• By Rhoda Madson

Expert Alert: 5 tips for keeping the momentum going when working out at home

April 24, 2020
a man seated at exercise bench holding bottle of water

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Home workouts have become popular again as people stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can hop on a bike, perform some yoga, jump rope or follow fitness trainers who lead workouts online.

"People have been trying to find normalcy," says Jennifer Noiles, Exos performance director at Mayo Clinic Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in Rochester. "During times of stress, structure is key. Give back to yourself through movement, nourishment and exercise."

Noiles encourages you to take a thoughtful, progressive approach to exercise so your sessions don't just become a string of random workouts. Success needs a road map, she says.

Noiles offers these tips for keeping the progress and momentum in your workouts:

  1. Stack your habits.
    For example, if the kids are up at 6:30 a.m. each morning, get in a 30-minute workout before they're up. If your work team has a daily conference call at noon, set some goals that you want to accomplish right before, during or after that call. Perhaps you aim to finish your glass of water by the time the meeting is over.
  2. Have a defined space for your workout session.
    Not everyone has a separate room to dedicate to a home gym. Consider creating a space in the basement or your garage.
  3. Tailor the workout to your abilities.
    You may be new to exercise. Or you may be coming back after recovering from injury. Or you may be an elite athlete. Choose workouts suited to your situation.
  4. Rely on a knowledgeable expert.
    This will help take the guesswork out of your fitness and wellness program. Mayo Clinic Orthopedic and Sports Medicine and Exos have a free eight-week workout program that incorporates strength training and wellness and nutrition tips for all ages and abilities. Learn more about the program.
  5. Rethink what success means.
    Before the pandemic, you might have judged yourself by how much weight you lifted or meters you rowed. Now your goal could be creating new fitness habits in this new environment.

"To create a habit that you'll be successful at, it needs to be easy, obvious and something you'll enjoy," Noiles says.

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