About the Author: Marlene DaCosta, MA, ACSM-CEP, CSCS, CHWC is an Exercise Physiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with Home Base’s Intensive Clinical Program and Warrior Health and Fitness Program. She is also the owner and founder of Serape Fitness and Wellness, a business that provides in-home personal training and health and wellness coaching services to private clients in the Greater Boston Area.
During this time of sheltering in place, it is important to maintain a routine that includes time set aside for self-care in the form of physical activity. This can be a struggle even in the comfort of our own homes. However, there is a way to overcome setting yourself aside and making yourself a priority by booking self-care as an appointment. In doing so, you set the foundation for creating healthy habits.
There are a number of tools that you can use to pave the way to success. These include:
Setting an appointment on your phone, wearable device or desktop calendar for a specified period of time on a daily basis.
Look for where you have consistencies in your schedule to create time for yourself. In schedules where changes can disrupt your appointment, create a backup plan that will allow you to follow through. Examples of this include having alternative times of day that could work for you or seeking the support of a friend or family member to help you stay accountable or keep disruptions at bay.
Smart speakers such as Alexa or Google Home is another technological method that can be used to create reminders to get moving simply by using your voice and specifying your request.
For example, you can simply state, “Alexa set an alarm for 7 a.m. Monday through Friday.” These devices also allow you to set timers if you wish to have a specified amount of time periods to perform the activity.
Traditionalists who prefer to write things down can use notebook planners or free printable monthly calendars that can be found online such as WinCalendar Maker for Microsoft Word and Excel
Simply print out a blank calendar for a particular month and fill in the activity of the day you wish to accomplish. Doing so in pencil is recommended in the event that something unexpected comes up that may warrant a change in activities.
Vertex42.com has a variety of free workout log sheets that you can also download to track your fitness progress. Below is an example of a weekly exercise chart that allows you to structure and document your own routine.
Regardless of the method that you choose, it is important to keep the appointments that you set. Doing so helps to create consistency and yield results, such as an improvement in mental well-being, fitness, and overall health.