As I type this it's Friday the 13th, November 2020. The last Friday the 13th was in March, and we've been in Lockdown ever since. Our Covid-19 cases in the US are increasing every day and I am dreading another round of restrictions.
I can't control what will happen next, but I thought I would preemptively share some tips just in case things start getting worse. Truthfully, I do live in Southern California where the weather is wonderful pretty much all the time... but when I was in Colorado with a newborn and a toddler, we were pretty much cooped up all the time. Here are some of my favorite ways to make your at-home workouts more pleasant when the skies are grey and you can't leave.
1) Make it Cozy!
If you have a designated workout space, make it more pleasurable. Decorate your space with bright colors, add some scented candles or room sprays, and pack it in with as many plants (even artificial ones), as you can!
2) Get as much natural light as you can
Take a walk before you workout, open those drapes, and soak yourself as much as you can in sunlight. This will help you (and baby's) circadian rhythms. Even a 5 minute walk can increase your mood and if you can get your workout in outdoors, do it!
3) Warm up!
For those of us working out in basements, garages, and chilly houses, layer up! I usually start off in sweatpants and end up in less. A little caffeine is a great pre-workout, so a quick coffee or tea can help. If you're looking for decaffeinated teas, try energizing flavors like citrus, ginger, or peppermint.
4) Use Music to Motivate
I've said this time and again, music is one of the best motivators. If you don't have a playlist full of warm-up and cool-down songs, go make one! Put the highest beat-per-minute songs first to get you amped up and at least 5 minutes of slow songs to stretch to at the end.
5) Use Time of Day to Your Advantage
For those of you doing morning workouts-
Do an extra warm-up. Your body will likely feel stiff, groggy, and tired if you're up before the sun. Do an extra round of light cardio or bodyweight exercises to get in the mood and get your blood flowing and muscles ready for more intensity. I'll often have my early-bird clients start with some light cardio, abs, and dynamic movements and finish with more intense HIIT cardio and heavier weights. You can save time here with stretching, generally if you're moving throughout the day you won't be as sore from an AM workout than if you did it before bed.
For you afternoon/ evening workout-warriors-
You might want to skip the warm up. If you're already warm and short on time, you can do an unweighted set of exercises like squats, side/front/reverse lunges, bridges, windmills, walkouts, wall push-ups, etc to get your blood flowing and get right into the higher-intensity stuff. This will save you some time and increase the overall volume of your workout without increasing your risk of injury or heart/metabolic complications.