Are you working from home, and find yourself staring at a computer screen all day? Are your weeks more repetitive due to the pandemic? Do you find yourself full of energy, and not able to sleep at night? Are you wondering how to get yourself exercising during the pandemic?
If so, then it’s time to start moving, your mind and your body will thank you for it!
This pandemic is showing us, more than ever, that we can not rely on getting ourselves busy by going places, seeing people, and being outside of our home like we used to.
In fact, it’s almost like we’ve been thrown back into childhood, when we had to keep ourselves out of boredom while adults were busy. Nobody could help us fill those long hours. We had to be creative, and somehow, we always found ways to be active.
This strange, challenging time is giving us the opportunity to face our inner child. To be in touch with our needs, and to fulfill them without running away from them.
If you’re looking for fun ways to stay active, to keep exercising during the pandemic, and to get rid of unnecessary tensions in your mind and body, keep reading. You are on the right track!
Step 1: Be Curious and Be Willing to do Something New
The Internet offers us access to all those skills you always wanted to take on. Don’t be shy. This is your chance to explore the athlete in you, in the comfort of your own home.
Take a piece of paper and brainstorm:
Write down activities that you’ve heard of, that you may have tried once, or that you would be interested in. Write down anything that comes to mind. Don’t even think about what you write, stay playful, and don’t judge.
Once your ideas are put on paper, go back and read through them. Now, start to research them. The sky is the limit, so take it away (and maybe push your furniture aside)!
Step 2: Pick an Activity That You Will Enjoy Doing
If we’re real about it, we can only get our inner child to do something if we have fun with it! This is especially true if you want to get yourself exercising during a pandemic, when so many elements of life are challenging.
Pick an activity you think will suit you. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you want to.
There are activities available for everyone, of all personalities, and of all ages and backgrounds. Some activities are more accessible than others, and each activity will have a different effect on you and how you feel.
Intense workouts like lifting weights, pilates, and other simple core workouts will make your muscles burn.
Cardio oriented activities: like dance workouts, biking or running will help you spend the extra energy you may carry.
Movement disciplines: like yoga, Alexander technique, feldenkrais technique, tai chi, or Qi gong will allow you to develop more body awareness.
If you feel like moving without much thinking: dancing (solo or with a partner), hiking, walking are the best.
All those activities can be fun, intense or relaxing, it all depends on you and what you make of it!
Here is an exhaustive list of activities to help you get started:
● Fitness: weight lifting, Gymnastic, Gyrotonic, Pilates, dance workout (Zumba, laBlast)
● Dance: solo dancing (Hip Hop, Flamenco, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz), partner
dancing (Salsa, Swing, Latin dance, Ballroom dance)
● Slow movement and body awareness: Tai chi, Yoga (Iyengar, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, restorative Yoga, Nidra yoga, Breathwork), Alexander technique, Feldenkrais technique, QI gong
● Outdoors exercising: biking, running, hiking, geocaching, walking, aerial trails in the trees
Step 3: Give Yourself an Achievable Goal and Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Depending on your personality, listen to yourself and decide what is achievable for you.
Do you want to be more fit? Become more aware of your body and feel good in it? Do you want to be able to dance a routine to a song that you like? Do you have a partner at home and always wanted to dance together? Set up your goal and don’t be afraid to adjust it as you go!
The most important thing is to be consistent for a certain period of time (a month or two minimum) before you change your mind. One class is definitely not enough to decide if you’ve chosen the right workout technique.
Also, if you feel that group classes are too challenging, private lessons are a great option. The teacher will help you achieve your goals and work with you as a team. They will be there to support you, and get over the doubts or discouragements you might experience along the way.
Step 4: Pick Your Platform and Your Learning Support
Are you interested in being part of a group and making friends? Do you prefer live classes or pre-recorded sessions? Do you prefer to exercise with the same teacher two days a week, or would you rather access on demand video whenever you feel like?
There are many ways you can learn these days and lots of opportunities to keep exercising during the pandemic. Here are a couple of examples:
- Live streaming, interactive group classes
- Video platforms such as youtube or Vimeo
- Mobile apps
- Online studios/gyms/dance schools
- In person or online private lessons
- Social distanced and in person outdoors classes before it gets to cold
- Outdoors activities
- Books are also a good source of ideas for work out/movement programs
My Top 5 Activities During the Pandemic as a Professional Ballroom Dancer and Yoga Instructor:
1: Yoga almost everyday (online group classes and 1 private lesson a week)
2: Dancing solo and with my partner whenever I can (west coast swing, hustle, and hip hop)
3: biking to go places
4: walking and finding new places ( I am doing my own geocaching !)
5: tree climbing when I am out in the nature and I can find an adventure park
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
Exercising during the pandemic is one of the most important ways to stay both mentally and physically healthy.
Remember to have fun, and don’t take exercising too seriously. Do it because it feels good and thank yourself (and your inner child!) for taking the time to move. It will only get better from there!