How to Stay Active from Home

For the past few months, I’ve been hearing more and more people comment on how sedentary they have been since the start of the pandemic. And it makes sense – when the gym is closed, the pool is shut down and even going outside can be risky if it’s crowded, what’s a person to do for exercise? Luckily, I’ve been spending my time in isolation being more active than ever before, and I have lots of tips to share with you!

Make a Plan

The first trick to sticking with any workout plan is to actually make the plan! Take a look at your schedule and see where you can make time to workout. Take into consideration if you like to exercise in the morning before classes, in the evening, or if you have a break between your classes where you would love to squeeze in a workout. Plan a time for exercising that suits your lifestyle and commit to moving your body during that timeframe.

Do Something You Love

Now that you’ve decided when you’ll be working out, it’s time to decide what you’ll be doing! The absolute most important thing about choosing an exercise is that it must be something you love to do. If you love feeling strong, lifting weights might be for you. If you hate the idea of going to the gym but love partying with your friends, consider getting involved with virtual dance or group exercise classes! You know yourself better than anyone else, so think about what you really love and find a way to do it. Pro tip: think back to your favourite games to play as a child or your favourite extra-curricular activities. Almost all of them will have a movement component, and your inner child will probably love to return to some of those activities!

Use Your Resources

Now that so many people are working from home, the fitness industry has adapted to provide us with resources to stay active! The Internet is your best friend for staying fit during this time. You can find videos to follow along with on YouTube, home workout guidebooks and fitness apps that will give you different workouts every day. My personal favourite is Kayla Itsines’ SWEAT app!

We also have the enormous privilege of access to group ex classes and athletic facilities through Laurier! With daily virtual classes on Zoom, you can join your fellow Golden Hawks in staying fit online, even if you’re living too far to access the gym in person. Depending on your comfort level, you may be able to visit a gym in your hometown that has re-opened as well!

Don’t forget to use your resources to be creative with workouts! Don’t have dumbbells? Use two full water bottles! No stair climber? Use the stairs in your house! There are always methods to work around barriers to get your exercise in using the materials you already own, as long as you use a little ingenuity!

Use Your Daily Routine

Even if you don’t realize it, there are probably lots of opportunities to stay active by making some modifications to your daily routine. Instead of letting the dog out in the backyard, take them for a walk! Watch your favourite Netflix series from the elliptical instead of the couch. Take movement breaks to stretch and stand up between classes, even if that means walking up and down the stairs a few times. There are opportunities for movement throughout our day, if only we look for them!

Listen to Your Body

Above all, make sure that your new exercise routine actually contributes to making your body feel better. We are all under stress right now, and sometimes that can make us push ourselves harder than is healthy. Like everything else in life, we want our workouts to be balanced. If you ever experience pain, exhaustion or other signs that you’ve pushed too hard, take a step back and take a break. Exercise is meant to make us feel better, not worse!

Similarly, if you ever feel like a particular exercise is out of your comfort zone due to safety, privacy or any other reason, recognize and stand by that. Not everyone will feel comfortable working out at a gym right now, just as some people will only feel comfortable working out at the gym because of the lack of privacy at home.

I hope these tips have given you some ideas about how to keep moving, even when the world is on pause. Keep moving, listening to your body and staying safe!