5 Steps to Set a Realistic Fitness Goal During Quarantine

If I hear “flatten the curve” one more time, I’m going to throw up into my homemade mask. Ok that was dramatic, but you get my point. With everything going on in the world, who has the motivation to exercise?

Some people feel completely unmotivated to do anything without gym access. Others are burdened with financial worries, homeschooling children, cancelled events, and the threat of illness to even care about daily exercise. Many people feel if they can’t do everything, they should do nothing.

The good news? There is a middle ground. You don’t have to do everything, but adding in some exercise to your routine can have tremendous benefits.

“The physical benefits of exercise are widely recognized, and an abundance of epidemiological evidence exists to support an association linking exercise to physical health and overall quality of life.”

Edenfield, T. M., & Blumenthal, J. A. (2011). Exercise and stress reduction. In R. J. Contrada & A. Baum (Eds.), The handbook of stress science: Biology, psychology, and health (p. 301–319). Springer Publishing Company.

Here are the five steps:

Step #1: What type of exercise do you actually enjoy?

Yoga, walking, hiking, running, exercise videos, resistance training, biking? Use this time to do what you like. It should be something you look forward too. Can’ t think of anything? Pair something you do enjoy with exercise: yoga with your morning coffee, listening to a podcast while you walk, practicing gratitude while you hike, or FaceTiming with a friend or family while you ride your stationary bike.

Step #2: Schedule a time to do it when you have the most energy.

If you are not an early riser, do not set an alarm for 4:00 AM to go for a run. Find time at lunch, an afternoon break, or in the evening. Even if it’s less time, this activity should be something you look forward to doing.

Step #3: Put it on your schedule.

Maybe you start out with one day per week. Or if you have more time three or four days per week. Pick what will work best for you and schedule it. Be specific with the day (or days) and the times. Even if it’s only 15 minutes. Write down what you are going to do and when.

Step #4: Tell someone about your goal.

Have a friend, family member, or even someone on social media keep you accountable. Go public with your specific plan so that you are more likely to follow through and you can get encouragement from those around you.

Step #5: Keep the same goal each week or slowly make changes to your goal.

If you have successfully kept your goal for one or two weeks, consider making it slightly more difficult. If you are happy with your goal, keep it where it is!

Hopefully the framework of these five steps gives you some direction for the week ahead! If you want to share your goals with me, I would love to hear them.

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