By Lisa James
One of the biggest challenges you face when you’re home every day is motivating yourself to stay in shape, especially if you miss your gym or studio routine.
But it’s important to keep moving, even when you’re just not feeling it. Not only does exercise keep flabbiness at bay but it also helps ease stress, lift your spirits and even boost your immune system (as long as you don’t overdo it; more on that in a minute).
Here are some ways to get off the couch and get in the game.
Find an Exercise Buddy (Virtually, If Necessary)
If you’re living with someone else, try becoming a team of two. Two people working towards similar goals can help motivate each other, while you can often be your own worst critic when working out alone. If you’re living solo, find a friend and use Skype or Zoom to encourage each other. And if you’ve got kids, make exercise a game: hide-and-seek, tag, you name it.
Set a Schedule…
It’s easy to think “nah, later” when it comes to exercise. So set a fitness timetable: aerobic five days a week, for example, with other days for resistance and stretching penciled in. Write it on a physical calendar, in your phone, on your laptop, wherever—but get it scheduled.
…But Don’t Overextend Yourself
Remember the part about exercise and immunity? That’s only true if you work out in moderation. Intense exercise can actually harm your immune system—and you sure don’t want that. What’s more, overtraining can also lead to sprains, strains and pulls, which you also don’t want.
Be Sure to Work Your Core
For some people, core work is bore work. But all physical activity depends on your central body; keeping your abdominal, side and back muscles strong will help protect you against injury. So while you’re setting your fitness schedule, show your core some love.
Go Body Weight—and Get Creative
Don’t have a lot of fitness gear at home? No problem: Body weight exercises—think pushups, squats, lunges, things like that—make it easy to work out almost anywhere. But you really miss your weight routine? Still no problem: most everyone has stuff that can fill the bill (like those cases of water you stocked up on).
Pick Your Times for Outdoor Exercise
If you’ve got a big enough yard, this one’s easy peasy. But even if you have no private access to the outside, you do have at least one window. Look outside of it several times a day and notice when you see greater numbers of people, then go for a run or a walk when foot traffic is lighter (keeping any local curfews or movement restrictions in mind, of course).
Explore Virtual Training Options
Like a lot of other people, many coaches and physical trainers are adapting to these changing times by developing online platforms (and that’s in addition to the dozens of fitness apps available for download). A search should bring you a whole list; just be sure to check out any possibles as you would in person (certifications, specialties, experience in working with people who have any physical limitations you may be subject to, etc).
That Goes for Yoga, Too
Yoga teachers are learning the same lesson as the trainers: Going online is the best way to stay productively employed. As with a trainer, be sure to ask about your virtual instructor’s qualifications and the style of yoga they teach.