Exercise During a Pandemic?
The last year has been interesting to say the least. Being quarantined has thrown a wrench into all of our daily lives. Stress, isolation, and anxiety are increasingly common. Races are canceled, fitness centers are closed, and we can’t be close to other people. We’re living in a brand new world. We’re all getting used to this new normal. Right now the days seem to blur together. Every day is like groundhog day. Getting motivated to exercise is harder than ever during a pandemic!
How Can I Stay Motivated?
Establishing a running routine has been critical for me during this pandemic. Running has become the daily anchor that keeps me grounded, even through all of this uncertainty. It’s the healthy thing that I get to look forward to each day.
Running has helped me to clear my head, get some alone time, and has kept me feeling balanced – mentally and physically. Even though life is upside down right now, running is still there as a familiar old friend.
I am currently following a training plan to prepare for the virtual Pittsburgh Half Marathon (Update – I completed it!). Focusing on my training plan is helping me to stay motivated right now.
I want to share a few tips of a few of the things I have learned to help you stay motivated to exercise during a pandemic as well.
Here are my top tips for staying active during COVID-19:
Set a Goal
Setting a goal that really excites you can be a great way to stay motivated! For me, the biggest way I stay motivated is by training for races. I’ve been training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for a few months. I decided to run my half marathon virtually.
Other goals that you could focus on could be working out a certain number of days per week consistently, running a certain distance for the first time, working out to feel healthy, or helping you manage the stress we’re all inevitably experiencing right now. Whatever it is, find the goal that lights you up and go after it!
Make it a Routine
Find a time of day that works best for you to get your workout in. Some people prefer to run first thing in the morning. I personally prefer to run in the evening. It’s the time that works with my schedule being a full-time working mom. We all have different lives and schedules. Find the time that works best for you and stick to it. Make it a habit. When you make it part of your normal routine, it becomes much easier to get it done.
Following a training plan can be a great way to make exercise part of your routine. Workouts are scheduled in advance and all you need to do is follow the plan! And if you need help with creating a training plan, I can help you out! Also, if you don’t stick to your routine exactly, be easy on yourself. Life happens.
Find an Accountability Partner or Fitness Community
Even though you’ve identified a goal that lights you up and established a solid workout routine, it’s only natural that eventually, you will hit a slump with your motivation. No one is motivated all the time.
I have days where I am tired and have no desire to run. These are the times when it is really helpful to have someone who will be there to cheer you on and remind you of why you’re doing this in the first place.
This could be a friend, a run coach, or an online community of like-minded people where you can draw inspiration and motivation.
I also started an Instagram profile exclusively for running a few years ago. I post my runs and connect with other runners on the platform. That has been an awesome way to stay motivated and I have made dozens of new running friends by creating an Instagram running account!
Surround yourself with others who are doing the things you aspire to do and will bring out the best in you, and it will be much easier to stay motivated.
Do you have a favorite way to stay active? Let me know by commenting below! Happy Running!