On and off again temporary club closures due to Covid-19 are putting us all in a position to choose our own holiday adventure when it comes to working out this time of year. It’s either, take a spot on the couch with the remote and a glass of eggnog, or choose now to stay fit, improve strength and stay sane while we’re at home for the holidays and beyond. So, we’ve made a list and checked it twice – for getting started and staying motivated.
Fitness for the Body – and the Mind
We all know that working out, even as little as 30 minutes a day, will give you an energy boost and a host of other health benefits for your body. But it’s also good for the mind. Even light to moderate exercise of 10 minutes a day can help lower amounts of cortisol (anxiety hormones) in the body and increase production of serotonin which in turn helps fight stress.
Workout like You’re at the Club
At the gym there are no distractions, and you are focused on your goal. Make your home workout space the same. Keep to the same schedule so family members know when it’s gym time. Eliminate distractions and try and keep your workout space free of clutter. Noticing the laundry or your work piled on a table, won’t say exercise to you. And treat your whole session like a gym workout – get out of your pajamas and into your gym gear. Remember too, it’s essential to warm up and cool down like you do in class to get your heart rate adjusted and to stretch out muscles and limbs before and after activity.
Schedule Your Classes + Keep them Varied
Don’t fall into bad home workout habits. It should be as much, or almost as much, fun as the gym and you should feel like you’ve had a great workout when you’re done. It’s very easy to grab a couple of weights and scroll through YouTube looking for a workout on a whim. But to get the most out of your new home schedule, plan a week ahead. Look to balance a higher intensity class twice a week with a couple of strength training sessions, some stretches for flexibility and maybe a yoga class to improve your flexibility. Or take your time away from the club as an opportunity to try new classes and workouts, streaming from your club’s curated library of premium classes. If your club offers FLEX by FitnessOnDemand you’ll have access to hundreds of classes from instructors all over the world. However you stream, make a plan for your week and if possible, work through a series of classes in the same set or with the same instructor to help you feel and chart your progress like you do at the gym.
Don’t Ruin a Workout with Junk Food and Snacks
Remember staying in shape is about fitness + food, which helps you stay motivated. The constant presence of the fridge at home and the snack cupboard can derail all the progress you make from your daily workouts if you are not careful. There’s no need to start a diet, but you should take this time to eat right. If you’re lucky enough to work from home, then make sure you grab a snack before you switch gears and workout. Think about pre- and post-exercise snacks: a banana or some nuts as an energy boost to get you going. For recovery try a high protein yogurt which has around three times the protein of a regular yogurt, or even a glass of chocolate milk which many swimmers use.
Hydrate for Health
As with all exercise, drink water and often. During the winter when the air is drier, it’s even easier to become dehydrated. Drinking regular fluids during the day – around 8 glasses as a rule of thumb -will help you stay hydrated. Fluids also play a role in maintaining and regulating body temperature and aid in the reduction of inflammation from long runs and heavy workouts, flushing out cells damaged by exercise from the body. If you’re not sure how much water to drink as you work out, experts recommend roughly half our body weight for proper hydration. So if you weigh 150 lbs., aim to drink 75oz of water a day. Remember that you can get water from tea, coffee and even some fruits and vegetables.