For my first at-home workout, I grabbed some bags of oats, water bags, and stuffed my backpacks with Harry Potter books. It wasn’t the most comfortable workout, but it worked.
Later that day, I rented equipment from my local gym (and small business), Crossfit Lolo, so I could have a barbell and a bike at home and I could support locally. Working out with my friends again (virtually) and my new roommates (I moved house on March 1st) was such a relief and brought me so much joy. From the living room, to the garage, to the drive, to the neighborhood park – I started out with a pretty consistent routine.
In terms of self-care, working out even gave me more of a break than usual – I started taking a whole lunch off to workout and just extended my workday by an hour – it’s magic for my afternoon energy. As difficult emotions come up from time to time, I have definitely found myself dancing around my kitchen and living room to fully feel them from time to time – I will play a song and then improv some contemporary to the emotion of the song across the floor. Whether it’s ‘It’s Alright’ by Mother Mother, ‘Just Dance’ by Lady Gaga, or ‘Waterloo’ by ABBA – I make space to dance through the stress, remind myself it’s going to be okay and celebrate the joys.
When I asked my friends what they find helpful for working out at home, here is what they said:
Intentionally creating a space and time for training:
“Staying disciplined with a schedule. I had set times for my training. Having a space dedicated for training. I created a space in the basement that is dedicated specifically for training. When I enter that space I leave everything else at the door, and am able to focus on the task at hand.” – AT
Connecting with community & accessing community resources:
“In just a few short weeks, I have gained overwhelming gratitude for my community, my access to space and equipment, and the privilege I have to safely exercise outside. I learned that it didn’t take much to feel a sense of community when I got to know my neighbours. They have been so interested in my weightlifting, asking questions and offering encouragement.” – SH
“Having [access to] rental equipment- thank you so much [Crossfit] Lolo for that!” – YS
“There have been so many wonderful online resources that both had already existed and that have been created. Yoga with Adriene on Youtube is excellent and Annex Victoria started posting free instagram live workouts. I have friends that have highly recommended Fitness Marshall as well.” – MM
“I can also bring in other family members to join me, and this helped with my own exercise motivation. I have even reached out to friends to do online workouts together so that I have someone else there to push me. This has been great with friends who live on opposite sides of the country from me.” – SP
Here is what my friends enjoy the most about exercising at home:
Appreciating the flexibility and the space it gives them to train for themselves:
“I had more control over my training – I could push more when I was feeling good, I could back off when I was beaten down.” – AT
“It forced me to just focus on myself. I am the only one in the yoga or fitness class. Nobody can see me. There’s nothing to spark my ego.” – MM
“I came to enjoy the flexibility in timing, also found it fun to workout in new ways – more plyo based and body weight stuff” – YS
Spending time outdoors:
“About 3 weeks into staying home, my boyfriend brought us back a barbell and weights. I started working out outdoors, which I haven’t done since I was a rower, and I still feel completely revitalised doing it. Lifting weights at the end of the driveway also opens up conversation with all the neighbours, who I previously hadn’t spoken to in the full year I’ve lived on this street.” – SH
“If the weather was good, I would go for a speed walk around the neighbourhood or go for a bicycle ride. My priority was getting as much fresh air as possible.” – SP
“In this pandemic, I have rekindled my love of running. Getting outside in nature seems so much more precious these days.” – MM
Working out at home has given my friends and I more space to breathe in our routines, to intentionally participate in quality training, and connect with our communities.
What do you find helpful for being active while physically distancing?
This is Part 2 in a three-part series. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn what Anna and her friends look forward to when they can workout with friends again.
Author: Anna Braunizer
Twitter handle: @ABraunizer
Author Bio: Anna’s a community-based occupational therapist in Victoria, BC. Her favourite physical activities are crossfit, biking, rowing, swimming, hiking, ninja practice, kayaking, canoeing, and dancing.