We have enjoyed the summer, with our outdoor HIIT workouts, pool days, yoga classes in the park, and after-dinner family walks. Whether you preferred early morning or late evening workouts to beat the heat, taking advantage of the summer weather was the perfect excuse to get outdoors.
Not only are outdoor workouts a great way to spend more time in the fresh air, but the plentiful sunshine can help increase serotonin, one of the “happy hormones.” Higher serotonin levels are linked to improved mood and lower anxiety. Soaking up the summer sun’s extended hours can also help people with depression, especially those suffering from seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression related to changes in seasons.
During the summer, you may find yourself more motivated to work out, whether that’s because you desire to look a certain way in your swimsuit or you find it easier to get a workout in because the days are longer. Whatever your motivation to work out, it’s key to try to stay consistent even as the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler.
Have no fear: Your exercise routine can be sustained and even improved as you move indoors! Taking your workout inside doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on equipment or classes, either. It’s just a matter of deciding what works best for you and your goals.
If you live in a state where you have sunshine and warm weather year-round, feel free to continue your workout routine as is. But if you’re already pulling cardigans out of storage and getting ready to break out the snow boots, let’s explore how you can seamlessly transition your workouts indoors.
1. Get to the gym
Due to COVID-19, many gyms and fitness studios have caps on the number of clients allowed in their facilities. If you haven’t ventured to a gym since early 2020, now may be the time to return. If you’re looking for a new health club, start by asking friends, family, or coworkers for recommendations and then go to the suggested clubs’ websites. Pay attention to their safety and social distancing policies and mission statements, and read about the services and classes they offer. Keep an eye out for any information regarding monthly costs and check their cancellation policies.
Chains offer a lower price point and more locations, but they can feel impersonal and even overwhelming for gym newcomers. If available near you, smaller, independent gyms often specialize in more-specific types of fitness and provide a more one-on-one experience through their personal trainers.
2. Work out at home
Working out at home offers the privacy that some people need when exercising. And with an unlimited amount of streaming, on-demand, and even free fitness classes, it can be just as comprehensive as a workout you get in a gym.
When planning to work out at home, it can be easy to feel the need to purchase the equipment you see at gyms. But this isn’t necessary – if you don’t like running, buying a treadmill will not encourage you to suddenly love it. Be realistic and choose the tools that you know you’ll actually use. Forget about what’s trendy and focus on what will give you the best results in the space that you have.
If you purchase a treadmill, a stationary bike, or an elliptical and you live in an apartment, be sure to invest in high-density mats that will absorb sound and vibrations and protect your floors.
3. Download fitness apps
Whether you have fitness equipment at home or not, a fitness app can be an inexpensive option for staying fit indoors. Fitness apps give you a live or on-demand option with a low monthly fee, and they often include a free trial. These apps run the gamut of exercise and wellness modalities, like strength training, cardio, yoga, mobility, and meditation, and can even provide nutrition tips. Find the apps that work for you, and be sure to put a reminder on your calendar for when the free trial ends! Better yet, find a friend to join you, to make your workouts more fun (plus split the cost of a monthly membership).
4. Join an online community
Accountability, motivation, and consistency are really important when building and maintaining an exercise program. Due to COVID-19, many people canceled their gym and fitness club memberships, opting instead for solo workouts or not working out at all.
If you’re looking to have that special connection with others that the gym brings ‒ without exercising in a gym ‒ try joining an online community. There are online groups based on age, location, and type of exercise as well as groups for moms and for those who are new to fitness. The people in these groups are seeking the same goals you are, and they can help provide encouragement and support along the way.
5. Work with a professional
As the days get shorter and many of you return to your pre-pandemic daily routines, you may need some extra support to keep you on track. Depending on your goals, working with a personal trainer or Health Coach can offer the motivation, encouragement, and accountability you need to reach your goals. If you’re looking to change up your eating habits, nutritionists and registered dietitians can work with you to create personalized meal plans based on your unique needs. When looking for professional help, you’ll want to inquire about certification and experience. How is this professional qualified to support you on your fitness journey? If applicable, find out if they’re knowledgeable about certain areas of health, such as women’s health, autoimmune conditions, or weight loss. Essentially, your chosen professional, whether they’re a personal trainer or a Health Coach, should not utilize a “one size fits all” approach.
6. Use a fitness tracker
Fitness trackers are more popular than ever, recording everything from steps, overall distance, stairs climbed, and calories burned to sleep quality, menstrual cycles, heart rate, and even oxygen levels. These trackers are often worn on the wrist or ankle, and now there are rings and attachments to be worn on your waistband.
These wearables are another way to keep yourself accountable. With small reminders throughout the day, you’re more likely to hit your daily goals and want to stick to them. If your tracker becomes a source of stress because you didn’t hit one day’s step count or your weekly exercise goal, it’s likely not the best thing for you.
Changing Seasons, Changing Routines
IIN teaches the importance of primary food, and physical activity is a primary food we should aim to nourish ourselves with. Improving our activity level offers both physical and emotional benefits, so it’s important to include some type of movement daily. As the seasons change, your fitness routine will adjust, too. Moving workouts indoors doesn’t have to be stressful ‒ fitness should be fun! Find whatever works best for you and enjoy the journey.