Disruption is the enemy of good habits and good intentions. And if there’s one word to sum up what the Covid-19 crisis has done to everyday life, it’s disruption. This is the time you might need your fitness routine the most, both to keep your immune system strong and to stay sane. If the gym is closed, and you’re under a stay-at-home order, no problem. Here are 6 tips for taking your workout into your backyard.
Photo by Dominik Wycisło on Unsplash
First things first: create a space to work out. A patio is a great place for a kettlebell burpee pyramid workout. All you need is a kettlebell and some space. Set up a yoga mat if your patio is too hard on your palms. If you’ve got enough lawn, think short sprints. Or butt kicks. Or plyometrics. You get the idea.
Just make sure your spaces are clear of dirt and debris. You might get out the leaf blower or the lawn mower to tidy things up a bit before you begin.
Reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking you’re stuck at home, think “I’m going to go work out.”
By just going outside, you’re reaping much-needed psychological benefits. You get an endorphin hit by exercising. You lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol by being outside. Combining the two is a serious mood booster. We could all use that right now.
You have quarantine options. You can stop exercising — or move daily. Don’t get hung up on doing X many sets with Y number of reps at Z amount of weight. Just move. Twenty minutes of gentle flow yoga is much better than sitting on the couch, moping.
Yoga not your thing? Maybe you have bad knees. A workout doesn’t have to mean situps, pushups, running, or squats. An hour of gardening can burn up to 600 calories. The stretching, bending, and twisting is also great for toning those muscles.
4. Stay Social … Distantly
Social support is key to maintaining a fitness plan. That much was true way before the latest pandemic started. It’s especially true now.
There are a few things you can do while physically isolating. Text your workout buddies. If you haven’t already agreed to do it, promise to hold each other accountable via text or social media. Use Zoom, Skype or Teams to work out with your friends. Sign up for a virtual work out class. We’re in this together. We can all break a sweat together, too.
5. Listen to Your Body
It’s crucial to keep moving, but you definitely should not push yourself past the breaking point. If your body says to rest, then take the rest day. And whatever you do, do not push yourself to work out if you have a cold or flu symptoms. Call your doctor instead.
6. Have a Plan
Working out in the backyard might get you your daily dose of vitamin C and lower your cortisol levels. What about those inclement weather days.? Make a Plan B now, so that spring showers don’t dampen your sweat session.
It might be yoga in the living room, or maybe you already have a mini garage gym set up. Mentally frame it as your official backup — and a bad weather day won’t feel like a setback.
You got this. We’ll get through it, one day, and one workout at a time. I hope you found these 6 tip for taking your workout into your backyard to be helpful!
Dominic Wojcik is a man with twin passions, for fitness and the outdoors. He has been writing about both for two decades.