Let me start this off by saying, I absolutely hate working out at home. I tried it years ago when I first got into fitness, and while I enjoyed it, it had zero benefits for me. I saw way better results from visiting the gym once per week for an hour than working out at home every day.
That said, with the COVID-19 Shelter in Place Orders now active all across the country, gyms are officially off limits for most of us. Planet Fitness and most other public-access gyms closed their doors weeks ago. With people not taking social distancing seriously, experts predict that it may be late summer before we see the doors re-open.
So, what can you do to ensure you don’t fall into a lazy and sedentary lifestyle after weeks or months or years of building yourself up to become more active?
Play on the Wii
When I came to America in 2015, I brought my old Wii with me, but it has been sitting in my closet since we bought this house four years ago. Guess what still works like a charm? I’m now doing Wii workouts again and bought a second controller so Mom can play with me. She loved playing the bowling game with me in Jamaica when she visited.
If you don’t have an old Wii game hiding away in your closet, you can find full sets online that are used or even refurbished for under $140. This is also an excellent way to keep rowdy kids occupied. I have owned mine for about seven years and bought it used in terrible condition. These things last.
Do Yoga Outside
Yoga looks so easy: it’s not. I’ve tried it a few times and suffer tremendously with every attempt. I don’t do yoga often, but I do have a yoga mat. Every so often, I take it outside and do some stretches. Now that my Wii is up and running again, maybe the evil fitness coach in the My Fitness Coach game can teach me some new moves.
Your yoga mat will come in handy for other things as well. I use it as a cushion outside when doing squats, jumping jacks and high knees, barefooted. It’s also the mattress beneath my blanket when I go out to my makeshift patio to read a book and relax on my day off.
Wear a Pedometer
You can find several free apps in the Play Store and iStore to install on your phone. They track your steps and encourage you throughout the day to make it to between 8,000 and 10,000 steps daily. As handy as these are, who literally takes their phone with them everywhere they go? Not even the biggest phone addicts do, so it misses steps. A great solution is to get wearable fitness gear.
Everyone in my family currently has a pedometer watch. Dad has the Fitbit Versa 2 and I recently bought the Fitbit Inspire HR. If you have an under-30-dollar-budget, Lintelek fitness trackers come highly recommended. I got my Fitbit on sale for $30, so keep an eye out for deals too. It tells me when I’ve been sitting for too long and gets me up for 10 minutes or so.
Take Long Walks
I am amused by people who go hiking during Stay In Place Orders and wonder why everyone is on the trail. If they weren’t there themselves, they wouldn’t see them. Everyone is now heading out to trails they didn’t even know existed before with that same mindset. If your parks are open and you are insistent on going hiking, do yourself a favor. Pull the trail up on Google. It can tell you the least-busy times to visit.
Another option is simply to walk on your own property. If you have a large property, you’re all set. My yard is suburban-sized, so I walk around it three times every afternoon to get a jumpstart on my steps, get some fresh air and soak up the sun. Mom and I also used to go walking at night in the ‘burbs within our subdivision and we still do that. There was no one but us out back then and there’s still no one but us out now.
Build a Home Gym
This is the most expensive option, but it can also happen purely by accident, over time. That was the case for my family. We acquired fitness equipment bit by bit over the past few years and we can put them to better use now. Dad has a boxing set and weighted ropes. Last Chrismas, I bought Mom this squat machine after she stopped going to the gym. It costs only $90 and she loves it.
I have a yoga ball, yoga mat, one small weight and the evil fitness instructor in the My Fitness Coach game. You don’t have to go big and expensive when you invest in gym equipment. You’d be surprised by the high-quality objects you can pick up at thrift stores, Walmart and online. Like us. you might even have equipment hiding in various parts of the home.
Participate in PF Work-Ins
Even if you have no gym equipment and no Planet Fitness membership, the company has opened up its work-ins for everyone, everywhere. I’m a Planet Fitness member and get their emails directly, but this link to their Facebook workouts should work for you too.
The workouts are generally about 20 minutes long and you can either tune it while it’s happening or catch the videos later. I’m sure you can also find a lot of videos on YouTube if you want something more high-intensity.
What have you been doing to ensure you don’t fall into sedentary traps during the coronavirus quarantine? Share them with us in the comments below so everyone can benefit!