When the COVID-19 quarantine first started, many people thought it wouldn’t last very long. The stress of dealing with a global pandemic, combined with stay-at-home orders kept many people from their usual gym routines, causing them to become more and more sedentary. Months later, that hasn’t really changed for most people.
If you’ve spent the last few months on the couch and rarely exercising, know that you’re definitely not alone. It’s completely understandable to feel guilty about your sedentary lifestyle and to feel like you have no motivation to start now. The good news is that even thinking about getting started on a quarantine exercise routine is the first step!
Ready to get moving again? Here are some tips for getting motivated.
Combine Exercise with Cognitive Activities
Your body isn’t the only thing starved for exercise. Many people are experiencing chronic stress during the pandemic and are experiencing problems with focus, attention span, and mood. By choosing a workout that simultaneously exercises your body and mind, you’ll improve your mood and be more likely to continue putting exercise on the schedule.
The most obvious choice for boosting the mind/body connection is yoga. This relaxing form of exercise is accessible and can be done just about everywhere. Not only is it relaxing and helps to reduce stress, but it also builds strength and can be a great workout, depending on the intensity of the practice.
Another way to combine exercise and cognition-boosting benefits is to practice mindful walking and breathing. This essentially combines meditation and walking, allowing you to gain the benefits of both activities simultaneously.
Exercise with a Buddy… 6 Feet Apart of Course!
Quarantine has been hard on everyone. Not being able to go out to dinner for friends or have them over for coffee has taken a toll on just about everyone. The good news is that for most people, it’s now possible to exercise outside together with proper social distancing. If you need motivation to exercise, then the opportunity to see a friend might be just what you need.
Exercising with a friend is great for accountability, fun, and encouragement. Just take care to stay six feet apart!
Do a Little Bit of Health Research!
Generally, it’s best to motivate yourself using positive methods. But if that isn’t working, then it might not be a bad idea to look up some statistics on obesity, diabetes, depression, and other health issues. Long term, a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to chronic health problems and even premature death.
These health problems have scary consequences but are often preventable. Doing a little bit of health research might light a fire under you to exercise and reduce your risks. A sedentary lifestyle is harmful to your health, and it’s important to remember that fact!
Remind Yourself the Benefits of Exercise!
Study after study shows just how beneficial exercise is for our overall health. Not only is it important for regulating factors like blood pressure and heart rate, but it can also improve mood and sleep quality. You’ll feel happier and less stressed if you exercise regularly, and you might even see a reduction in problems like recurring headaches. You might find that you just feel better overall, even as you cope with the restrictions of the pandemic.
There are tons of benefits to exercise, and while it’s not always fun in the moment to unroll your yoga mat or lace up your shoes, it’s well worth the effort. Remind yourself of those benefits every time you’re tempted to skip a workout. Pin a list of them up on your wall if you have to!
Keep In Mind That If You Lack Energy, The Right Exercises Can Help
Do you find that you’re tired all the time these days? It’s not too surprising when you stop and think about it. Most people are stressed out about COVID-19 and the state of the world in general. On top of that, most people aren’t getting enough exercise during quarantine.
It seems counterintuitive, but you’re actually sapping your own energy by not exercising regularly. Moderate exercise can actually boost your energy levels and help you sleep better at night. The good news is that the best way to get more energy from exercise is to mix things up, which also keeps your workouts interesting.
Feeling Motivated? Good! But Start Slow!
If you haven’t been exercising at all since quarantine began, then it’s important to remember that you’ll need to build up the intensity of your workouts slowly. Don’t injure yourself or lose your motivation by trying to do too much right away. Build your motivation by building up to longer or more intense sessions. Start slow and remember that anything is better than nothing!
About the Author
Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.