How to Stay Active When You're Stuck Indoors
When the sun’s shining and the weather is warm, it’s easy to get motivated to head outside and rack up some active minutes on your fitness tracker. But sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. And sometimes you’re stuck in your apartment due to mandatory social distancing during a global pandemic.
Either way, when an outdoor workout just isn’t going to happen, it’s still important to stay active. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, it can also improve mental health — which is helpful when the weather or world events wreak havoc on your mood.
“Even if you’re bound to your house because of bad weather or quarantine, incorporating physical activity and exercise into your daily routine is vitally important,” says Robert Ricketts, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine.
Here’s how to stick to your fitness goals when you’re inside all day.
1. Know Your Limits
Right now, staying healthy is priority number one for everyone. But depending on where you live, you may be able to think beyond your living room. If you have a backyard, you can plant a garden, do some yard work, or stream a workout while enjoying the sunshine. Or if you live in a relatively quiet neighborhood, you may be able to go for a walk or a bike ride while still maintaining safe social distancing.
2. Make a Plan
If you know it’s going to downpour tomorrow, or you’re pretty sure you’ll be cooped up inside for the next few weeks, make a game plan for your workouts. Be as specific as possible — decide which workouts you can feasibly do at home and plan a time of day to do them.
3. Stream an Online Workout
When you’re working out at home, it can be hard to push yourself — especially when your couch beckons from a few feet away. An online workout can keep you on track. Openfit offers streaming workout programs like Pilates, Xtend Barre, Tough Mudder training, and more — or take a live, trainer-led class through Openfit Live.
4. Get a (Virtual) Workout Buddy
“It’s important to cultivate a sense of community in holding yourself accountable with an exercise routine,” Ricketts says. Research suggests you’re more likely to stick with a weight loss program when you have social support. So if you’re doing an Openfit workout program, join one of the private training groups on Facebook for motivation and accountability. Or find a friend who wants to stay active and start a daily fitness routine over the teleconferencing app of your choice.
5. Embrace Change
When the unexpected happens, think of it as an opportunity to switch up your workout and try something new. Used to running every day? Try lifting weights instead. Can’t make it to your usual Spin class? Stream an online HIIT workout.
6. Invest in a Home Gym
If your local gym is closed right now, or you live in an area known for its freezing winters or brutally hot summers, working out at home may become a regular habit. Having a home gym can help you stay active within your own home. You don’t need to shell out thousands for expensive equipment — some dumbbells or resistance bands are enough to engage in a strength workout that hits all of your muscle groups.
7. Choose the Right Workout Gear
Bad weather doesn’t have to keep you indoors. Working out in the rain can actually be pleasant if you’re wearing the right gear. The key is to make sure the clothing against your skin stays dry, so layer up: Start with a thin layer of moisture-wicking synthetic fabric, then add a waterproof layer on top. (And, of course, keep at least six feet away from anyone you pass.) If you’re working out indoors, change into actual activewear and resist the urge to work out in your fuzzy pajamas.