Staying healthy at home can feel like a struggle during these winter months, especially if you’re working from home or you’re sheltering in place. While it’s easy to feel discouraged, we want to invite you to keep your mind open to all the possibilities this new challenge presents you! Rather than getting bored and doing the same workout over and over again, why not try something new?
- OPEN YOUR MIND
Doing the same circuit over and over again can get boring really quickly. You know what doesn’t get boring? Challenging yourself to find new ways to use your furniture! Instead of using your couch to sit, why not use the arm rest as support for reverse hypers? Or the couch cushions as comfy back support for hip thrusts? A stool or sturdy coffee table for step ups? Your kitchen counter for elevated push-ups, tricep dips, and even L-sits?! There is so much you can do, even in a tiny space. Make your home work for you! You can incorporate these new exercises however you like- create a 45-minute circuit, or make new rules for yourself that involve your newfound “equipment”. For example… every time you walk into the kitchen, perform 12 counter tricep dips. Each time you head to the bathroom, do 20 squats. Every commercial break perform 20 bodyweight hip-thrusts. These little rules will help you stay active and healthy at home without having to leave your home!
- GET OUTSIDE, IF POSSIBLE
Staying healthy at home is the goal, but if you’re able… do what you can to get outside and get some fresh air. Go for a walk, a jog, ride a bike, take your dog for a walk, or you can even turn on some music and walk to your local coffee shop. move as much as you can outside to keep your eyes off of screens and your body moving! If you live in a more congested area, like a city or high-population town, try and get outside during less popular times to lessen the stress of staying socially distant. Whatever you do- don’t forget your mask!
- STAY INSIDE, IF NEEDED
Now, if you live in a state where it’s too cold to head outdoors, do your best to find a way to move gently inside. This could include marching in place while watching an episode of your favorite show, jumping a phantom rope, walking laps through your home for a designated time period while you listen to a new podcast episode, playing with your dog, playing with your kids, or using a treadmill or stationary bike, etc, if you have one. And remember tip #1… the possibilities are endless!
- GET ALARMED
Set a recurring alarm to do 12-15 reps of a certain exercise. Maybe you decide you’re going to perform 12-15 push ups every day. Set an alarm for a time when you WON’T be busy and have to “snooze”. The second that alarm goes off, get up and perform your exercises. While doing one set of push ups doesn’t seem like much, it can have a great impact on your strength and form when keeping the daily habit going for long periods of time. Plus, sometimes all you need is one set of an exercise to get you motivated to complete an entire workout!
- OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND…
Make implementing new, healthy at home habits EASY! If you have a yoga mat, a pair of dumb bells, and a jump rope at your disposal, but you keep them tucked away and out of sight, you are MUCH less likely to actually use them. Move your tools into a space where you can see them every day, and make them easier to access/set up. This small change can make a huge impact on your willingness to get started with a workout. If you see these tools every day, then that means every day you’re seeing a visual cue to move your body.
Now, this same idea can be used for breaking bad habits. Maybe you have a cookie tray beautifully displayed on your kitchen counter… and while anyone would love to see that all day, you cannot deny that the visual cues you to grab a cookie more often than not. If staying active and healthy at home is one of your goals, try keeping your bad habits out of sight. Make them harder to reach and remember you have them. This will decrease your likelihood of succumbing to these visual cues.
To learn more about how to build healthy habits and break bad habits, check out one of our most recent blogs:
How To Build Healthy Habits
- THE MOST CHALLENGING TIME OF THE YEAR
Ok… this entire year has been a bit challenging, BUT! That doesn’t mean you can’t make these weird days work in your favor. Set a challenge for yourself that makes you excited. Everyone has something they want to be able to do, but struggle with (pull ups, anyone?) Set yourself a challenge to slowly work toward your goals every day, and track your progress. For example, let’s say your goal is to be able to hold a place for two minutes. Challenge yourself to plank as long as you can every morning and track your time. It’s ok if you can only hold a plank for 15 seconds, that’s just where you’re starting your journey! The next day, maybe you’re able to hold the plank for 23 second, and by the end of one week you’re up to 40 seconds! A little work every day and produce MAJOR results. Pick one challenging, but exciting, goal to work towards everyday while staying healthy at home. Track your progress, and marvel at how much strength you gain in one month!
- GET MOBILE WHILE MOBILE
Make a rule that any time you’re on a phone call you get up and walk around your space. If you have a large home, great, use that space and walk into every room and up every stair. Have a small home/apartment? This works just as well pacing back and forth in small spaces! Get up and move when ever on your phone. This small change will help get blood flowing through your body, help keep you energized, and help clear your mind. The human body is designed to move, so do what you can to stay healthy at home… stand up and move around.
- GET STRETCHY
Even with all these tips and challenges, it’s inevitable that we find ourselves sitting a lot more often than usual these days. With excessive sitting comes tight hips, low pack pain, and overall tightness and discomfort throughout the body. Stretching will help alleviate a lot of that discomfort. Make a point to gently stretch every day- doesn’t matter when, just get stretchy! While stretching itself might not be initially what pops into your head as an enjoyable or relaxing way to spend your time… it will be. Your body will feel, move, and work so much better when you give it a little TLC. Stretching not only helps you relax, but it eases tension in all those areas that get tight from sitting in one spot all day long. Plus, stretching actually makes you stronger in the long run while helping to prevent injury. Don’t skip stretching, it is one of the most underrated and underused forms of self care whether you’re staying healthy at home or anywhere else.
- KEEP YOUR “WHY” CLOSE BY
Whatever your goal is for staying active, write it down. Maybe it’s a practice of self love, self respect, achieving new strength goals, reaching a healthy body weight, starting a new habit… whatever it is, write it down, AND KEEP IT VISIBLE! Personally, I have a small piece of paper taped to my bathroom mirror with my “Top Three Reasons” written on it. Every morning I get to read my goals and remind myself of why I’m putting in all this effort. It also brings me back to a time where I felt so motivated that I actually sat down and wrote out why I have my personal goals, and that warm, fuzzy, exciting feeling when I was motivated starts to flood back into my mind and body. This is by far one of the best needle movers for staying motivated and focused on any goal you might have. Staying healthy at home will be much easier with these goals clearly visible.
- STAY BALANCED
It’s easy to just focus on staying active… but staying healthy at home means you needs to eat healthy, too! Eating well balanced meals and snacks will have a profound impact on your mood, energy levels, weight, sleep quality, and ability to focus throughout the entire day. Check out these blogs to help you navigate healthy nutrition and building a balanced plate.