendar! People stay accountable in different ways, so stick with what works best for you and roll with it.
Workouts don’t have to all be an hour.
Piggy backing off of the point above, all workouts don’t have to be the “best workout ever” and last an hour or so. In fact, some of my most effective workouts have been done in forty-five or even thirty minutes.
It’s all about how you use the time you have to work out, and going into it with some sort of plan helps, too. Did you do an upper body blast yesterday? Maybe focus on the lower body today. Did you recently complete a long, intense workout? The next one should probably be low-impact.
I have more of a structured routine when I have access to a gym, so my sweet spot with working out during quarantine has been to just to get in what I can, when I can. I’ve learned that you can still do a lot in fifteen or twenty minutes. That time adds up over time, and it totally beats not working out at all.
Being confined to your house during most days can be hard in many ways. It’s challenging to keep a sense of normalcy and routine, and working out has been something that has done just that for me. Breaking a sweat and moving my body gives me something to look forward to with a sense of accomplishment afterwards. It’s a win-win!
Taking a short amount of time in your day to focus on something positive like completing a workout can help you mentally and physically. Working out produces endorphins, and even an easy-paced twenty minutes of activity can completely change my mood.
I hope these tips help you stay motivated or even start a new journey into regular workouts. There really is no time like the present to do so!
You Might Also Like:
- 12 Beneficial Things To Do During Social Distancing
- New Habits I’m Continuing Post-Quarantine
- 10 Things I’m Doing To Increase My Productivity
Have a great done my friends and chat soon!