Tips for Getting Back Into a Strong Exercise Routine
Maybe you started off this quarantine with a goal to keep up your usual exercise routine, lose a few pounds or meet a daily step goal. And hopefully you a crushing these or any other goals you set for yourself more than a month ago when the whole world starting to lockdown. But if you are like me, then you probably started off quarantine strong trying to keep up with exercise while also trying to figure out this new life we are living. But even I, a personal trainer who creates workouts for others struggled with creating workouts for myself to do at home. I started off strong but then things became a little boring and stale and I knew I needed to reevaluate my exercise routine. So here are some of my tips and tricks that helped me over the past month to establish a good exercise routine that leave me looking forward to the next days workout.
1.) Make a schedule: The first thing that worked for me was making a workout schedule for the week. I am a very schedule oriented person and this was something that I did when I was working at the gym so I could visualize what I wanted to work on each day. It also helped to show me as when my classes were that I was either teaching/or taking. This helped me to make sure that I was giving my body rest when it needed it and not working the same muscle group day after day. On Sundays I sit down and figure out my schedule for the week and write it down so that I can see it everyday and it helps keep me accountable to actually get the workout done.
2.) Try some Zoom/Online classes: The second tip that I can give you is to find workouts that work for you. I had never heard of Zoom before all this but now its one of my favorite ways to workout. Something that worked well for me was finding places that offered Zoom or facebook live classes. Doing classes in this format are very similar to taking a group fitness class at a gym, where there is someone instructing and showing you the exercises. For example Sweat and Social Distance is a great example because doing classes where you can see the instructor and be doing it in real time made me feel like I was actually there taking a class with them. It also helped keep me accountable as I knew that the class starts at a certain time so I need to be ready by that time.
I have also been taking Zoom yoga classes and a lot of the studios require you to preregister which is great as well because then I know that I have to register to participate and be there on time for the class, which is what would normally happen during a regular in person yoga class. Other great resources you can use are there are plenty of workout apps that are offering free trials so that you can try the app out before you purchase it. Youtube is another great site that has loads of free workouts on it. Honestly just type in the workout you are looking for and there will be some channel offering it.
3.) Expand your horizons: Maybe try a workout that you haven’t done in a while or have never done before. I tend to like high intensity and strength workouts, but since being home I have started taking pilates, barre and kickboxing classes. I have always wanted to try these type of workouts but they either didn’t fit into my schedule or weren’t offered, like Zumba/dance workouts which have become another one of my new favorite workouts to do. They are great because they get your heart pumping and no ones watching so you can move as crazy as you want to. Doing a variety of different workouts, as well as something you haven’t tried before can help to recruit new muscles which can strengthen and tone muscles that you may not use as often. It also helps to being a little variety to your life, so that you don’t feel like you are doing the same thing every day, which can become boring and cause you to feel unmotivated to exercise.
4.) Prepare like you were going to workout: This is something that has helped me a lot. If I have a workout planned or am doing on online I make sure that I always change into my “workout” clothes, even though I live in athletic clothes. Changing into a new pair of workout clothes, filling up my water bottle, setting up my music makes it feel more like I am “going” somewhere to workout, rather than just exercising in my basement.
5.) Don’t be so hard on yourself: This final one is honestly the most important. I know at the beginning of this I was so stressed about how I was going to stay in great shape while being home. But as the weeks have gone by, I am still working out but I am doing workouts that I want to do and that make my body feel good. While I love HIIT workouts, somedays my body just doesn’t feel up to one so instead of pushing my body through one, I’ll either just take a walk or do a short yoga class to get my body moving. There are so many stressful things in most of our lives at the moment, and worrying about not working out should not be one. We will have plenty of time to get back on track when this is all over so for now just enjoy your time being home and utilize whatever resources you can to stay in shape but don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss a few days. We will all be in the same boat when we are able to go back to the gym but I think the best thing we can do is keep our mind and body healthy eating nourishing foods and doing exercise that works for our bodies at the moment.
Diana currently works a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Middletown, NY. She also is a certified running coach and recently took a job as a Track and Field coach at Burke Catholic in Goshen NY. She enjoys teaching strength and conditioning classes, as well as HIIT and Tabata classes. She has competed in races ranging from 5k’s to even a marathon. She will hopefully be running The Philadelphia Marathon in the fall in hopes of qualifying for Boston. In her down time she loves to spend time taking yoga classes, walking and crafting.