I’ve had a pretty busy morning considering the current situation, so I’m finally getting around to finishing up and posting today’s post. I’ve been spending a lot of my time these past few months staying active, and not only has it kept my physical health on track, but it’s really benefitted my mental health as well, and helped me pass the time. Now that it’s finally getting warmer out (for the most part), it’s been a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable to stay active. So, this week I wanted to share some of my favorite ways (and new habits) of getting exercise throughout my day, and hopefully I can inspire some of you to work some of these into your routine!
1. Walking and Running
I mentioned this in my last fitness-related post, but I can’t stress enough how amazing it’s been to get out of the house for at least an hour every day and run or walk. I definitely plan out my runs during the week to spread them out and make them more a part of my exercise routine, but I also make a point to walk a little bit at least once a day. I track my steps on my phone (especially after studying abroad, I was walking way more!), so I’ve been trying to keep my average steps level around the same number as it was before quarantine. At first this seemed impossible, since I’m not walking to class, work, etc., anymore, but it’s actually been a nice challenge to hold myself accountable for. When I run I need to listen to music, but when I go for walks, it’s been nice to meet up with or call/FaceTime friends, listen to a podcast, or just walk alone in silence with nature (I’ll usually only do this if I’m hiking or walking through a woods/nature path). It’s such an easy way to get movement into your day, and it completely changes my mood!
I’ve always liked the idea of yoga and occasionally would go to hot yoga classes before quarantine, but to be honest, I could never fully implement yoga into my exercise routine. I’m very productive in all aspects of my life, including fitness, so my thought process was that if I were to take an hour out of my day to work out, it would be much more effective to run for an hour, or take a spin, barre, or bootcamp class. Yoga seemed like a nice way to relax, but not a high-intensity workout. Now that I have much more time on my hands, I’ve been doing A LOT more yoga (almost once a day) in addition to my regular daily workouts. The one yoga studio I would go to before quarantine (very rarely) was CorePower Yoga, and thankfully they’ve been live streaming SO MANY classes on YouTube. It’s been really nice to take a C2 yoga flow class after a long run, or take a yoga sculpt class as my daily workout (these are very hard).
Another fitness company whose workouts I’ve been loving recently is P.volve. This isn’t yoga, but it’s a low impact, high intensity workout that builds lean muscle strength with very little equipment, if any. They’ve been posting Instagram Live stories pretty frequently, so it’s been nice to add these onto my daily workouts as well. The workouts are much different from anything I’ve done in the past, so it’s a nice way to change up my routine and work my muscles in a new/different way.
Now that it’s warmer, I’ve been really liking doing both yoga and P.volve workouts in my backyard in the mornings – they’re not too high intensity, so it’s a nice way to wake up and get some fresh air before starting my day!
3. Cardio and HIIT Workouts
As I mentioned, I’ve always found the most productive way to work out (for my body) to be condensed, high intensity workout classes. This was the hardest part about social distancing for me (in terms of exercise) – not being able to take group fitness classes. However, I’ve actually gotten really into at-home workouts and I’ve been able to try so many different workout classes and studios than I could beforehand.
One of my new favorites is cardio kickboxing. I had heard lots about these classes in the past, but I never actually tried one for myself. This has now become one of my regular go-to’s, and it’s actually a much more effective workout than it seems in the moment. Punching the air doesn’t feel that difficult while taking the class, but when you’re doing it for an hour, you sweat a lot! This is also a much more fun way to work different muscles than just doing sit-ups and pushups.
In addition to cardio kickboxing classes, I’ve also been trying a bunch of different dance workouts and HIIT classes, while still using my Nike Training Center app that I mentioned in my previous fitness post to target different muscle groups. Again, now that the weather is warmer, I’ve been loving doing these classes outside! I’ll usually do one midday, after lunch or before dinner – this is when I have the most energy.
4. Outdoor Circuit Training
My favorite outdoor workout right now is something I’ve created on my own, and I’m excited to explore more/try with friends (hopefully soon)! I was fortunately able to bring home some equipment from the gym that I was working at before social distancing measures were strictly implemented, so I’ve been using this to set up some circuits throughout my backyard and driveway. It’s been nice to do this on the weekends when I have a bit more time in the mornings.
Specifically, I’ll set up various sets of dumbbells, resistance bands, an agility ladder, a jump rope, and a mat, and then I’ll write down a different exercise or set of exercises to do at each station. Depending on how long/difficult each round is, I will usually repeat everything 3-5 times. This has been a lot of fun to design workouts that I enjoy doing, spend time outside, and move around between arms, legs, core, and cardio. These are definitely very physically exhausting workouts, but they’re fun to do and far from boring!
5. ANY Outdoor Games/Activities!
Finally, it’s been nice to spend more time just being outside recently, with family or social distancing with friends. Even when I’m not doing a high intensity workout, spending time outside in the fresh air has been so beneficial for my physical and mental health. I forget how much I take time outdoors for granted, but now that I’m in my house most of the day, I make a point to get outside and just sit in my yard for a little bit each day. This tends to make me more active, whether I start going for a walk, play catch with friends, etc. So in any way you can, being outside is usually better than being inside!
I hope these activities can inspire you to be a bit more active in whatever ways are enjoyable for you, and if you have any of your own suggestions, please comment them below! As much as this situation has been difficult, I am looking forward to having a lot more time to be active and to be outside this summer. I’m excited to keep trying new exercises and make fitness more of a priority, and I hope you guys are too!
As always, stay healthy and safe, and I’ll see you all next week 🙂