Starting a Workout Routine During Isolation
As we all know, the past year has been quite challenging, throwing us off our daily workout routines. Not much has changed in 2021 – we’re still practicing social distancing, and some of you might not be allowed to return to the gym yet. While these measures are still necessary, no one said you have to ditch your workout routine for good!
If you’re under lockdown, you might feel a bit demoralized about your fitness, and we understand that. That’s why we’ve designed this blog post to help you stay on track and keep the momentum going at all times!
The Importance of Exercise During Isolation
Many of us have been forced into lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Ironically, staying at home for too long can be harmful as well. You’ve probably noticed how much more of a sedentary lifestyle you’ve been acquiring by spending most of your time at home. You’re probably sitting down more, maybe even switching on Netflix more often. If applied for too long, these lifestyle changes might even have a negative impact on your overall fitness levels. That’s why it’s essential to stick to the old habits as much as possible.
Staying fit during this period also has long-term benefits. Sure, skipping a few workout sessions won’t make much of a difference, but making a habit out of it will. This is especially important for those who were suddenly forced to refrain from training, as home workouts will keep their bodies active. Also, starting a home workout habit helps keep you away from a more sedentary lifestyle in the long-run.
Some other benefits of training during isolation include:
- Maintaining or improving your sleep cycle which might be suffering due to the sudden lack of routine.
- Promoting blood circulation that helps the immune system enable blood cells and antibodies quicker and attack viruses.
- Improving emotional health that might be in decline due to lack of socialization. Exercising promotes the release of endorphins, which do wonders for our mood.
How to Set Up a Healthy Workout Routine
Now that you’re aware of the importance of exercise during isolation, you might wonder what the next steps would be to properly incorporate the training into your daily life. We’ve prepared a list of five steps you can apply starting today.
Before we dive into them, just a short note: Remember not to make any sudden changes or impose yourself with rigorous workouts to “catch up” for all the missed training. This is especially true if you haven’t been keeping up with your usual fitness routine. Stay realistic about your current fitness abilities and set an achievable and realistic fitness goal.
1. Schedule Your Training
Make a schedule just like you would when you were visiting the gym. Pick a time when you feel most energized and motivated for a workout. You can schedule a short training or a yoga session as a part of your early morning routine. Alternatively, you might prefer an evening workout – and that’s fine as well. Developing a workout habit at a specific time of the day will have a positive psychological impact, as it would feel like you’re somewhat back to your normal training routine.
Here are some general principles to follow for developing an effective workout routine:
- Organize at least three to five home workouts per week.
- Don’t focus too much on reps, but rather on reaching the failure point and being flexible with yourself. For example, you could do two sets of 20 push-ups and then see how many you can do on the third. You might be able to do 25 or 30 or, you might be feeling extra fatigued and only manage 10.
- Add some variety to your workouts. If you do resistance training one day, go with yoga for your next workout session. Depending on your preferences and goals, you can mix resistance, yoga, cardio, or any other workout type you prefer. This will not only keep your workout routine more dynamic but it will give you the chance to condition a variety of muscle groups and develop new skills.
2. Switch to Bodyweight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are perfect for home workouts! They don’t require stuffing your apartment with expensive equipment that takes up half of your living space. This is a great way of getting your whole body involved and building muscle strength. If you’ve been following a gym routine with these kinds of exercises, you can keep doing them at home. Plus, there are tons of apps, websites, and YouTube videos filled with great workouts.
If you want to learn what are some other benefits of bodyweight exercises, we’ve designed a special blog post around this topic.
For those with no previous experience in bodyweight exercises, here are some of the most popular ones you can explore:
- Mountain Climbers
- Fire Hydrants
3. Bring in the Zoom Workouts
Two years ago, probably the only situation where you’d use the word “zoom” would be when referring to your phone camera. Now, Zoom has become an important part of our lives for work or school. However, they’re not the only things you can use Zoom for. You can work out virtually with a friend or a group of people using Zoom. This is especially helpful if the idea of working out by yourself is daunting. Create a Zoom meeting and start your workout!
4. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
Overeating is another thing to look out for when spending too much time at home. You might catch yourself snacking way more often, especially when sitting in front of the TV or computer. This can suppress the effort you put into developing a new workout routine. Try to invest more in raw, nutrient-packed food that will keep you full for longer and keep you away from snacking.
The fact that you’re spending more time at home can easily trick you into thinking you don’t need as many fluids as you used to. The truth is – you do. Especially when keeping up with your fitness. Drinking enough water will not only keep you hydrated but also help get rid of toxins and boost your metabolism.
5. Rely on Determination Rather Than Motivation
This might be the toughest one for most of you who usually train outside. We understand that being kicked off of your daily routine can be challenging to get used to, but there are tons of ways to help speed up the process.
Don’t wait for motivation to come. Chances are, you won’t feel quite as motivated in the beginning. Instead, you want to force that first workout, and the next one will be much less of a hustle. The workout schedule we mentioned above can come in handy here as well. Have one hour of the day (which is only 4% of the whole day, by the way) reserved for workouts and stick to that schedule no matter what.
Improvise – Adapt – Overcome
If there’s something the lockdown has taught us – it’s how to improvise, adapt, and overcome the challenges being set upon us. Staying fit is essential for both short and long-term health, and we’re happy to give you some helpful advice on how to incorporate workouts at home during isolation. To help with motivation, create a workout routine, find workout videos or invite a friend to do a virtual workout with you. Isolation doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your fitness. And remember – any workout is better than no workout!