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How to stay fit while fitness centers are closed

fitness push-up
(© djile –

It’s hard adjusting to our “new normal” right now with social distancing and staying at home. But now, more than ever, it’s important to exercise and take care of your mental and physical health. Getting regular physical activity is important in staying fit and in helping to strengthen our immune systems. It is also beneficial to our mental health and overall wellbeing. The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend engaging in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do at home to help you get your workouts in and to stay in shape. You can even turn simple everyday tasks that you do into a workout.

Take 20 to 30 minutes and carve out some time for physical fitness. You don’t need an hour to get results and feel great. Below are a few tips for working out at home:

Create a workout space

Set up a mini ‘gym’ in the corner of a room, your garage, or other specific space. This way, you can keep everything you need in one spot. Having a dedicated space also helps establish a routine so that you can stick with your plan for the long term. Your equipment can be as simple as a yoga mat, a set of dumbbells, and a resistance band from Amazon. Or look around the house for items you can use. For instance, soup cans are a great substitution for dumbbells and paper plates make great sliders!

Schedule your workout

Make a plan and dedicate a certain time for exercise. For many, first thing in the morning works well before other items on your to-do list pile up or the day gets away from you. Keep yourself accountable by writing your workout time in your planner or your calendar.

Mute notifications

Take this time for you. Shut the door, turn off notifications on your phone, and focus only on your workout. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but try to eliminate distractions if possible.

Play Music

Take a few minutes to put together a new iTunes or Spotify playlist of your favorite “pump up” music. Music can help keep you motivated and focused, and can keep your mind from wandering during a workout.

Warm Up and Modify

Make sure you warm up and gradually increase intensity. Cooldown and stretch gently at the end.

Hopefully these tips will help you if you are looking for ways to work out at home! Other options include getting outside and going for a walk, hike, or bike ride (just be sure to keep a safe distance if you come into contact with others!). You could also do something as simple as doing jumping jacks, push-ups, jogging in place or other exercises in between commercial breaks while you are watching TV. Taking the time to do even a simple workout each day is so important to your physical and mental health, especially during times like this.

Story by Olivia Hall. Hall is the operations manager at Lifetime Fitness.