At-Home Workouts

When life gets hard, some people cope by moving around and making themselves busy, and others cope by impersonating a burrito in the bed sheets. I have been both of these people at different points of my life, but these days, I am definitely the latter…

For a while, I was good about my early morning walks, but anything beyond that was tricky. (As I quickly discovered, running with a face mask in the summer heat is decidedly challenging.) 

For practical reasons, I’ve never been a big fan of working out at home. My apartment building was built in 1840, and to these aging beams, any amount of jumping sounds like a stampede of hippos to my downstairs neighbors. Plus, these days, my partner is often on a video conference on the other side of the room, and it may or may not be distracting to have someone kickboxing in the background.

While being a burrito has not been the best for my body, the bigger piece is how it affects my mind. So lately, I’ve been making a concerted effort to move more, and have embraced a few tricks to help: 

When at home, I opt for low-impact exercises, which can be done in less space with less noise. I love the weight lifting options from the Nike Training Club app (which is currently free!) and the Peloton app, or free YouTube videos like Yoga With Adriene.

I keep my equipment — mat, resistance bands, sliders, weights — in a basket, in plain view. Seeing it is a good visual reminder that moving is (relatively) easy. 

Sometimes, I put on my gym clothes first thing in the morning, which forces me to move before I settle into my day, whether it’s a morning walk around the neighborhood, a quick app workout, or just turning on music and winging it. 

Instead of looking at working out as this monumental thing — a long run, a full class, an undertaking that will require its own shower after the fact — I’ve been trying to squeeze in some movement wherever I can. I might do squats or leg lifts while I’m brushing my teeth, lifting free weights while watching a show, or give myself a challenge like “answer these three emails and then do ten push-ups.” Carving out smaller bursts of movement helps prevent me from being sedentary all day (a very easy trap) and makes it feel like a fun break, vs. a daunting task. 

Last but not least, I try to load up my phone with new things to listen to (these days, New York Times podcasts or 1980s hits), which helps me look forward to walks and workouts.

I’d love to hear how you’ve been approaching movement these days. Are there any tricks that work for you, or at-home workouts you love? Please share! 

P.S. Five great YouTube workout videos and what’s on your workout playlist?

(Photo of exercising women from the 1930s.)