(Always consult with your doctor or a medical professional before beginning a new exercise routine or fitness program. There are risks of injury or death when participating in an exercise program. If you are new to yoga you may also want to consult with a yoga teacher to correct any misalignments or postures before practicing on your own.)
Maybe you started a new fitness goal in January, promising yourself to lose so much weight, eat healthier, or get into a new fitness routine. Or maybe you made the goal after watching an inspiration movie, a few scrolls on Instagram or a visit with your doctor. Whatever you promised yourself, very few people are likely still keeping that promise.
During a normal year, people have a hard time sticking to their health and wellness goals. During a pandemic, however, there are even more obstacles to keeping these goals such as increased psychological stress, getting the virus and having to pause your activities, or maybe having to take care of loved ones.
Given the current pandemic, you may have been and continue to opt away from old social support systems of in-person groups and gym classes. If that’s the case for you, here are a few tips to keep you accountable to your goals and to yourself.
Take a Zoom Fitness Class
It’s really easy to turn off a YouTube video, and I am definitely guilty of ignoring my phone apps when they ask me to do burpees. Most people however do not walk out of a fitness class they are taking at a gym or yoga studio. Whether it’s because we’re too embarrassed, competitive, or we just don’t want to be rude to the teacher, we tend to stick out the most gruelling or maybe even boring classes.
You get a similar feeling when you take a Zoom class. The teacher sees you at the beginning of the class and so do your fellow students.
Do yourself a favor and leave your camera on to really get that feeling of being in the gym or studio. You will likely try harder and put in more effort if you think the teacher is watching. I’ve taken several zoom ballet and yoga classes where the teacher has even made corrections over the camera. So get your money’s worth and leave it on!
You can try out a Zoom yoga class with me by using the code FIRSTCLASSONBRE and signing up at www.breoutside.com. The code expires on Feb. 28, 2021.
Journal After Every Workout
Journalling after your workout doesn’t have to mean copying the stats from your watch or phone app, although you might find that information useful. You can start by thinking about what you planned to do that day and writing about if you met the goal or not. Did your plans change? Did you really try your hardest or were you holding back?
Besides writing about your actual physical activity, something that helped me keep a 30 day yoga challenge was also writing about my thoughts and mental space during my practice. For thirty days I journaled right after each practice, mostly describing the places my mind drifted during the practice. It went to some surprising places, and I learned a lot about myself from this very simple and easy to do practice.
Create Your Own Fitness Challenge
I can’t count how many times I’ve tried to follow other people’s prescribed fitness challenges. They have their set videos that you are supposed to do in order for x number of days. I usually get to day two before forgetting altogether or intentionally calling it quits.
The one time I finished a fitness challenge was when I created my own yoga challenge. The rules? Do yoga every day for 30 days. Any video, live class or app workout counted.
Why did it work? Because I could do my practice based on how I felt that day. Some days I needed a live 60 minute class while others I needed just a gentle 15 minute stretch.
If you have a goal and want to jumpstart it or stay motivated with a fitness challenge I would suggest thinking about what your goals are, what workouts will get you there and coming up with your own challenge.
This is just three ideas on how to stay accountable while socially isolated. If you have other ideas, I would love to read them in the comments.