Staying Motivated to Exercise at Home
Thursday, April 2, 2020
By Center for Health & Fitness Medical Exercise Specialist Annelise Tripp

With this dramatic change in our lifestyles during COVID-19, many of us have lost access to our usual routines that helped keep us exercising. Perhaps the very reason you went to the gym in the first place was that you couldn’t find the motivation to do it without a class, seeing your friends or a gym environment. Let’s first acknowledge that it is TOUGH to build a new routine and stay motivated to do it. Here are a few tips on how to get back into exercise again at home. 

  1. Choose your own SMART goals: Effective goals are SMART, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Choose one SMART goal every day. Try to choose something that you WANT to do. Feeling like we “should” do something is sometimes a big enough barrier that we simply won’t do it.

Examples could be:

  • Go for a 20-minute walk
  • Complete one online Center for Health Fitness (CHF) exercise class before lunch 
  • Take a 5-min walk around the house or block every hour between 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Do 5 sit-to-stands during every commercial break
  • Stand on 1 leg while brushing your teeth morning and night
  1. Gather up some physically distant social support: Ask a friend to be your exercise accountability buddy. You don't have to have the same goal to encourage one another! In the morning, share what you plan to do for exercise that day, and then check in later to ensure that you both did it. You may find that simply not wanting to let your accountability buddy down is enough motivation! Plus, you’ll get to stay in contact with a close friend more regularly.
  2. Use reminders to exercise: You can use cues around your house to help remind yourself of your intention to exercise. Seeing walking shoes by the front door could remind you of your walking plans. Setting out your workout clothes the night before could remind you to complete your routine first thing. Keeping the CHF YouTube channel open on your web browser could help remind you to complete an online workout. Putting your foam roller/massage balls out in your bedroom could help you remember to treat yourself to self-massage. You could even set an alarm on your phone, or schedule time on your calendar to remind you to exercise.
  3. Don’t ask too much of yourself: Many of us tend to be WAY too hard on ourselves. Pick 1 or 2 movement goals to accomplish each day and expect that some days, you may fail to do it. Don’t let this stop you from trying again tomorrow. When you do accomplish your goal for the day, don’t forget to celebrate!
  4. Have fun with it: Try out different types of movement until you find something that you enjoy. CHF is posting a variety of free online classes right now so it’s the perfect time to give something new a try! I always tell my personal training clients that we have won when we start to enjoy an exercise we once disliked. If you come to find that you enjoy certain movements or exercises, you’ll be way more motivated to continue doing them.

Some new at home exercises to try:


View more of CHF’s online exercises videos HERE.