It’s already mid-May, I cannot believe we have been in quarantine and practicing social distancing for over two months now!
Like I’m sure it was for you, adjusting to this new normal was challenging. I quickly figured out how to work from home and how to stay in touch with loved ones virtually. But the biggest challenge at first was learning how to adjust my running and fitness routine without my running partner, the gym, and teaching weekly fitness classes.
Now, two months in, I feel just as motivated (if not more so!) than I did before to maintain my health and fitness. I’m sharing some tips today that I hope will be helpful to you in your effort to do the same. This post is for anyone who might feel bored, stuck, or limited with your fitness options during this season of life.
Workout with friends online. Yes, fitness classes may be canceled and gyms may be closed, but you can still get in a great workout with your friends while practicing social distancing. Make a commitment to do a home workout with a friend via Zoom or FaceTime. You can find the same online workout video to follow along together, and seeing each other’s faces on the screen will keep you motivated to stick it out and complete the whole thing! This is a great way to stay accountable, keep your commitment to yourself to workout, and get in some quality social time, too. You can even extend your workout date by chatting and catching up over coffee or protein shakes afterward. If I have any friends reading this that want to do this — I would be more than happy to make a workout date with you! 🙂
Download a social network for athletes. Take the virtual accountability even further by downloading a social fitness app for your smartphone. My longtime favorite has been Strava — a social network for runners, cyclists, hikers, and beyond. I love that you can see your friend’s workouts and also share your own with them. I love seeing what my friends are up to and encouraging them after a great run. Likewise, I know that I have some friends in my life who will reach out to me if they notice that I haven’t run in a few days to make sure I’m ok — they keep me accountable! Strava is also a great way to store all of your data, measure your progress and mileage totals, and find fun, new routes in your area.
Set monthly goals. One of the toughest things about COVID-19 is that we just don’t have any good idea of when life will be fully back to normal. For example, many runners (my husband and I included!) are hoping to be able to run marathons in the Fall, but it’s just not a guarantee — some have already been canceled, but some have good chances of taking place. This can be difficult for people that are usually motivated by long-term goals, such as a big race months down the road. To combat this, I encourage you to set a new fitness goal each month. One friend of ours made it his goal to walk 15,000 steps every day for the month of March. He crushed it, and then when April came, he set a new goal. Right now, my best friend is in the middle of accomplishing her goal to run or walk 100 miles in May. Setting these smaller, monthly goals helps you to feel more in control of the present season. They are a great way to get you out of bed each morning when quarantine life can make it easy to stay lazy and not go anywhere. And, it greatly helps our mental health to have a goal to focus on — something we all could use right now!
^ This is the schedule I created for my friend’s 100-mile goal. If you’d like something similar, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to make you your own for free in a way that is suited to your current fitness level/abilities, schedule, and preferences.
Try a new-to-you fitness format. Are you someone who prefers to do not much other than running? Dust off your bike and go for a few rides around your neighborhood instead of runs this week. Are you addicted to Zumba? Try an online barre class for the first time. There are so many free videos online with great classes to expand your fitness horizons. I am also releasing at-home workouts over on my Instagram each Thursday. Without a normal schedule, now is the time to play around, try new things, and see what you like!
Take the pressure off. Right now more than ever, it is so important to take care of your mental health and nourish your mind and soul. Don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself to maintain a perfect fitness routine or have 6-pack abs by the end of quarantine. Move your body often, but don’t be so strict about it that it steals your peace and wellbeing. Even if it is just going for a long walk with your family or chasing your toddler around your backyard, be proud of yourself for moving your body each day and doing something that is good for you.
I hope that these tips encouraged you. Until next time, be well!