Home Fitness Hacks: How to Stay Fit During Covid-19
It’s been almost one year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. When it did, it changed nearly every aspect of our lives, including where we work, eat, and go to school. Another major shift initiated by the shelter at home orders? Gyms closed across the nation, and home fitness workouts went from a niche market into a booming industry. Even as we bid farewell to 2020 and excitedly ushered in a new year, most of those regulations are still in place.
According to one survey, a staggering 95% of former gym members can’t wait to return to their former digs. Yet, until we can all exercise safely together again, we’ll need to make a few pivotal adjustments to our routines.
The good news? There are plenty of ways to stay on top of your health and fitness journey at home! Today, we’re sharing a few of our favorite tips for keeping active and engaged from afar.
1. Up Your Home Gym Game
No, you don’t have to transform your garage into a bone fide workout center. However, it does help to invest in a few resources that can make working out at home as enjoyable as possible.
If you’re just starting out, begin by buying just the essentials. These include:
- Weight plates
- Pull up bar
- Medicine ball
- Jump rope
- Yoga mat
Of course, it also helps to set up a simple stereo system while you’re working out so you can blast your favorite get-pumped songs! Here are 50 of the greatest workout songs of all time to inspire you.
Instead of breaking the bank and buying all of this gear brand-new, search online marketplaces for gently used items. As long as you verify that the source is reputable and the materials are in quality condition, a pre-loved set of weights works the exact same as one right off the shelf.
2. Discover Local Trails and Parks
You don’t have to live in the middle of the wilderness to enjoy access to breath-taking trails and stunning views. Chances are, there are plenty of parks and natural areas right in your own backyard. This is true even if you live in the heart of the city!
Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can hop online and use a few different resources to search for the closest ones near you. Start with Discover the Forest, which instantly reveals forests and parks near you after you enter your zip code. You can click through the options and head right to each location’s website to learn more.
Make sure to stretch before you head out on a hike, and always pack plenty of water and trail-friendly snacks. Of course, you’ll want to keep your mask handy as well.
3. Stock Up on Healthy Supplements
Sure, many coffee shops and juice bars are still preparing your favorite smoothies and drinks just the way you like them. However, many people are opting to recreate their go-to morning beverages at home, to save both time and money.
Before you head out to buy the ingredients you need, go ahead and stock up on healthy supplements to incorporate into these meals. There are many different bioceuticals and nootropics designed to help you stay well andkeep COVID-19 at bay. Adding these dietary supplements into your daily routine can help you safeguard your systems against the virus as much as possible.
Take Nacet Powder Nootropic, for instance. This supplement helps improve the bioavailability of N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) in your tissue cells. Your body uses NAC to create and build antioxidants, including vitamins and minerals that repair your cells and protect them from damage.
Ingesting this particular nootropic can increase the levels of NAC available in your critical lung tissue, which is most at risk of oxidative damage from COVID-19. To learn more about how nootropics work and why they’re important, you can check out our post.
There are many other supplements to consider as you look to improve your at-home supply. These include vitamin D, calcium and antioxidants such as vitamins A, E and C. Your physician can help guide you toward the ones that will best suit your individual needs and help you reach your wellness goals.
4. Take Advantage of Virtual Workouts
Your local gym may be closed, but there are still plenty of online instructors ready to help you stay in shape! First, check to see if your hometown facility has shifted any of its classes to a digital platform. Some have chosen to hold virtual classes using Facebook Live or a similar program.
If this doesn’t apply, you can always find thousands of options with just a few clicks! Many national gym chains are offering free or reduced-price memberships in the wake of the pandemic. In addition, you can also search for your favorite type of workout on YouTube to connect instantly to free classes.
If you’ve ever thought about joining a new gym or trying a new routine, there’s never been a better time. Membership prices that were once cost-prohibitive before have now lowered to be affordable for nearly everyone. You can browse a few of the top-ranked resources to get started.
Whether you’re into Pilates, strength training, cardio or ballet, you can find a long-distance course that’s just right for you. Some will charge by the video, while others offer a flat, monthly fee. Take advantage of free trial offers until you land on one that you love!
5. Use the Power of Your Body Weight
No gym equipment at all? No problem!
You can always stay lean and build muscle by using the power of your own body weight! Known as calisthenics, these workouts are performed with varying degrees of intensity and rhythm. While some moves require simple gear such as rings, there are plenty that you can do right in your own living room, no supportive tools necessary.
Start with simple squats and lunges, and incorporate planks and push-ups. Crunches, burpees and pull-ups are other examples of bodyweight exercises. While you’re at home, these are a great way to stay motivated and keep in shape.
