Alyssa has a passion for fitness and sharing her favorite tips and tricks with the world. Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast.
Times are challenging right now. Our world has been turned upside down, and all of our lives right along with it. Here in the U.S., most states have issued some form of a "shelter-in-place" order. This basically means people need to stay at home. Businesses have shut down, schools are closed, and we are all experiencing different emotions. Life is still moving, though.
There are plenty of people who are still required to work. Our healthcare and public service personnel are still out there on the front lines, trying to keep us all healthy and safe. Grocery stores, some food businesses, and supply chains are running full tilt to make sure we all still eat and have the essential items we need. It's easy to forget the real danger when you are cooped up in your house trying to piece together some semblance of a normal routine, but those of us who are able to stay home are truly lucky.
In the midst of all this chaos, it's more important than ever to keep working on your health and fitness goals. It might seem impossible, but with determination and a little creativity, it's absolutely doable! Likewise, if you've fallen off the wagon or you've been putting any fitness activities off, now is the best time to get started! The following tips are simple and, when implemented, have the power to keep you on track with your fitness goals while you stay home.
1. Establish a New Routine
Routine is crucial. As you've probably experienced within the past few weeks, having your normal routine interrupted invites chaos and bad habits. Suddenly there's a lot more noise with the kids and your spouse home all day. Everyone is moseying around, trying to get things done with no clear direction. Sleeping in, staying up late, lying around in your pajamas bingeing Netflix and stuffing your face with delicious junk food become the activities of choice. As fun as those things are, it's not a sustainable way to live your life and will only drag you further away from your goals.
In the iconic 1950 Bugs Bunny cartoon, "Bunker Hill Bunny," Yosemite Sam famously advised, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." We're not going to return to our normal routines anytime soon. It's going to take a while before we beat this virus, so we all have to adjust and make the best of our individual situations.
Now is the time to establish a new routine for your household. What this looks like is going to depend on the needs of your family. My husband is an essential employee and my son attends an online school. My routine is roughly the same, but with a few tweaks to try to keep us all healthy. I'm up by 4:50 am to see my husband off to work. Then I get an hour and a half of a workout in before starting school with my son. I get another hour workout in while my son does his workout for gym class. When my husband gets home, he immediately gets in the shower. I throw his clothes in the washer and wipe down all the high-touch surfaces. We have dinner, complete our evening chores, and we're all in bed by 9 pm.
Your routine could look roughly the same or be drastically different. The important thing is that you find something that works for your entire family. If you still have to work at home and help the kids with school, maybe try to get up 90 to 120 minutes before everyone else. Use that time to savor your coffee in peace and get your workout done. If you know you get a break in the afternoon, schedule your workout time then. Conversely, if you are more of a night owl, do your workout at night.
Establishing a routine that works for you and your family will help everyone maintain some semblance of normality and will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
2. Make Working Out at Home Work for You
With gyms closed all around the country, there's a real fear of losing progress and gains. Many people feel a sense of responsibility to fulfil their obligation of paying for a gym membership and use that as their motivation. Others have seen incredible results and are scared that they will gain back everything they've lost because they can't go to the gym. So many believe it just isn't possible to get a quality workout done at home. There are a variety of reasons in addition to the ones mentioned above, but I'm here to tell you it absolutely is possible.
I gave up the gym in favor of home workouts about ten years ago. Physical and financial obstacles forced me to get creative, and I rose to the challenge. There are many programs and resources to help guide you, many of which are absolutely free!
Some gyms are offering their clients streaming options to do at home. A host of trainers have offered free workouts, free programs, or a free month of their app to help. I've listed some of my favorites below.
Completely Free Workout Offers
- Hamelin D'Abell has released a free Inch Loss Course on his Vimeo channel. The workout is about an hour long.
- Sylwia Weisenberg, creator of Tonique Fitness, is offering one free workout including her bundles. Use code BORNTOMOVE at checkout. No credit card required.
- P.Volve is offering free workouts on their website. Create an account using your email address and use the code OnePvolve.
- Tone It Up is offering a one-month free subscription to their app, Studio Tone It Up. No credit card required. Visit their website for more details.
- Les Mills has a variety of free workout videos on their website.
- Planet Fitness is hosting live workouts on their Facebook page every day at 7 pm.
YouTube is my go-to resource for free workouts. There's something for everyone! My favorite channels include:
- Yoga With Adriene
- Athlean XX for Women
- The Fitness Marshall
- Hamelin D'Abell
When it comes to actually working out, don't worry if you don't have equipment. You can try to buy weights and a yoga mat if you'd like, but you can also get creative and use things you already own.
For weights, try:
- water bottles or
- canned vegetables.
For a yoga mat, try:
- a towel, or
- a blanket.
Get creative and see what dupes you can find in your own house. You could also just focus on yoga, body-weight exercises, or some simple cardio moves. Turn on some music and dance around your house. If it's available in your area, get outside. Go for a walk. Play with your kids in the yard or visit a park. Just be sure to follow your state's regulations and guidelines concerning groups.
