With so many uncertainties in the world, and so much out of our control, regular exercise and movement is more important than ever. With our daily routines interrupted, most of us aren’t moving as much as we normally do to complete day to day tasks. In addition to the many amazing physical benefits exercise provides (lowering blood sugar, lowering blood pressure etc.), exercise has been shown to help manage mood, anxiety, and depression.
Reframe What Exercise “Looks Like”
Exercising at home can be a difficult transition. It might look and feel completely different than how it previously did, and that’s okay! Figure out what tools you have at your disposal. If you have home equipment collecting dust somewhere, get it out and use it! If not, do you have anything around your house that you might be able to use as exercise equipment or space? What you do at home does not have to be the same as, or equivalent to what you did before. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Exercise apps (free trials)
Try exercise “snacks” of 1-5 movement minutes a few times a day
Go up and down the stairs every hour
Implement a Morning Movement Policy
Get moving right away, and set the tone for your entire day! Moving right when you wake up is a great way to avoid the “I’ll do it later” trap that is so easy to fall into. As a bonus, movement increases circulating oxygen, which will help wake you up! Try one of the below, or come up with your own morning movement.
Walk around your house or outside
Become Inefficient in Your Daily Tasks
Leading busy lives, we have programmed ourselves to do daily tasks as efficiently as possible. What if your new goal is to do them as INEFICCIENTLY as possible? If you have two things to carry upstairs, carry them one at a time. You have just DOUBLED your movement for that task! Being inefficient throughout the day can add up to a significant increase in movement.
Create Exercise Accountability
Studies show that having an exercise accountability partner can both increase exercise enjoyment and compliance. Unfortunately, meeting up with a friend face to face is not feasible right now, but a virtual exercise buddy is the next best thing!
Enlist a family member who lives with you to be your workout buddy, set meet up days and times
Ask a friend to be your virtual workout partner, start and stop the workout around the same time
Check in with a friend or family member via text before or after you exercise
Share your virtual calendar where you schedule your workout appointments with your new virtual exercise pal
Schedule Your Exercise
Scheduling exercise is always a “must do” for habit building. When regular routines are disrupted, this structure becomes even more important. First figure out the what, where, when, and how of your new exercise routine. Once that’s done, WRITE IT DOWN! Put it in your phone, on the wall calendar, or hang a sign in your bathroom. Make it an appointment, make it a priority. Remember, routine helps build habit!
Create and stick to a routine
Avoid the “I’ll get to it later” mentality, especially if working from home
Be specific about what you will do, where you will do and when
Avoid rescheduling if possible
Move the appointment to a solid time and date if you do reschedule
Remember to be kind to yourself. For many of us, this is uncharted territory. Allow yourself the luxury of trying out different things to see if they work in YOUR life and routine. Most importantly, don’t give up!