Image Source: Courtesy of Anna Victoria
Personal trainer and founder of the Fit Body app Anna Victoria is pregnant with a baby girl due in August — she spent two years trying to conceive, first with intrauterine insemination (IUI), then through in vitro fertilization (IVF) — so she has tailored her workouts accordingly. But, in general, Victoria told POPSUGAR that, when she does home workouts, she likes to incorporate both strength and cardio.
Victoria said that getting a sweat session in three days a week is a good ballpark number to shoot for. However, she noted that having flexibility is also important. "I'm really telling my community and everyone . . . don't push yourself to do something that is going to cause more stress," Victoria said. "But I hope that workouts will relieve stress." (We know that they do.)
When we spoke, it was right when stay-at-home orders began across the US due to novel coronavirus, but that goes for any time of year: you shouldn't be overworking yourself in the gym or at home regardless. Exercise should relieve stress, not cause it. That being said, there are plenty of ways to establish a structured workout routine at home. Here are some of Victoria's top tips for when it might seem difficult to find motivation in the same space you sleep, cook, and unwind.
Image Source: Courtesy of Anna Victoria
Try morning workouts. Victoria recommends exercising in the morning because it gives her energy for the rest of the day. And, she said, a busy schedule can get in the way after the fact. Here are some tips for switching to morning workouts; however, if you can only work out later in the day, that's fine. Find what works for you and what you can keep consistent — from Victoria's experience, morning workouts do it for her.
Don't stress about equipment. Victoria said you don't necessarily need equipment to get a good workout in at home. Want proof? Here are over 50 bodyweight videos to try.
Dedication over motivation. "I love going to the gym, and when I'm at home, it's like, 'Well there's my couch.' And so I feel like motivation really does not come into play very much with home workouts," Victoria explained (we're sure people can relate). Instead, it's more about dedication, which she said is more logical than emotion-based motivation. She calls dedication "robot mode," where she finds herself in a zone and just gets things done. So, focus on your dedication even when you have a lack of motivation.
Try workouts that are already programmed for you. There are plenty of apps out there that have set workouts as well as workout programs to follow, one of which being Victoria's Fit Body app. She said it has two programs you can do at home: Shred, which is entirely bodyweight, and Tone, which requires dumbbells. Victoria admitted that even she needs to have workouts set up for her in order to find that drive to get them done. It's also good to know that you're doing workouts designed to challenge your body and that, if you're following a plan, you're doing doing sessions that get progressively more difficult through the weeks, she said. Here are some workout apps to try for beginners and fitness apps in general (I personally love the Peloton app) as well as a four-week beginner strength training plan. Also, here are some at-home strength workouts to choose from.
Find inspiration online. Aside from workout apps, you can find at-home fitness inspiration on social media whether that's from people who are part of your workout program community (you'll find that with Tone It Up, Peloton, and Fit Body especially) or from others you just follow online. Victoria personally said that she follows a lot of fitness moms on Instagram to give her motivation during her pregnancy and beyond. She named Hannah Bower and Emily Skye, for example. Some trainers are even hosting live workouts on their Instagrams during this time.
Change it up with different workouts. You can follow a program through an app or put on workout videos, but you can also get creative. Victoria said that any form of movement that feels good to you is beneficial. Think: going for a run, or, in the future, joining a recreational sports team (she played in a coed softball league!).
Be realistic with your goals. Having physical goals is not a bad thing, Victoria said, "it's just not OK if you are wanting to achieve them at any and all costs." Translation? Seeing results may take time, and it depends on the person, so don't sweat it. Additionally, if your goal is to gain strength, for example, running alone is not going to do it for you, Victoria stated. Sure, you don't need any equipment to work out at home — you just need your body — but, if you actually want to progress and see improvement, you're going to need to add resistance. Here's how to choose the right weight and how to make your workouts at home harder.