With most of our everyday activities limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, and statewide lockdown orders restricting us from the things we used to do every day, it can be incredibly difficult to create a routine that feels fulfilling or adequate in comparison to your pre-pandemic lifestyle. With gyms and fitness centers closed, keeping up a regular exercise routine has become one of the more challenging parts of adapting to life at home.
Transitioning to working out from home may be easy for some, but if you’re like most people, your motivation levels could use a bit of help. It goes without saying that staying physically healthy is of the utmost importance—not only for your muscles and cardiovascular system, but for your mental health too.
If you need some extra inspiration to get you on your feet, we’re here to help! Using this guide, we’ll walk you through how to keep active during quarantine.
Step 1: Make a Plan
It’s important to have an effective strategy in place to help you solidify and commit to manifesting and making good on healthy habits. Change the nature of your summer checklist to foster a workout routine that you can feel excited about.
As you carve out your home workout plan, keep these essential considerations in mind:
- What your goals are (losing weight, strengthening muscle, increasing endurance, etc.)
- When you’ll work out (in the morning, during your lunch break, in the evening, or at night?)
- Where you’ll work out (your driveway, living room, backyard, home gym?)
- How you’ll exercise (cardio, yoga, weight lifting, HIIT training, etc.)
Step 2: Get Your Gear
If you’re like most people, you don’t have a bunch of exercise equipment lying around your house— especially if this is the beginning of your fitness plan. If you’re like most people, you don’t have a bunch of exercise equipment lying around your house— especially if this is the beginning of your fitness plan. Without equipment, your options are limited. This means that you’ll need to invest in a few basics, such as free weights, resistance bands, a floor mat, and some comfy activewear.
Before you check out your cart full of new gear and gadgets, do some preliminary research to ensure the items you’re buying are best suited for your needs. Between finding the perfect pair of running shoes to deciding which machines to splurge on, there are plenty of important considerations to factor in before cashing out.
Step 3: Make it a social activity
If you’re quarantined at home with roommates or family, having them join you in your fitness journey is an incredibly easy way to get active and stay driven. The more people to hold you accountable to your goals, the better!
In fact, studies have found that exercising with other people rather than on your own is directly associated with lower stress rates and a higher quality of life. Doing things alone can be fun at times, but if you’re the type of person who dreads physical activity, having someone by your side can make a huge difference in your motivation and happiness levels.
In need of some ideas to get you and your quarantine company on your feet? Try out these great group exercise activities:
- Bike rides
Step 4: Use fitness apps
Fitness apps provide some useful support to your budding fitness routine by reminding you of your goals and regularly encouraging you to meet them. They’re also amazing resources for providing the knowledge and motivation you need to keep at it. Be it a calorie tracker or a virtual personal trainer who organizes your program, a couple of nudges from a few smartphone apps can keep you on your path and make a world of difference.
There are a myriad of fitness apps out there, but our favorites include:
- Nike Training Club
- Fitbit Coach
These amazing fitness apps cater to a variety of needs. Some are suitable for those who are already in shape, and others are ideal for beginners. Take the time to look at the details of each app to decide what features you need and don’t need.
Step 5: Stretch regularly
If you’re working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you know full-well that staring at a computer for hours on end tends to tighten up your back, legs, and hips— and the moment you remove yourself from your chair, you’re stuck with more aches and pains than you can count on your hands. Rather than trying to dive into a workout while you’re stiff, stretch first.
Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and balanced, and you need that mobility to keep your joints functional and healthy. By skipping stretching, your muscles shorten and become tight and painful. Make it a point to squeeze in at least 15 minutes of active stretching to prep your muscles for a workout or to relax them before bedtime.
Here are a few quick and easy stretches and that will help your body feel pliable and springy after sitting at your desk all day:
- Low lunges for hip flexors
- Doorway stretch for shoulders
- Lunges for legs and hamstrings
- Piriformis stretch for the hips and glutes
- Tricep stretch for the neck, shoulders, and back
- Downward dog for full-body strengthening
Step 6: Stay fit with your pet
Dogs make perfect companions for your daily workouts. They maintain a positive attitude while helping you have fun with every passing moment. Whether you’re looking to get your heart rate up by going for a jog around the neighborhood, or you have your sights set on reaching 10,000 steps every day, having your pooch by your side is an amazing way to achieve those goals.
Trail running is an amazing way to see the great outdoors with your pup and will challenge your body to a rigorous workout. And while it may be more difficult for your feet to adjust to uneven pathways and varied terrain, it’s actually better for your dog’s paws than pavement.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not be able to perform your daily workout regimen at the gym or attend your regular community fitness classes, so it’s important to change your mindset and look at these limitations as new opportunities to try your hand at new exercises. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to stay active during quarantine without a gym membership or in-person trainer!
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.