Yes, gyms -and athletic facilities in general- may be closed here in Greece, but that does not mean you should quit your workout routine and not exercise on a daily basis -or if not daily, at least two to three times a week. Especially now that the sedentary life is an even bigger part of our everyday life -for almost all of us-, we should have a program and take advantage of as many opportunities for workout at home or outdoors as possible. All this, of course, needs the necessary supplies, motivation and, goals. Shall we see what I mean?
1. Schedule your workout at a specific time during the week.
Set a goal based on how many times a week you can exercise, even if that means once a week! See it as a doctor’s appointment or as part of your job that should be done every day. Having a program is something that generally helps us achieve our goals. So, as it is necessary to have a plan for our diet, to devote time to cooking, as well as to organize our shopping list every week - if we want to see a substantial difference in our health and body – we should also have a set exercise routine. If the time you can devote is just 1 or 2x20 minutes a week, just do that. The point is to turn it into a lifestyle and have it consistently in your program!
2. Aim to test many different forms of exercise.
Now is the time to try out many different workout programs with many different trainers or with an application, if this is what you prefer. So, there is a good chance that you will find out what you really like and what suits you best. Ask a friend, do your research, and choose two or three different ways to exercise in the coming months. If you do not like some of them, then just try something else! There are so many different programs like yoga, pilates, interval training, tabata, muscle strengthening, boxing training, and dancing at home. I think you should say: no to the gym or “it does not suit me” only after you’ve tried several of them first.
3. Exercise with your family, a friend, or your partner.
It seems that having someone with us or planning the workout along with another person, helps us to not cancel our training and to not lose our goals and keep going, as the one will motivate the other. So, planning your workouts during the week with a friend or a relative will definitely help you continue for a longer period of time. This way, you will be able to see all the benefits exercise has on health, body and mental health, and this will definitely help you to keep working out for even longer!
4. Aim to increase your steps.
Buy a wristwatch, or download an app -again- on your mobile phone. Setting a specific steps goal will certainly give you an extra incentive to keep going. For example, the 10000 steps per day is a general guideline. Beyond that, everyone should check with their trainer or another health scientist on how many steps they should aim to benefit enough.
5. Keep a goal journal and check your improvement.
Do not find it weird. If you keep a weekly journal, where you write down your goal for each week and note the exercises and repetitions you do daily -or when you can- you will be able to see your improvement in detail. Believe me, when you see where you started and where you have finally reached, you will understand exactly what I mean!
Remember that we exercise because we love ourselves and our bodies, and because we want to be healthy... and not to burn the burger we ate. Exercise or any form of physical activity helps reduce stress, reduce or maintain weight, strengthen our immune system and improve the quality of sleep. Is there anything better than that?
This article was written in collaboration with the scientific advisor-sports nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr, INDI.
The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.