9 Tips for Getting in the Hang of a Regular Fitness Routine

published May 15, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Truth be told, it can be a struggle to get off the couch some days, especially since being at home more doesn’t automatically equal motivation. If you’ve favorited those free virtual fitness classes only to tell Netflix you’re still there, you’re definitely not alone.

No one should pressure you (even yourself) to be more active than you can handle right now, especially since rest is valid and important in times of trauma. However, there’s no lack of evidence about how beneficial it is to move your body, with perks like improved mood and reduced anxiety, which is especially helpful these days. And staying active doesn’t have to mean doing a fitness class—going for a walk, getting a good stretch in, and taking a dance break all count. And sometimes, it just starts with proactive advice on how to take that first step. 

We tapped a range of fitness and wellness experts to provide some tips on how to motivate yourself to up and going, all while staying safe at home. 

Do a step challenge with friends

“Set up a step challenge with friends or coworkers. Do your part to socially distance while you do it, but get your steps in and keep each other accountable and motivated. Find a place to post your scores and set up weekly goals. A little friendly competition never hurts!” Dale Santiago, Rumble trainer 

Or make a virtual activity date

“Find ways to still connect with your friends and community for activity—whether it’s some Zoom core sessions, virtual community runs where you log your miles together, chasing segments on Strava, or following along with a training video online. This can all help keep the focus.” Garrett Heath, Brooks Beast

Build a motivating space

“It’s all about set and setting. Make the space yours by incorporating your favorite plants, crystals, idols, pictures of loved ones, a comfortable floor pillow, or a chair for you to sit on. It may not always be a silent space, so when it becomes noisy, it can be a good opportunity to practice some equanimity and detachment.” —Vibay Chandran, Mindbody’s Yoga & Meditation Expert

Reward yourself

“Pencil in a post-workout wine happy hour with friends (I am currently loving Kim Crawford!). Working out with friends and having a date after will help to make you look forward to the workout and keep you consistent.” Megan Roup, Founder of The Sculpt Society

Meditate in the morning

“Find yourself sitting in silence for a couple of minutes before you start each day. Begin your meditation by bringing attention to your breath. There are many techniques you can use regardless of if you are experienced in meditation or not. As a beginner, you may want to use simple breathing techniques or Trataka type meditations to help you begin your meditation journey.” —Vibay Chandran, Mindbody’s Yoga & Meditation Expert

Go for a quick walk

“Warmer weather and longer days (more sunshine!) are motivation to get off the couch, and now you can use the outdoors as your gym while also enjoying some fresh air. Commit to 2-3 days a week, and keep track of your progress.” Dale Santiago, Rumble trainer 

Use a calendar

“If you need something short term to focus on, put something on your calendar and seek to accomplish it. It could be anything from a 5 minute plank or the flexibility of touching your toes every night before bed. These are some of my personal insights but what I can’t stress enough is we are all in this together.” David Ribich, Brooks Beast

Set a mantra

“Each time I have a new goal I am working toward, I like to set a mantra for myself around that goal. The mantra is a simple statement or slogan that can be repeated frequently and serve as a powerful reminder to stay motivated. For example, if your goal is to get back into exercising, a mantra could be something along the lines of ‘take the first step,’ ‘strive for progress, not perfection,’ ‘I’m doing this for me,’ ‘take care of yourself,’ or even ‘get out the door.’” —Katelyn DiGiorgio, Pure Barre VP of Training & Technique

Create a mindful checklist

“Life during this time is an opportunity to set new patterns, re-enforce patterns that serve and gently let go of patterns that no longer serve. A daily mindful checklist keeps me on this path: Meditated, practiced kindness, sojourned mid-day, journaled, drank water, ate veggies, slept 8+ hours.” —Vibay Chandran,  Mindbody’s Yoga & Meditation Expert