Finding time at home for exercise during COVID

Whether you’re social distancing or sheltering in place, the pandemic has dramatically changed our daily routines. Not only is it important to stay physically healthy during times of stress, but taking care of our mental and emotional health is just as crucial and exercise can help to improve both.

If you are working from home, you may find that you are sitting for more extended periods, where you used to have opportunities to move more often.  The changes in your daily routines—such as caring for children who are home from school—may make it more challenging to find time to exercise.

Regular exercise is essential for everyone under normal circumstances but even more important during these times.

Did you know that exercise boosts the immune system, helps prevent weight gain, improves sleep, and most importantly helps reduce stress and anxiety?  Although it may take some effort to create and adjust to new routines, regular physical activity can help you optimize your health and well-being during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

Most of us know that exercise is an important component of our health and well-being, yet so many of us struggle to find the motivation to make exercise/physical activity a priority or to create a habit that will allow us to achieve our goals.

Follow these steps to help you begin your exercise journey and create a habit that will stick.  

  • Discover your motivation for wanting to make a change: Your motivation will help you stay connected to your goal of committing to exercise. - Is it to relieve stress or anxiety, improve your health, prevent disease, sleep better, or maybe it’s to set an example for a loved one?
  • Identify road blocks: What is going to derail your success? By identifying these obstacles early, you can create strategies for overcoming them. - The gym is not open, my normal exercise class is cancelled, I will need my partner to watch the kids, lack of energy, I’m nervous about exposing myself to the virus.
  • Create a plan: How can you commit to making exercise a habit? - Find a workout partner to help keep you accountable, join an online class, incorporate the family into your plan, track your progress on a phone app, schedule time daily in your calendar and keep it (as you would an important meeting).

A word of advice before you start: If you’re new to exercise, start small (try maybe 10 minutes and gradually increase). Even a few minutes of movement a day can help your body and mind feel better. Encourage your loved ones—whom you’re no doubt spending a lot of time with right now—to take a moment and move their bodies too.