The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of everyday life. With most communal spaces closed, people have had to find creative alternatives for all activities that require leaving home—including working out at the gym.
If you’re someone with a regular exercise routine, you’ve likely felt the loss of not having quality gym time or access to equipment. However, staying home because of the coronavirus doesn’t mean you can’t still get in a thorough workout every day. With self-discipline and a little creative thinking, you can stay fit and healthy from the confines of home.
To stay on track and make the most of your at-home workouts, consider these simple indoor exercise tips:
Keep Tracking Your Workouts
Dedicated athletes and fitness enthusiasts typically track their progress at the gym, and working out at home should be no different. Documenting your results can keep you focused on your fitness goals, monitor your progress, and avoid stress injuries.
At home, you are in charge of how you push your body. It’s all too easy to get stuck doing the same workouts and exercises that you enjoy most, but these won’t necessarily challenge your body. By tracking your workouts on a notebook, calendar, or app will help you diversify your workouts.
Apps such as Gym Hero, Google’s Workout Calendar, and Trainerize let you:
- Set clear goals
- Record individual workouts
- Gradually increase the intensity of your routine
- Track progress markers such as weight loss or the number of reps you’re able to complete.
Dedicate Some Space
Most people don’t have a fully-equipped fitness room or a large open space in their homes. While this can make exercise a bit more challenging, it doesn’t have to limit your gains.
All you need is enough space to move around where no one will bother you, may that be your basement, living room, or wherever. If you have an exercise mat, resistance bands, or hand weights, store them in this space so they’re easily accessible.
Ultimately, your mindset regarding your home gym is more important than its physical features. Claim the space and dedicate it to working out. Treat it like the gym: a place you go every day for one purpose and don’t leave until you’ve completed your routine.
Youtube is Your New Trainer
The colorful, high-energy aerobic exercise videos of the ’80s paved the way for at-home workouts. Today, you aren’t limited to the set of VHS tapes or DVDs that you own: you have unlimited access to exercise guides on YouTube. These YouTube workout and fitness channels have videos dedicated to all levels of yoga, calisthenics, weightlifting, cardio, and more. Following along is the perfect way to guide your sweat sessions for free.
Schedule Your Workouts
Treat your workout time like any other kind of appointment that can’t be missed. Scheduling workouts, just like any class or session at the gym, helps you stay consistent and dedicated to your physical and mental health.
Try scheduling your workouts each Sunday for the week ahead. Once your schedule is set, mark it on your calendar and create an alert on your phone. Doing so will help you keep yourself accountable even when you lack motivation. Planning ahead can encourage you to show up for each session with determination and commitment.
Don’t Forget to Warm Up and Cool Down
At the gym, warmups and cooldowns are likely a regular part of your routine. Working out at home should be no different. Stretching is essential and creates an overall healthier workout for your muscles.
Skipping a warmup or cooldown can limit your results and even cause injury. Keep your muscles strong and flexible with at least 10 minutes of light activity before and after your actual workout session. Prepare your body and get your heart rate going, then transition into your workout. Afterward, stretch your worked muscles slowly and with a purpose to help them recover.
Stay Fit While Staying Home
It’s only natural to miss the gym during this time. The very environment of a workout facility is designed to help you achieve your best fitness goals. But don’t let gym closures derail you from your health and fitness goals. Stay consistent with your workouts, and you’ll be ready to jump right back into the gym once it reopens.
Images from MMSCENE Portraits featuring Malcolm by Ruben Vallejo – See the full story here