The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to work from home until it is safe to return to our regular work places. It has also forced most of us to curtail our regular sporting or exercise routines as part of the “social distancing” that health experts are advising us to follow. A natural result of this situation will be the need to find ways to keep fit despite our confinement at home for most of the day. In this post, we suggest 6 tips you might follow to help you maintain a regular and beneficial exercise program to keep fit until the pandemic is over.
- 1 Set Yourself Goals To Help You Keep Fit While You Are Staying Home
- 2 Find An Exercise Partner To Help You Keep Fit While Staying Home
- 3 Include Your Workout Schedule In A Daily Journal
- 4 Modify Your Exercise Routine To Make It Compatible With Your Home Environment
- 5 Exercise Away From Home Occasionally
- 6 Reward Yourself For Adhering To Your Workout Schedule
Set Yourself Goals To Help You Keep Fit While You Are Staying Home
One of the main challenges you face when working out at home is the need to overcome boredom. One way to do this while maintaining a regular exercise routine that will help you keep fit while you remain home is to set goals and challenges for yourself. Do this at the beginning of your home based exercise program. Write the goals down and keep them somewhere safe. Use the feeling of achievement and satisfaction that you get from “ticking off” each goal as a motivator to strive for achievement of the next target on your list. Examples of effective goals may be the attainment of a specific weight or body measurement (e.g. waist size). Another type of goal may be participation in a race, triathlon or other fitness oriented event.
To ensure that you stay focused on your goal, you may wish to communicate it to others in your social circle. The knowledge that others are aware of the goals you have set will increase your motivation to keep working to achieve them. No one wants others to think of them as “quitters” or failures This is especially the case when it comes to people with whom you have to interact on a regular basis. The desire to avoid such an eventuality will help you adhere to your workout schedule and keep fit while staying at home.
Find An Exercise Partner To Help You Keep Fit While Staying Home
Another effective way to reduce the boredom of exercising at home is to find an exercise partner. At the gym, the boredom of exercise is mitigated by the social interaction with others you regularly meet there. If you are participating in group exercise sessions, the shared experiences with other group members is one of the prime motivators for continuing the program. An exercise partner for your home workouts will help to make up for the loss in motivation you would otherwise experience. The trick here is to maintain adequate social distancing from your partner (unless of course he or she is part of your household). Both of you should wear masks or face shields if your partner is not a regular member of your household.
As mentioned above, most of us do not wish to be thought of as “quitters”, especially by others within our social circles. Having an exercise partner who is expecting to meet you at scheduled times to complete your workout is an effective way to ensure that you will stick to your routine and maintain your fitness level despite your confinement at home.
In addition to helping you to maintain your workout schedule, an exercise partner can serve as a “spotter” while you perform more ambitious but potentially risky exercises. The ability to “push yourself” will help you to maintain your goals and increase your chances of successfully staying fit despite your home confinement.
Include Your Workout Schedule In A Daily Journal
We are conditioned to respond to schedules and timetables that we set ourselves, whether these involve work or family commitments. So, an effective way to ensure that you keep up with your workout schedule is to carve out a specific block of time for it and include it in your daily schedule. Once it is there along with all your other professional and family commitments to others, you are less likely to neglect it. You will come to view it as your responsibility to yourself just as you view the other commitments as your responsibilities to others. Staying fit while you are confined to your home will acquire the same importance as your other responsibilities.
Modify Your Exercise Routine To Make It Compatible With Your Home Environment
Most of the equipment you may regularly use for exercising at the gym will not be available at home. So work with a personal trainer to modify your routine to use furniture or other items that are present in your home or that you can easily keep there. Resistance Bands, for example, are inexpensive to buy and are extremely versatile. You can also easily store them away when they are not in use. Shoulder pulleys can easily fit over the horizontal portion of a door frame and help you to perform many shoulder related exercises.
You may also want to switch to a greater emphasis on body weight exercises such as pull ups, pushups, squats, etc. These routines require minimal equipment, but can be just as effective as the equipment in a gym when it comes to keeping you fit while you are staying home.
If the weather is favourable and you have the time, you can also modify other daily activities so that they become part of your regular exercise routine. For example, instead of taking a 10 minute drive to the local grocery store, try walking or cycling there instead. Alternatively, instead of having a landscaping company mow your lawn, try doing it yourself. It may be more time consuming but remember that it also reduces the time you need to spend doing your regular home workout. You will be amazed at the difference a simple change like this can make to your conditioning level and to keeping you fit while you are staying at home.
Exercise Away From Home Occasionally
Remember also that it is quite permissible to participate in outdoor exercise provided you are not in close contact with others. Going for an occasional weekend hike alone, for example, is a great way to break the monotony of your home based exercise routine while maintaining social distancing.
Reward Yourself For Adhering To Your Workout Schedule
Another useful strategy to help yourself adhere to your workout schedule is arranging a reward time immediately after you complete your workout. Whether this is watching 30 minutes of your favourite TV show or taking your dog for a walk (a valuable form of exercise in itself), the act of looking forward to enjoying this time right after your workout schedule can be an amazing motivation to start and complete your workout. One of life’s most under-rated pleasures is enjoying a short period of guilt-free recreation while knowing that you have worked hard to earn it.