A lot of people are having a hard time staying motivated to work out while fitness centers and studios are closed. Perhaps you enjoy the social aspect of workout classes or you have a standing appointment to meet your lifting buddy at the gym. Maybe you lost access to your favorite activities as a result of temporary Crossfit box or pool closures. Or, you finally found a coach or trainer you connect with, and regulations mean sessions are on hold.
It’s understandable. Many people recognize that intrinsic motivation (self-motivation) to exercise isn’t going to cut it, so they’ve set up their fitness life around extrinsic motivational (motivation from outside sources) factors – friends, friendly competition, stellar coaching, whatever have you.
That doesn’t have to mean losing all of your progress and starting completely over when your normal routine resumes. Until we’re on the other side of the pandemic, we need to find ways to motivate ourselves to keep up our fitness at home. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
4 Ways to Stay Motivated While Working Out at Home
Set Up an Accountability Group. There’s a fair chance that your former workout tribe is in the same boat as you are, and would love to check in with some familiar faces. Or, your friends and family are craving some social interaction, even if it has to be on-screen. With social media as woven into our lives as it is, it is easier than ever to reach out to your network and your and gym buddies to share successes and encouragement. Set a time, even if it’s only once or twice a week, to discuss what you’ve been doing and champion each others’ efforts.
Use Apps to Compete With Others. There have to be hundreds of apps that facilitate competitions between friends and strangers alike. You can organize or participate in virtual endurance races using the Strava app. My Fitness Pal allows you to add friends and engage in friendly diet and fitness competitions. Peloton equipment and integrated apps offer challenges, achievement badges and new “quests” (based on Instagram clues) that are surprisingly motivating, especially when you can peek in on friends you follow to see what’s going on on their profiles. Primal Kitchen® is giving away a Peloton plus $200 in product! Head over to this page – entry only takes a minute. Deadline to enter is June 8th, 2020.
Opt for Shorter Workouts and Microworkouts. Your workout doesn’t have to be a full hour of heart-pumping, sweaty hyperactivity. In fact, that can be counterproductive to your goals. Instead, try different formats to get the maximum benefit out of minimum effort. You can do an incredibly effective sprint workout in 10-15 minutes, start to finish. If microworkouts have piqued your interest, keep a resistance band or a few weights on the floor in front of your desk, and rep out a few sets of your favorite resistance moves in between emails throughout the day. You’d be surprised at how the effects of unobtrusive two-minute workouts will add up.
Play More. Every state has some form of regulation, but going outside is fair game. So, get outside. Find an open space to play Ultimate frisbee with your family. Take a bike ride with your kids since they’re home from school. Find a trail that’s open to the public and and hike out to a lake to skip rocks. Movement doesn’t have to follow prescriptive exercise formats, and the more fun you have, the more likely you’ll be to go back for more.
This setback is temporary, and we’ll undoubtedly get back to our preferred flavor of fitness. Sooner? Later? I’m not entirely sure. Until then, being flexible and getting creative will help you optimize your health.