It’s not always possible to get to the gym, whether you’re working from home, traveling, or socially isolating yourself. However, no matter what your circumstances are, these strategies can help you stay active and healthy.
The importance of staying active
It’s not always simple to keep to an exercise plan or maintain your fitness objectives while you’re stuck at home, traveling for work, on vacation, or quarantined. You may have restricted access to fitness facilities or be having trouble adjusting to a new program. Maybe you miss the companionship of your gym, the comfort of swimming laps in your neighborhood pool, or the social connection that comes from walking or hiking with your regular workout buddies. You could be disappointed in the intensity of workouts on your own if you’re used to attending a fitness class with a motivational instructor.
Maintaining an exercise program in a hotel room or at home can feel more like a’should’ than a ‘want to.’
Maintaining a gym membership and staying active can seem like a much lower priority when so many of us are out of work and struggling financially. Even a modest bit of action, on the other hand, can have a significant impact on how you think and feel. In truth, exercise is one of the most effective tools we have for remaining physically and mentally fit—and you don’t need to join a gym or pay for a membership to gain the benefits.
Exercise can help with sadness, stress, and anxiety, as well as chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes management. You can take control of your attitude and well-being by finding new ways to get moving and stay motivated.maintain a sense of control during these times of significant uncertainty, and stick to your workout goals even if your regular routine is disrupted
Making an exercise plan to keep you motivated
The key to starting and maintaining an exercise routine is to plan ahead. Consider any continuing health concerns, the time you have available, and your energy and stress levels while creating an exercise regimen. Many individuals have been feeling exhausted as a result of the pandemic-related worry, so if you’re still educating your kids while working at home, or if you’re unemployed and worried about money, now may not be the best time to start a new exercise regimen.
Set sensible goals centered on activities you enjoy, regardless of your circumstances. If you start small, celebrate your victories, and gradually increase your workout routine, you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
Make your workouts a priority. People who schedule their exercise activities alongside their regular visits are more likely to stick to their plans. You wouldn’t cancel your dentist’s appointment because you were too busy at work or didn’t feel like it at the time. Rather, you would complete your commitment and then return to work.
Workout when it’s convenient for you. Many people who stick to a long-term exercise routine exercise first thing in the morning. Getting your workout done first thing in the morning can help you feel energized and establish a positive tone for the rest of the day. When their energy levels are low, others find it beneficial to take a break from work and get active in the afternoon. A surge of activity can help you get through the rest of your to-do list by stimulating the brain.
Make your goals specific, and keep track of your workouts. Set a specific objective, such as “walk 30 minutes in the morning on Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday,” rather than “become in better shape.” To keep track of your progress, use one of the many fitness trackers or smartphone applications available, or just use a calendar to record the length of your workout, distance traveled, and effort level. Tracking your progress can help you stay on track by holding you accountable, giving you a sense of accomplishment, and motivating you to keep going.
Declare it aloud. Share your goals and habits with a friend or publish them on social media. If you know your friends will be asking how you did, you’ll be less reluctant to skip a session. If they give you positive feedback, it will enhance your confidence for the following session. Even if you can’t be physically together, working out with a friend can help you stay on track. Set up regular periods to workout with each other over the phone or via video call, and offer support and encouragement to one another.
Tips for getting the activity you need—anywhere
Always remember to stay safe, wear appropriate footwear, begin carefully, and give your muscles and tendons time to adjust to any new exercise. If you have any underlying health disorders, are taking medication for a heart problem or to control blood pressure or blood sugar, or are experiencing dizziness, balance problems, or joint troubles, always seek medical counsel. And if you’re in agony while doing something, STOP.
As much as possible, get outside. Try to exercise outside as often as possible unless your neighborhood is under a stay-at-home order or you need to remain in quarantine. Take a stroll, jog, or bike ride outside, but remember to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from other people. Your mental health will benefit even more from the fresh air and sunshine.
Maintain variety in your workouts. While working out at home or in a hotel room, you can watch your favorite streaming show, listen to a podcast, or listen to some excellent music. To keep things interesting, go for a walk in a new part of your neighborhood or talk on the phone with a buddy. Or try activity video games or “exergames” that simulate dancing, skateboarding, soccer, bowling, or tennis. These can be great alternatives if you’re unable to participate in the real thing.
Take a different route. By incorporating a mindfulness component into your outdoor walking, you may fully immerse yourself in the experience. As you walk, take in the scent of the air, the variety of flowers and trees, and the feel of the sun or wind. Bringing your focus to these things can provide a break from your problems and allow your creativity to flow. New ideas and solutions may come to you when you aren’t even conscious that you are working on them. Look for hills, perform some step ups on the curb at each corner, skip, or even jump up and down the curb a few times if you find you need to increase the intensity of your walks.
Experiment with new ideas. Have you ever wanted to try barre, line dancing, cardio funk, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training)? Find a free online movie, sign up for one of the numerous online programs, or download an app to aid you with your home workouts (links in the “Get more help” section below). When no one else is looking, many people feel more at ease doing something new. You might just discover your new passion! Boxing, Pilates, or yoga are all good options. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and narrow down your web search to include terms like “yoga for over 50,” “golf-specific workouts,” and “basic Pilates for beginners.” Every day, a slew of new, often free, classes are added to the site. Just remember to avoid causing pain.
Come along with the youngsters. Play catch or tag with your kids, go on a bike ride, shoot baskets, or pass the soccer ball. Playing together might help heal a troubled relationship by diverting attention away from homework or housework.
Do you miss going to the gym? Make a workout room in your home. If you have the space, create an enticing exercise area in your house and keep your equipment nearby. To execute resistance exercises, try utilizing resistance bands, water bottles, or your own body weight. Push-ups can be done against the wall, then the kitchen counter, the coffee table, and ultimately the floor. Do you have any stairwells in your house? Stair climbing is a great way to increase your strength. Keep one foot on a step and step up and down several times
Build more movement into your day
Many of us are spending an increasing amount of time sitting, whether it’s watching TV, working on the internet, or participating in Zoom meetings. However, even if you work from home, you may find methods to include more activity into your day. Instead of thinking of physical activity as a one-time event, try to conceive of it as a way of life. Getting up every 30 minutes for a small burst of exercise can mount up over the course of the day.
-Vacuum a room, scrub a sink, perform some yard work, or wipe down your appliances to fill in the gaps in your sitting time.
-While on the phone, stand for an online meeting, do squats or lunges while waiting for a meeting to begin, or jump jacks in front of the TV between credits or commercial breaks.
-While you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or the bread to pop up, try’microwave exercises’ (brief bursts of activity) like countertop push-ups.
How much exercise is enough?
Something is always preferable to nothing when it comes to exercise. A walk around the block will not only stretch your legs but will also help you clear your mind. It might even motivate you to go for a longer walk the next day.
Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate level activity (or 75 minutes of strenuous intensity) per week, including two sessions of strength-building activities per week, according to current recommendations. Five times a week, that’s around 30 minutes of movement. It’s also fine to take a break. You can get the same results with two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts. Include some warm-up and cool-down time in your workout —
It’s natural to feel upset when circumstances make it impossible to engage in your preferred forms of exercise. Don’t be too hard on yourself; instead, keep trying new workouts until you find something you enjoy. If your drive to get moving starts to wane, think about how much better you’ll feel after even a short workout.
Giving oneself an extra treat as a reward for sticking with a new workout routine is also beneficial. Make a fruit smoothie, take a long, hot bubble bath, or call a friend or family member. Remember, the healthy habits you develop now will help you stay healthier and happier long after the worldwide pandemic has passed.