While we all self-isolate and stay home, it is important not to neglect the amount of physical activity you do each day. While our region’s fitness centres and parks remain closed for the time being, we recommend making the switch to home exercising to stay healthy and safe. We understand that it can be very hard to stay motivated at home, especially during these strange times, but we want to remind you that staying active is great for your physical and mental health in a variety of ways. Prolonged periods at home can lead to sedentary behaviour which can have negative impacts on your health, well-being, and overall quality of life. Staying active is especially important right now because, as your stress and anxiety levels are probably higher than normal, physical activity can help your body and mind relax. In today’s blog, we wanted to provide you with some motivation tips to help you remain active while staying at home.
Create a Schedule
Including physical activity into your daily schedule is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Spend some time each week outlining your physical activity schedule so that you have each day’s activity at the ready every morning. Make your schedule pretty or add encouraging quotes throughout if you fancy – anything to boost your motivation! We recommend setting an alarm on your phone for each day with the time you have scheduled so that you will have no excuses for forgetting. Once that alarm goes off, finish up that email, finish that episode, or pause whatever other tasks you are working on and start exercising.
Make sure to block off at least 30 minutes each day so that you have this chunk of time that is dedicated solely to exercising. The World Health Organization recommends we all do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week – check out their website for some great tips on how you can combine these numbers and remain active at home while self-quarantined. Humans are creatures of habit, so it is best to block off the same time each day while you get into the swing of home workouts. We recommend starting your exercise time early in the day instead of after the workday or when the kids go to bed because it leaves little room for procrastination. The chances are pretty high that once the time rolls around to actually start your workout, you will come up with some excuse (like poor weather, non-napping children, a full stomach after dinner, etc.) to push it off until tomorrow. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to bail on physical activity and get it done as early as possible so you can jump-start your morning right and not have it hanging over you like a chore for the rest of your day.
Now that you have a weekly activity schedule, put in the effort to prioritize it. You took the time to create the schedule so make sure you actually do it! We like to consider your daily dose of exercise like an appointment you have pencilled in. You wouldn’t want to be rude and miss an important appointment in the same way you shouldn’t be missing out on your daily physical activity. We know it can be tempting to slack off with all of our homes’ distractions surrounding us but try to push against them. Ignore the couch and TV remote staring at you from across the room and focus on getting the job done. If you have a particularly busy day, it is okay to try and sprinkle in some exercise in between your other tasks as a form of a break (something you should be doing regardless) but don’t make a habit of not prioritizing your workout time.
The easiest way to convince yourself to prioritize physical activity is to make it fun. Once you remove the mindset of exercise being a chore, the idea of doing it actually becomes something you can look forward to. Erase the dread of working out at home by doing some research about what physical activity you might find more fun than others (or at least more bearable). Although some workouts might not translate well from the gym, we are lucky to have an endless supply of other at-home exercise options available to us. Take a second to think about what activities you enjoy then start looking for fitness apps, websites, online classes, or videos that you can follow. You can transform your device into a personal trainer who will help guide you through new activities and help you stay motivated. And hey, we could probably all do with hearing some human voices that are not our family members, even if through a video.
Don’t forget to mix it up! Prevent routine boredom by changing up your routine whenever you see fit. Throw in a new workout, class, or video that you haven’t tried before that you think you might enjoy. Right now, there is a surplus of home workout videos being posted online and many businesses are offering virtual classes as well. Make sure your following Absolute’s Facebook and Instagram pages for exercise videos, motivational tips and advice, and important updates from our Waterloo physiotherapist team. Encourage your family to get involved, or even your friends virtually, to add more people that will keep you accountable. Any way that you can keep your daily activity interesting is a great idea to keep you motivated and interested in at-home exercising.
Track Your Progress
Once you know what type of workouts you will enjoy the most, remember to actually track your progress with them. Creating some type of journal or record of the exercise you do each day is a great thing to look back on when you need a little bit of additional motivation. Creating some type of journal or record of the exercise you do each day is a great thing to look back on when you need a little bit of additional motivation. You can turn your exercise routine into a type of challenge with yourself and even follow some online programs that are ready to support you to reach a certain goal. Deciding specific and realistic goals for yourself is great for motivation because you can track your journey and create some type of reward system for when you hit certain milestones. This can be anything from running a certain length, mastering a new yoga or Pilates pose, increasing your flexibility, doing a certain number of push-ups, to more simply maintaining a streak of doing your desired amount of physical activity every day. Track your progress each day to watch yourself getting closer and closer to your goals.
We hope these tips help you stay motivated while staying active at home. Want more tips on staying healthy during social distancing? Give us a call at (519)880-1733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how physiotherapy can enhance your overall quality of life. Don’t forget to check out our new virtual services! We are offering video consultations and emergency in clinic visits for our patients. CLICK HERE for more information.