I’ve Worked Out at Home For Years and Even I’m Finding It Hard to Stay Motivated Right Now

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One of POPSUGAR’s editors has been working out at home for years, but even she is finding it hard to do home workouts during coronavirus — and that’s OK.

YouTube
and workout apps, to exercise in my dorm room and, later, my off-campus house when I wasn’t going to the college gym. Once I graduated and moved back home, all I did (and still do) is work out there in lieu of getting a gym membership. I have cardio equipment in my basement (treadmill, elliptical, bikes, row machine, etc.) and a slew of different weights to choose from. It seems like the perfect scenario, especially when you’re working a 9-to-5 job and commuting long hours, right? And, when
you’re stuck at home
with all of this at your disposal, you’d think it would be easy to keep a normal workout routine.
Well, it’s not. Since college, I’ve maintained a schedule of doing sweat sessions, on average, four times per week. Lately, I’m lucky if I get in three days, and my workouts have gotten noticeably shorter. Whereas I normally work out for an hour or longer on a given day, now I do 20- or 30-minute chunks. Sure, there have been some weeks that are better than others, and trimming off one day or the total time off of my workouts might not seem like a huge deal to you, but to me, it is. Or at least it was at first.
Moving forward, I’m going to keep taking it one day at a time — one hour at a time, if I need to — because that’s all we can do, really.
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It’s been a little over two months since I have hunkered down and worked from home full time. I feel burned out because of the nonstop feeling that I can’t unplug from my work responsibilities (
You’re home, aren’t you? What’s one more hour?
) and the
anxiety over the novel coronavirus
. Now, I’m starting to realize that if I can find the dedication to get in a sweat session, I should embrace that dedication. But if I physically am too drained, it’s OK to cut myself some slack, especially during this time. My mental health comes first, as it always should.
I’ve also learned that I’m not alone:
other people are finding it hard to work out at home
even if they have all the means to do so. That helps as well. Moving forward, I’m going to keep taking it one day at a time — one hour at a time, if I need to — because that’s all we can do, really.

But here is what’s been helping me get in some movement to the best of my ability.
I stick with what works for my energy level on a given day
. If that means doing shorter workouts or lifting weights while I watch Netflix, then so be it. It’s better than nothing.
I do workouts that I’ve always loved.
Ever since I was introduced to Peloton
in 2019, I’ve been a huge fan of the Peloton app. The live classes and on-demand sessions have been my go-to for almost a year, and I know I’ll get in a good sweat and feel stronger afterward. So when I’m up for a workout, I tend to choose those. They’re not easy by any means, but they’re easy to turn to.
I choose yoga flows over high intensity.
When my energy is down and I still want to work out, I sometimes put on a yoga flow from the
YouTube channel, my favorite. This ensures I’m moving but in a way I can mentally handle. To me, it’s my form of meditation (though I want to start actual meditation, too), and it’s a good way to destress.
I walk when I can.
Going on walks with my family
or alone has helped clear my head, if only for a short while. Even if it’s for two quick laps around my neighborhood, moving my feet not only gets my heart rate up, but it also acts as a symbol of persistence for me. It proves to me that I can keep going. It’s an act of hope.
I will be the first one to admit that I’m nowhere near perfect at working out during this time. I would consider myself pretty well-versed in home workouts — and a fan of them over gym sessions — but this pandemic has humbled me into realizing that just when I think I can handle something, just when I think I’m a pro at staying flexible yet dedicated to my routine, I can be thrown off in an instant. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying, and that’s what matters most. Instead of asking myself,”How many days am I going to work out this week?,” I’m beginning to ask,”How am I feeling today?” If you’re in the same boat as me, I suggest you start doing the same.
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