One of the hardest parts of this new hopefully-temporary world we’re living in is not being able to work out. In my normal life, I try to go to the gym, take SoulCycle, or do yoga with my yogi friends every day. It helps me stay physically fit and healthy, but more importantly, it does wonders for my mental health. Working out and feeling fit make me feel empowered, and as the greatest lawyer in history Elle Woods once argued, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands.”
Needless to say, staying motivated to work out from home hasn’t been easy, and some days, I’ve had to accept that the most movement I’m going to do is walking from the couch to the kitchen to get that bag of peanut M&Ms. But I know that no matter how unmotivated I am to workout sometimes, I will feel so much better when I do. So to that end, here are some tips and resources for staying fit at home!
- Putting on workout clothes when you wake up in the morning
Unless I have a video call for work, which mercifully have been few and far between, I get dressed for a workout when I get up each day. Even if I’m not planning on working out until the early evening when I’m done with work, I have no excuse to bail if I’m already dressed for it.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is something I’ve struggled with my entire life; I’m pretty sure I’m just perennially dehydrated, and it’s a problem. But especially now that I’m home all day, every day, I’m trying to drink a glass of water or a cup of tea every single hour. I see a huge difference when I drink more: it staves off my frequent headaches, my skin is clearer, I eat less junk, and I feel more energized, which leads to a more productive workout.
Make sure to re-hydrate after your workout too, to replenish the fluids you might have lost when you were getting your sweat on!
- Schedule workouts into your calendar ahead of time
If they’re already in your calendar, you’ve made the time for them, and therefore, you have no excuse!
Some people are busier than ever, because their bosses do not understand boundaries, so for you, I present this collection of 5-minute workouts!
- Embrace IG Live Videos
Yes, on the one hand, it’s super-annoying that there are a million people going live on Instagram 24/7 these days. On the other hand, a lot of amazing trainers in the fitness community are offering FREE live workouts that would otherwise cost a lot of money in normal times. And if you’re not able to do the workouts live, a lot of accounts will save the videos either on their IGTV or on their IG Stories for up to 24 hours, so you can watch them at your convenience.
My friend and SoulCycle Master Instructor extraordinaire Maddy (@maddztaddz) is one of the most inspiring, hard-working, go-getters and she has been going live on Insta almost every day with free ab and arm workouts with a side of motivational words of wisdom.
When I lived in Los Angeles, Rumble Boxing was my go-to workout almost every day, and I miss it so much. But thankfully, they’ve been doing IG workouts almost every day, and they publish their full schedule of workouts at the beginning of every week. I like to look at the schedule and choose which sessions I want to take. And it’s 100% equipment free, so no need to worry – I don’t have a bag or boxing ring, either!
- YouTube is a fount of fitness content!
For years, trainers and fitness gurus have been building their YouTube channels, and this is really their time to shine.
I started Chloe Ting’s 2-Week Shred Challenge this week, and it’s extremely challenging, but I’m already seeing results! Her schedule tells you exactly which of her workout videos to do each day. Each one is roughly 10-15 minutes long, and most days you’re doing 2-3 videos, equaling a 35-50 minute workout.
- Anything can be a weight if it’s heavy enough!
One of my favorite things about doing Melissa Wood’s workouts is that they’re all workouts and yoga flows that rely on your own body weight. BUT if you want to challenge yourself, you can use household items in place of many kinds of workout equipment! A filled water bottle becomes a dumbbell, or those gallon water jugs from the supermarket become kettlebells. A lot of pilates moves can be replicated on a wood or tile floor with hand towels placed under your hands or feet. Something I’ve seen online is people using throw pillows in place of small exercise balls to create resistance for glute and inner-thigh workouts. And you can use countertops or dressers in place of a ballet barre. Get creative!
- Blast some tunes and dance your troubles away!
A mini dance party, even for a song or two, can totally change your mood while getting your heart rate up.
I recommend Kygo’s take on Whitney Houston’s “Higher Love,” or Van Halen’s classic, “Jump!”
- Workout with a friend
My best friend and I have always loved working out together, whether it was long walks on the beach in Israel, boxing classes in NYC and LA, or hot yoga in Boston! But since we’ve been long-distance besties for most of our friendship, we’ve developed habits that help us continue to stay fit from afar. We always send each other new workout videos every day, and constantly Snapchat each other our workout outfits. We motivate each other to get moving and stay healthy, and have even talked about doing yoga together over video-chat! It’s a great way of staying connected to one another and feeling less lonely.
- Bribe yourself
Or rather, reward yourself! My boyfriend and I both love to eat, and we’ve been doing a ton of it. I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking and baking, and though we know that we’re allowed to indulge and treat ourselves, we also feel a lot better about doing so when we’ve really earned it. Peanut-butter double fudge brownies somehow taste even better after cardio!
- Get outside (SAFELY)
If you’re able to, get out of the house, even if it’s to walk around the block once, twice, or twenty times. Fresh air and sunshine make a huge difference, and as long as you’re not remotely near anyone else, you’re good to go. We have been trying to take long walks a few times a week, and it’s finally getting warm enough for some bike rides. If you’re in a big city, this may not be an option for you, and for that, I am so sorry.
It isn’t easy to find positivity in these dark times, and a lot is beyond our control. But you can control how you spend your time inside and how you take care of your body. And the best part is that you’re able to do it 100% for free!
Now stop reading and start moving!
Photo: Telegraph UK