Bodybuilder & Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Irene Tower Gives 3 Simple Tips for Staying in Shape While Stuck at Home
Surgery is often that first significant boost in motivation that helps someone commit to their health and wellness, and exercise is an integral part in ongoing self-care. At Surgical Arts of Inland Empire, we encourage our patients to maintain and even enhance their results through exercise. But during a pandemic that has us changing the way we do everything, finding ways to exercise isn’t as easy as it used to be.
Still, we should prioritize maintaining an exercise routine, even if it does need to be simplified to make sense with our new lifestyle. Exercise can help us weather the stress of the pandemic, sleep through the night, and avoid the #quarantine15. If you haven’t been back to the gym since March, we feel you, and we want to help. Here are some tips and tricks we’ve learned to increase motivation while exercising at home.
1. Set aside time for exercise, then find what makes you happy
Stay consistent by setting aside a time (and place, if you can) devoted to exercise. Show up every day, and do what makes you happy that day. You may need to try out different strategies. Start simple and be creative—for example, you might schedule a few 10-minute workout breaks if you aren’t able to set aside a full hour for exercise on workdays. As long as you stay consistent in your training by showing up, you’ve got the fundamentals down.
After you get a routine, the focus of your workout should be doing what makes you happy. If you love to be in nature, you may enjoy taking a daily run or lunch break walk—plus, spending time outdoors has been shown to boost your mood.
2. Incorporate psychological cues and rewards to boost your motivation
There are many wonderful tricks and tools you can use to inspire your exercise during this pandemic. Here are some simple ones we think anyone can benefit from:
- Lay out your workout clothes the night before where you can see them. (Better yet, wear your sneakers, or your full outfit, all day! You can’t forget to exercise if you’re already dressed.)
- Make it social with your family or friends. Set a regular time to meet for a socially-distanced outdoor workout, or meet up over video chat.
- Place your calendar somewhere prominent and give yourself a checkmark for each day you worked out. Enjoy the extra satisfaction of marking each day off!
- Let an app remind you. Experiment with different apps to find the one that keeps you motivated. Try Map My Fitness if you’re heading outdoors for a hike or run, search the app store, or see if the default health apps in your devices have features that can help you stay on track.
- Make it about the music! Finding the right workout music for you is critical, so invest some time putting together the playlist that will support you.
Only you know what works for you. You’ve taken the time to research, so take the time to experiment with self-guided reward systems that give you something to look forward to after exercising.
3. Work out from home using what you have
If your chosen exercise requires some equipment, don’t be discouraged. Most of us can’t replicate the equipment options we have at the gym at home, and you shouldn’t try to! Instead, allow what’s available to inspire your workout. Take a use-what-you-have approach to create your own DIY routine:
- A jump rope is easy to use in small intervals throughout the day. They are inexpensive to buy, or you can make one out of nylon or polyester rope, or paracord from your camping stash.
- Add weight resistance to your workout with household items like a bottle of laundry detergent or a gallon of water. Strength training is crucial; take inspiration from this guide for those new to strength training.
- Use the stairs. Stairs can be part of an extensive workout or used at intervals throughout the day.
- Meet with a trainer. If you have a preexisting relationship with a trainer who can meet you virtually, that’s awesome! If not, choose your own “trainer” from the host of YouTube fitness gurus and apps available.
- Dig the kettlebell out of the garage. This article details different moves you can do with a single kettlebell to tone your body.
- Use your neighborhood playground. We enjoyed these articles about a 5-move workout and a 20-minute workout—both of which are designed to work with basic playground equipment.
- Play with your pet. Whether playing fetch or heading out for a long walk, your best friend would love to be involved in your new routine.
You don’t necessarily have to DIY your own home gym. There are many kinds of exercise that don’t require any equipment whatsoever! You can use free online videos to learn yoga, tai chi, or strength training exercises that require no equipment.
4. Hate to work out? Get creative!
If exercise isn’t your thing, it’s still important to incorporate movement into your at-home lifestyle—research has shown that sitting all day negatively affects our long-term health. When you’re on the phone, walk around the house. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit, set an alarm to remind you to stand and take a short walk at intervals. Or, follow some of these tips from the Mayo Clinic. Consider multiple short workouts throughout the day, which can be just as beneficial as one long workout. You can also use a standing desk to naturally burn more calories.
Exercise not getting the results you need? We’re here to help!
We are here for you for your weight loss journey. We have experienced bariatric surgeons at our Rancho Cucamonga facility who are here to answer all your questions, whether you just began your journey or have been on it for years. For those who want to learn more about a procedure to help inspire them as they continue to get in shape, we are here to listen to your needs and discuss what we can do for you. We have helped hundreds of patients with their weight loss journey and beyond, so rest assured that you’re in good hands. Call us today at (909) 579-3111 or contact us online to begin.