Try doing 50 crunches during the next commercial break, or pausing your Netflix binge to do a few wall squats. You may find that you prefer being active at home to sitting on the couch!
6. Set SMART Goals
You might feel obligated to completely transform your body while you’re sticking close to home. After all, you have more time than ever and fewer excuses, right?
While that motivation is inspiring, it can quickly fizzle out if you aren’t careful. Instead of setting massive goals such as “run a marathon by next month”, it’s best to stick to shorter, more actionable ones that can build to a greater reward.
Using the marathon example, this might mean setting a goal to run 30 minutes per day, or one mile. With time, you can inch that up to two miles a day, or one hour of running. This way, you can set your own pace and see visible results, both of which will encourage you to keep it up.
Any time you’re setting a goal, remember to follow the SMART acronym. This means that every aim you establish for yourself should be:
These parameters help you stay aware of your improvement over time. When you accomplish a goal, take the time to reward yourself for the effort!
7. Don’t Forget Self-Care
Self-care has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. However, this concept means more than a lengthy skincare routine or a hot bath at the end of the day.
While these are all viable pursuits, it’s most important to take time each day for reflection. Especially if you’re now working from home, you might find that you’re busier and more stressed than ever. This is the case even if you are logging into conference calls in your pajamas!
In addition, it’s no secret that the pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of people across the nation. You might be feeling some pretty overwhelming emotions, ranging from a lack of control to depression over the future state of the nation. Spending time with your thoughts is important, rather than pushing them aside or vowing to address them later.
One way to help you unwind and turn inward? Create a nighttime routine you love and look forward to. In addition to the aforementioned bath, you can also light some candles or burn incense. Turn the lights down, turn your favorite soft music up, and breathe deeply. This is also a great time to sip on a soothing, therapeutic beverage, such as a warm mug of kratom tea.
When your mental health is optimized, you’re better positioned to take control of your physical health, too. If you are experiencing intense feelings of despair or depression, it’s always best to reach out to your physician or therapist for professional support.
8. Pay For Your Chill Time
We don’t mean spending more money on streaming platforms, or watching that big game on demand! What we mean is that before you sit on the couch to binge “The Crown” for the second time, make sure you’ve earned it!
Sheltering at home, we’re more sedentary than ever before. We’re sitting in front of our television sets, our computers and our Zoom cameras.
As we do, we’re pouring money and time into shows and news programs meant to give us a momentary escape. In fact, Netflix recently announced that it welcomed 16 million new signups in the first three months of 2020 alone. This led to a yearly revenue of $5.76 billion, up nearly 30% from the same period in 2019.
Before you settle in to start your new favorite documentary, do a few sets of burpees or a couple pushups. Between each episode, go for a jog around the neighborhood block. In other words, make sure you strike a smart balance between being active and being chill. You need time for both, but it’s much more satisfying to relax when you know you’ve worked hard for that downtime.
9. Pencil in Your Workouts
Don’t toss that 2021 planner just because it seems as though most of your events will be cancelled. Instead, use it to schedule your workouts ahead of time.
We’re much more apt to stick to a plan if we write it down and assign a time to it. If you simply wait for inspiration to strike, you may never get out of bed! Prioritize your fitness activities and put them on your calendar, and keep that calendar where you can see it often.
Think about it: You wouldn’t cancel an important visit to the doctor simply because you didn’t feel like going. The same concept should apply to your home workouts. Include them alongside your regular appointments and you’ll find it easier to incorporate them into your day.
10. Mix It Up
You don’t have to do the same routine each day. In fact, it’s important to mix it up to grow your muscles and keep your whole body in shape.
If you’ve always wanted to try a hip-hop dance class, now is a great time to give it a go! The same goes for biking, shooting hoops, or rollerblading. Use this time to explore new interests, and it won’t even feel like a chore.
Along the way, remember that you can also incorporate fitness into your everyday routine.
Waiting to reheat your coffee at the microwave? Do a few lunges in the kitchen. Sitting on an hour-long conference call? Stand up and do a wall squat while the next person talks. You can also break a sweat vacuuming, dusting, or spending a day tackling yardwork!
Rethink Your Home Fitness Routine
Who knew that staying at home could be so productive? While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to rethink how we workout, it definitely hasn’t squashed those plans for good.
There are many ways to prioritize your home fitness routine and make it as beneficial as possible. From the moves you try to the supplements you take, how will you change your habits for the better this year?
As we move forward into 2021, we all look forward to the day when gyms can reopen and we can enjoy the more social aspects of exercise. Until then, however, these tips can help you stay active and feel your best.
Want to create the ideal home gym setup from scratch? We have all the tips you need!