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The Self-Compassionate Home Workout Plan

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

I recently started working out virtually with a trainer. More accurately, I met with a trainer once and she created a workout plan for me, which I’ve only done twice in three weeks.

I didn’t realize how hard it would be to work out when it’s 100 degrees outside in an apartment without AC. I also didn’t realize how out of shape I was and I felt embarrassed, all of which I told my trainer. She assured me that this was okay and wanted to make the workouts work for me. Together, we came up with a few things I can do when I am not up for an intense workout.

First, we took a step back and reassessed what a realistic goal would look like. We decided on twice a week. I thought twice in a week sounded too easy, but considering I worked out twice in 21 days, this was a far better goal for me.

I put the workout in my calendar. Being unemployed in the time of COVID means that my schedule is wide open; I don’t have a lot of commitments. My schedule’s flexibility leads me to push off the workout — first by an hour, then to the end of the day, then to the next day. By putting some structure into my day, I’m far more likely to stick to the workout.

Realistic Goals & Commitment

If I am feeling anxious about the impending workout, I do a few minutes of mindfulness exercises. It’s amazing how a few minutes of intentional breathing can take the fear out of a workout.

When I don’t feel like doing the whole workout, I commit to five to 10 minutes of stretching. I aim to do something physical every day; it could be as simple as riding my bike to the store or taking my dog on a long walk. This is helping to train my mind to put aside time for my body.

Finally, I am always kind to myself. If I don’t make a workout or goal, I refuse to beat up on myself. Feeling guilt or shame about not working out will never inspire me to do it more.

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