With Coronavirus still impacting much of the world and keeping many of us from our normal gyms and fitness centers, we have turned to home workouts. Some of us are lucky enough to have home gyms while many of us are still making due with little to no equipment. 7 months of home workouts can make even the most dedicated of fitness enthusiast grow weary. While we do not have a magic cure, here are a few tips to help you stay on task during these crazy times.
Make it as Routine as Bathing
We do not want to sound like a broken record but, we already explained why motivation will let you down. If you are finding yourself lacking the motivation to move your ass, you may want to remind yourself that fitness is not really optional. If you never had days where you did not feel like working out then you would not be human. In many ways, what separates the good from the great across a multitude of things is that people who are exceptional push through those days of laziness or negative thoughts and do it anyways. One way to look at is by just thinking of it as part of your normal routine. Just like you bathe everyday (we hope), make getting after it a same part of your routine. Think of it this way, rarely does anyone ever regret getting a workout in but people often regret skipping one. There is a reason for that.
Change Up Your Exercise Routine
No, we are not contradicting ourselves from the previous statement on routines. What we are talking about here is mixing up the exercises or the activities you do. Most professional trainers will tell you that you need to remain somewhat consistent over time to achieve goals which is true however, if you are getting bored, your muscles may be as well. For example, maybe you’re tired of getting your cardio in with long runs. Why not try some HITT cardio with sprints or hill runs or, abandon the running altogether and skip some rope. Maybe you are tired of the same bent over barbell rows in your back workout. Try wide grip pull ups or some cable rows instead. There are literally millions of combinations of exercises to choose from but the key is to escape the monotony. Times are a bit different now but, you may even want to skip the normal workout altogether a couple days per week and try jiu-jitsu or Muay Thai. Whatever it is, keep the mind firing as well as the muscles.
Change the Time of Day You Workout
Have you ever wondered why the gyms are open at 5AM? Why there are 6AM jiu-jitsu classes? What can of sick person would wake before 5AM to hit a gym at that time of day? More than you know. When we are young, we tend to work out in the afternoon or evening. After classes, after work and on the weekends, before we go out and party like animals. However, as we grow older and life changes, so does our schedule. What many have found is by the time they are off work, the last thing they want to do is work out never mind face the insanely crowded rush hour gym crowds. Plus, work is often following us home much later into the day so many people find the wee morning hours the only time they truly have to themselves. So, if you are finding yourself fatigued at the end of the day and struggling to get it in when you get off work, try waking up an hour earlier and hitting that work out before the craziness of the day starts. Likewise, if you are a morning warrior and finding yourself needing an extra hour of sleep, do not sacrifice your health and your workout. Try something different. Perhaps a lunch time lift (even easier if you are currently working from home). Again, find the reasons why you are struggling and build a counterattack against them.
Check Your Nutrition
Are you having trouble with your workout intensity and feeling just sluggish overall? Maybe it is that triple meat pizza you consumed last night. How many cute influencers have posted “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym?” As much as I would like to tell you they are full of shit, they are not. Diet is a much greater percentage of your fitness routine than the time you spend in the gym. If you are having challenges with your home workouts, there is a good chance it is related to your overall nutrition and lifestyle. Do NOT over complicate things. There are endless trainers and nutritionists ready to take your money but at the end of the day, it is above finding your resting caloric expenditure and building your macronutrients around that. For most it is as simple as increasing the protein, decreasing the carbs and fat and in many cases, increasing the calories. But do not always blame your lukewarm workout on the workout itself, it is often something else.
Check Your Brain
How is your mental health these days? The world is on fire and we have covered in other articles why it is so important to be cognizant of your mental health particularly during these messed up times. Are you sleeping enough? Are breathing right? Are you mediating or praying? Do not be so focused on your biceps or on squatting yourself to a bubble butt that you forget about your mind. One will not function without the other and if you are having challenges with your fitness, you are probably having challenges in other parts of your life as well.
Take a Break
Yes, we know we told you to make your fitness as routine as bathing but, stagnant is no good. Sometimes a break is all we need to come back revitalized and ready to go. Although you may not be able to jump overseas and have some fancy vacation, even taking a long weekend to relax, recharge and just forget about the workouts may be helpful. Instead of waking up to burn a sweat, make a nice cup of coffee and sip it while you watch your favorite show. Enjoy it without the thought of rushing through it to make time for your workout. Finish your work day and just relax with friends or family. Do not rush from the laptop to the treadmill for a couple of days. Your body will be there when you are ready and while we do not advocate for taking a long hiatus from your fitness, a break now and again can help gain some perspective, rest your body and your mind.