3. Be Mindful of Mindless Eating
This is arguably the hardest thing about being at home all day. With free access to the kitchen and not a lot to do around the house, you might be feeling hungry more often. It's tempting to raid the cupboards and pantry to snack on delicious junk food and treats. All those calories add up, and before you know it, you've gained weight and feel like a balloon.
Staying busy and setting specific times for meals and snacks can help mitigate feelings of hunger stemming from boredom. In addition, it's important to have easy, healthy snack options available. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, too. If you find yourself craving something you don't need, try having a cup of tea instead.
It's also important to make sure you are eating healthy meals. When you get groceries, stock up on fresh produce and lean protein. Try to limit junk food. If you know you can't resist a certain snack, don't buy it. After all, if it's not in the house, you can't eat it.
I also find it helpful to keep a food journal. This ensures that I'm staying on track with my nutrition and helps prevent me from overeating. I use the My Fitness Pal app on my phone. It's easy to set goals and helps me see how many calories I'm consuming each day. My favorite trick is using the app to help me plan ahead. Dinner is usually my most caloric meal. I will record what I'm having for dinner in the morning to help me stay on track the rest of the day. This has saved me from overindulging many times!
4. Accountability: We're All in This Together
Last but not least, accountability and community. We are so fortunate to live in a time of amazing technology. To help hold yourself accountable, get together with your friends virtually. Set up a Facebook group or create an Instagram hashtag for you and your friends. Check in daily with each other. Discuss your successes and encourage one another to exercise. You could even set up a video chat where you all workout together virtually.
While we may all be physically apart, we can all support one another using the technology available to us. We're all in this together.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Alyssa
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on May 22, 2020:
Yes, yes, yes!!! I'm the same, Jason! I'm glad to hear you have added yoga to your routine :) I hope you and your family are well!
Jason Nicolosi from AZ on May 21, 2020:
I totally agree with you Alyssa. It is incredibly important to stay fit and strong during this time of quarantine. What better time to start working on your fitness goals then now! Your home you have plenty of time, so why not get in shape? I love it!
Working out can be exhilarating and addictive. Three things that are a must in the morning for me are a hot cup of coffee, breakfast, and a workout. Otherwise, I feel like crap. Haha. I've added yoga to my routine by the way. I love it now. Anyhow that's thanks to you. Haha.
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on April 06, 2020:
Wow, Lora! You are definitely keeping busy! It's wonderful that you are able to foster a dog and give her the love, kindness, and patience she deserves.
I'm glad you found this article inspiring and helpful. :) I hope you enjoy the YouTube workouts as much as I do. Stay healthy and safe my friend!
Lora Hollings on April 03, 2020:
You are so right, Alyssa. Having a routine and adhering to it is such an important part of keeping one's sanity and feeling good about yourself during uncertain times! Exercise is not only vital to our physical well being but to our mental state as well. Buying healthy food and less junk food is so important for maintaining good health for ourselves and our families too.
Since I have three dogs (two of my own and one that I'm fostering who was never leash trained nor socialized with people), I get out for two walks daily. The foster dog being so fearful that if she hears even a noise, off she goes running with me being pulled on the other end, heading for the first bush or some cover that she can find! I usually end up there too! lol. I love her dearly but she is a real challenge. I have to employ much creativity and treats in trying to get her out for a walk at all and it's amazing all that I've learned about training fear dogs and their unlimited capacity to come around if you just show them some love and someone that they can count on- something they never had in their lives before! Ginger is so vulnerable and when you get to know her, you can't help but love her. Yes, we see amazing things happen when we all reach out and show concern for the welfare of others. The emotional support we give and receive just makes us feel more secure about ourselves and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow! Thanks for your very inspiring article, Alyssa, and suggestions for the free workouts. I'll have to check out the ones you mentioned on YouTube. I hope that you and your family all stay safe and in good health!
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on April 03, 2020:
Thank you, Louise! I agree, staying fit is important and keeping active is a great way to burn off some steam!
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 02, 2020:
Thanks for the excellent advice, Alyssa. I have seen on the news that people have been posting online exercise videos. It''s such a great idea as it's so important to stay fit!
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 29, 2020:
Hahaha! I'm glad it helped! Happy Moving!
Laurinzoscott from Kanab, Utah on March 29, 2020:
Excellent!! Maybe after reading this , I wont be so lazy today...great article
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 28, 2020:
This makes me so happy! :) Happy Weekend!!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 28, 2020:
Because of you I started lifting weights again, so thank you. Yoga is next. See, you have inspired at least one person. :) Happy Weekend my friend.
Alyssa (author) from Ohio on March 27, 2020:
Same here, Kyler! While we don't have as defined of a diet, I can imagine the struggle you have sticking with your nutrition, especially now. Teamwork for sure! I completely agree.. staying disciplined is worth it!
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy!
Kyler J Falk from California on March 27, 2020:
Diet is probably the hardest aspect for me and my family. It is hard to be all-organic, gluten-free, low-carb, and non-red meat lean protein all the time. All the dishes, all the prep and cooking time... teamwork, teamwork, teamwork, or else we all fail. Staying disciplined is so worth it, though.