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How Streaming Live Workouts Helps With Daily Motivation

How Signing Up For Live Fitness Classes Brought Me Out of a Serious Quarantine Funk

online workouts and mental health

I completed one of the hardest puzzles trending on Instagram. I learned how to make banana bread. I cracked open a coloring book I hadn't touched since the day I brought it home. I even purchased an embroidery kit, promising myself I'd finally learn. (I still haven't.) I did everything I could think of to make quarantine a little more exciting. Still, no matter which way you sliced it, I was in a funk.

But when a friend and I decided to sign up for a 30-day, live workout challenge that required me to "show up" to something almost every day — something I had been avoiding since the beginning of life at home — all that started to change. Live workout classes did more than just give my fitness routine a boost — they gave my new lockdown life a boost.

Days Had Beginnings and Endings

I'm usually great at routines. But for the first few weeks of at-home life, I was sleeping in until five minutes until work started, staying up until 2 a.m. watching an entire season of a show in one night. However, signing up for a 7:45 a.m. class that I promised my friend I'd attend forced me to let go of bad habits. I had to plan out my week of workouts and make sure not to miss class because there wasn't a repeat or pause button if I just "wasn't feeling it" that day. That sense of class accountability did more for me than just help me master a proper push-up in 30 days; it helped me find the rhythm in each day again. I learned to love my early bedtime, my routine of laying out my favorite no-slip leggings like Under Armour's HeatGear® Armour Hi-Rise Leggings ($45) before bed, and reaching for my workout mat first thing when I woke up.

Being Digitally Social Was Fun

The first time my friends wanted to do a virtual happy hour, we talked for hours. The second time, we talked a little bit less. The third time, I nearly cancelled two minutes before. Yep, I was over all of the digital socializing. It could've been so easy for me to dread another Zoom link in my inbox, but I took great pride adding my new workout classes to my calendar. I got so into the idea of "showing up" that I started sharing my workout experiences with my friends, who I discovered were also using online classes to give structure to their new lives. We bonded over our experiences and found that our workouts were helping us be social in ways that didn't feel like obligations. Finally, being social was fun again.

It's OK to Settle In

After the initial fear of committing to something during such a nebulous time, I found myself settling into a routine. More importantly, I let myself be OK with the fact that things had changed. Life had changed and was going to keep changing whether I let myself accept it or not, so why try to fill my time with puzzles and banana bread? Why not do what I love even if it's out of its normal context? When tuning into live workout classes, my days looked a lot different. Each morning I woke up excited to move my body with 60 other strangers who were making the most of their new normal, too. I started signing up for more classes, taking on more fitness challenges with friends, and finding the structure in my life again.

By the end of the 30 days, I realized my online workouts had a trickle effect: I had reconnected with friends, set out on one of my most ambitious running goals yet (100 miles in a month!), and learned to feel OK that my days weren't going to look the same anytime soon. I realize now that deciding to show up to a class each morning was only one small choice, but it was one that led me to finding so much more throughout the day.

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