The nature of exercise has undeniably changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gyms have been closed for months as group and individual exercise routines have largely shifted online.
There has been no better time to focus on staying active and healthy, as well as to practice self-care. Additionally, there are several ways to make your exercise time in the pandemic productive without breaking the bank.
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Staying Active During COVID-19 Pandemic
If you don’t have access to the best equipment, or any equipment at all, use household items to boost your exercise. Fill up used milk cartons or detergent bottles to simulate dumbbells. Lift your pet as part of your reps. Anything to get the blood moving!
If you are looking to invest in new equipment, make sure to save some money by choosing the right equipment for you. The most expensive, newest tool isn’t necessarily the best fit for your exercise routine and preferences. Be sure to take this into account during your search.
Set up a dedicated space and time for staying fit. Even if you are apartment-living, there are spaces you can carve out for this necessary “me” time. A mat in your living space can suffice, or take it outside to a local park. Be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing if you do so.
Make exercise joyful and fun by incorporating your favorite music or relaxation sounds into that time. Exercise is not just a time to take care of your physical well-being, but also your mental and emotional.
Your goals will likely look different than they did pre-pandemic, and this is OK. Perhaps the goal used to be the amount of reps and weight. Maybe now, the focus is stress relief and stretching. Refocusing on what is important will help you achieve your goals and keep you committed in the long-term.
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Remember too that there are still exercise groups that regularly meet virtually to keep each other checked in and accountable. If you were prone to falling off the wagon before COVID-19, chances are that could happen again during the pandemic. Make the effort to connect with others and be honest about the challenges you face during your exercise journey.
Try something new and switch it up. While having dedication and routine are important, it is also important to not get bored and lose motivation. Maybe this means breaking up your day every once in a while or getting up early to see the sunrise and practice yoga.
Lastly, if you have previously contracted and recovered from the coronavirus, make sure to take it slow when it comes to your new daily exercise routine. There can be negative consequences to pushing it too hard too fast.
Maintain Your Motivation
Staying motivated and committing that time to staying active each and every day is the key to building better habits. Your physical and mental health need tending during this extraordinary time.
Get creative with how you incorporate exercise into your daily routine. This will ensure that the new habit becomes long-lasting for the benefit of your good health.