Working, schooling, laundering and working out from home? "Blurred lines" doesn't begin to cover it.
With everything in life at home feeling fluid, it's important now more than ever to make space for exercise. So why not lean into that fluidity with our self-care, just like we have with everything else?
By carving out short time blocks throughout the day, just like the 10-30 minutes we take for throwing lunch together between Zoom meetings and pausing emails to switch over laundry, we can take the same approach to our exercise routine and make wellness a priority.
Here are some ideas to start to incorporate exercise into your new normal:
Take a 10-20 minute walk, jog or run outside.
Warm up for the first 3-5 minutes at a light pace (walk slowly or jog lightly), then pick up the intensity for 5-15 minutes and cool down for 2-3 minutes.
Subscribe to a streaming or on-demand workout service.
The fitness industry has brilliantly rallied and answered the pandemic with a quick pivot. There are more online workouts available at our fingertips than are single mystery socks in my laundry room (and that's saying something). For example, my studio Full Out Barre offers livestream classes that you can hop on for any length of time and hop off when you need to, as well as more than 50 on-demand classes you can access at any time.
Take 10-minute blocks throughout the day and work out head to toe.
Block #1: Upper body. Think pushups of any kind, like at the counter, on the floor, on your knees, etc.
Block #2: Core. Think planks, crunches, etc.
Block #3: Lower body. Think lunges, squats, body weight dead lifts, etc.
Throw in HIIT workouts throughout the day.
High-intensity interval training is one of the most efficient ways to break a sweat and turn your at-home mood around when the ship starts sinking. And don't worry, high-intensity doesn't necessarily mean high-impact on your joints.
HIIT workouts are simple and can be done anywhere. Alternate movements for 30 seconds to two minutes that move your heart rate up and down. It can be anything from sprints down the street to burpees in the living room to jumping on the trampoline with the kids.
Real talk: Do you need a nap or a workout?
My ship starts to go down around 2 p.m. every dang day. Some days I need to let it sink right into my cough and get in a power nap, and some days I need to get my heart rate up for 10-15 minutes.
Here's a great way to know which way to steer. Are your eyes heavy and brain foggy? Power nap. Is your body starting to slump and your eyes cross from untold hours of staring at a screen? HIIT workout.
Gone are the days when we have clear delineations between our life's activities. Just like you got work, homeschool and meal prep knocked out like a boss, you can absolutely end a long day feeling energized and proud of finding 30-60 minutes to exercise.
Catherine Thorpe is the owner of Full Out Barre, a nationally accredited fitness program based on classical ballet moves combined with high-intensity interval training. FOB has two locations, one in Little Rock and one in Bryant, as well as virtual classes.