Staying Motivated While Working Out At Home (Plus a PELOTON Giveaway)

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

Enjoy the rest of your week, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Peloton Bike and Primal Kitchen haul. It’s an incredible prize package!



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11 thoughts on “Staying Motivated While Working Out At Home (Plus a PELOTON Giveaway)”

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  1. Enjoying your workout is very important because otherwise, you won’t be able to give it our 100%. Therefore it is essential that you do what you enjoy rather than following a strict protocol that makes your life hell. So playing more absolutely important.

  2. Yes – the present lockdown scenario has shattered everyone’s mood – it needs lots of intrinsic motivation and online connectivity with friends to get back into the groove. good information

  3. Microworkouts are doable and keep things interesting. I set my cell phone alarm to go off each hour and remind me to move (I work at home on my computer all day). Keeping things fun and adding variety is so important.

  4. I think it’s also helpful to understand motivation in terms of the modes of thought — possibility thinking vs necessity thinking. Everything we do, we are doing to attain a desired benefit or to avoid an unwanted consequence, and we all fall somewhere on a continuum of leaning more toward one or the other of these. Many of Mark’s readers, I think, fall more on the possibility side of the fence, and part of what makes motivation hard right now is that it can feel like the benefits (whether it’s that race finisher medal or the camaraderie of the group ride or looking fabulous for that class reunion) have been largely taken away. And exercising just to avoid weight gain or sluggishness or chronic disease is not in itself a very powerful motivator. Whatever we can do to identify and pursue rewards that feel meaningful to us will really help with motivation.

  5. Since covid-19 I just discovered work out at home. The way I do it: divide piece of paper in two;
    One side chores, light administration and other things to be done.
    Other side: list of (body)weight training exercises. I keep a timer at hand: 3 minutes chores followed by 1 session weight training. And so on and on, checking off both lists.
    It’s wonderful: both the chores and the micro workouts stay fun.
    The three minutes chores intervals are to refill the muscles with ATP.
    It’s my first time ever to enjoy chores as well as home workouts.
    Inspired bij you, your books and brad kearns’ podcast. Thanks!!

  6. I’ve been enjoying working out at home. Apparently, I’m easy to keep motivated. I run a few days a week, and many of my friends aren’t motivated because there aren’t any races. I love training for races, but I don’t actually love the races.

    What works for me (mostly) is having a written plan. If I write it down, 95% of the time I’ll actually do it. Weds is my “wing it”/ rest day and what day do I usually do nothing?

    So I’ve written out an 8 week plan of running (specific workouts, 3x a week), lifting (I use Beachbody on Demand, because – again, I like having a specific plan. I will follow this program on these days). It helps that I have “enough” dumbbells and kettlebells to keep it happening.

    I’ve also been liberally using Instagram and Facebook workouts, streamed from local gyms, or IG workouts that my local friends have been doing. (On Weds or Sunday).

    I’ve incorporated micro workouts too…basically pushups 3x a day, a few days a week.

  7. Due to lockdown I am always wondering how to control my negative thinking but though can’t be control so i visit your platform and extremely helpful for me