How to Stay Active (and Sane) During Quarantine
Staying Active Without the Gym
As we enter another month of quarantine, the challenge of this new (and temporary) normal continues. There are multiple factors out of our control which can be daunting and overwhelming.
Thus, I urge you to focus on those elements within your control- your activity level being one of them. A lot of us started this gym closure quarantine with some pretty lofty fitness goals such as exercising more than our norm because we have 'more time,' getting ridiculously defined abs ready for eventual pool openings, or utilizing every one of those free workout videos inundating your Instagram feed.
You are not alone if those goals are not panning out, and shouldn't feel guilty for that. These are unprecedented times that require continual adjustments.
Whether your fitness routine fell apart or you have been overwhelmed on where to even start at home, here are a few steps to get yourself on track:
1. MAKE A PLAN.
FREQUENCY: Sit down and decide what is realistic for you. It does not matter if it is 2 or 5 workouts per week, decide on how many times you plan on exercising. Try to stick with this number for the next month.
TYPE: It can be a combination of different types (cardio, resistance training, etc.) or all of the same type. If you have been out of a routine, I’d suggest doing what you enjoy and not necessarily trying to work on those push ups you hate so much.
Example: Go on a walk on Tuesday, do a body-weight workout Thursday, do a yoga class Saturday.
2. WRITE IT DOWN.
Use a journal, planner, spreadsheet, or e-calendar.
It doesn’t matter how you record it, but make some sort of a log.
Write down the plan you made and then write down what you ended up doing. This is hugely beneficial for accountability and progress!
3. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
The influx of workout videos and suggestions is at an all time high - handstand push-ups, pushing your car, and leg pressing your couch are all things I have seen online in the past week.
While these activities can absolutely be done safely, let’s dial it back if you are trying to get back in your groove.
Squats, push ups, and lunges are workout staples for a reason!
For resistance training, try alternating an upper and lower body exercise for a total of 10 movements per workout.
4. DO NOT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF.
Life is difficult right now for so many reasons. Allow yourself to celebrate every personal victory- whether it is crushing a work project or hitting 3 workouts this week even if you planned on 4.
Ultimately, doing something is better than nothing - going on a walk instead of a run or doing a 15 minute yoga flow instead of a 45 minute HIIT class is still beneficial. And remember, choosing that glass of wine over your workout is okay too (sometimes).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katie McWilliams is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and owner of Trailblaze Physical Therapy + Wellness. If you want more guidance on programming, need some accountability, or have an injury preventing you from getting back on track, contact Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit trailblazeptw.com!