Under normal circumstances, you might use any excuse to avoid going to the gym. But these aren’t normal times. When 7 in 10 Americans are reporting corona-related stress, movement is more important than ever.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting.” So, if you think about it, making a commitment to exercise daily isn’t just about your physical health, it’s also a commitment to your mental well-being.
Oh, and here’s an added bonus. Exercise is also an immune booster. You can help strengthen your system one rep at a time, particularly important for anyone considered to be high-risk for contracting COVID.
There’s no question, maintaining your exercise routine when the gym is closed can be a challenge. Working out at home takes some serious discipline, but it’s definitely doable.
Follow these eight home workout tips to guide your at-home activity, no matter your fitness level.
Fact: the more specific your fitness goal, the more likely you are to stick with it. For instance, instead of a nebulous, “I want to get in better shape”, try writing down a measurable, time-bound goal. Something like, “I want to lose an inch off my waistline and be able to run without stopping for five minutes straight by my next birthday” is much more meaningful. And just to reiterate, write it down. It will help you stay more intrinsically motivated.
One of the keys to maintaining a continuous exercise routine is to make it, well, routine. That might only be 20 minutes between the time your kiddo goes down for a nap and when they wake up ready for snacks. Any amount counts. When possible, working out in the morning not only sets the stage for a more energized state, you’re also less likely to discover the day has gotten away from you.
Thanks to the internet, no-equipment workout videos and apps have been plentiful for some time. But now, there’s an extra abundance of free at-home workout programs to choose from. Whether you use your iPhone to source workout apps or music, attend an online exercise class, workout with your Wii or browse through fitness videos, you can get to sweating anywhere, anytime. You can even target specific areas of your body and choose programs based on your fitness level.
Looking for a list of the best online workout videos? Try this collection from Very Well Fit.
You don’t have to have an expensive Peloton bike or Smart Mirror to get into shape. (Unless that’s your thing!) If your own bodyweight just won’t do, you can practice some super sculpting workouts with just few simple pieces of exercise equipment.
If you want to pump up the cardio: invest in a jump rope.
If you want to build strength: try a set of dumbbells.
If you want to increase your flexibility: get a yoga mat for stretching.
If you want to relieve soreness: buy a lacrosse ball or foam roller.
Letting just one other person in on your fitness goal can significantly increase your chances of sticking to your workout routine. The best part? Your accountability buddy doesn’t have to live nearby or even be an actual person. With workout accountability partner apps you can sync up with your best friend 1,000 miles away or let your smart phone in on the action.
Some popular partner exercise apps include:
Working out may be all about routine, but that doesn’t mean your exercises need to be rote. In fact, switching it up every now and again keeps your brain and body engaged. You may try alternating days where you walk around a park, watch a yoga video, or do a high intensity workout. The goal being to incorporate all your major muscle groups each week.
If the weather permits, taking a walk or riding your bike around the neighborhood can do wonders for your mood as well as your bod. You can meet your neighbors, pet their dogs, and work in some safe socializing while you take in that incomparable Texas sky.
Remember your rest day is equally important as your abs day. Take the time to reward yourself for the progress you’ve made instead of constantly looking at how far you have left to go.