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How the Self-Quarantine Is Teaching Us to Break Up With Workouts That Aren’t Truly Fun

Rachel Lapidos

Rachel LapidosJune 23, 2020

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Photo: Getty Images/Nattakorn Maneerat

Ever since the country began social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s lives became contained mainly to the square footage of their homes. This has impacted everything from how we eat (so. many. dirty. dishes.), to how we socialize, to how we move in our day-to-day lives. Over the course of the three or so months since the quarantine began, one thing has become clear in terms of how we sweat: We’re breaking up with workouts that we don’t truly enjoy.

It’s a theme that was discussed during Well+Good’s TALKS on the current state of fitness that took place last month. “What’s going to help people stay committed right now is to make sure that they’re having fun,” says Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry’s. “Those 30 to 60 to 90 minutes, however much you’re dedicating to a workout, you just need to be in a positive frame of mind and really enjoy what it is that you’re doing.”

Working out because it feels good is more important than ever at a time like this. “We’re not thinking so much about: ‘Will I get results?'” says Gonzalez. In the environment of a global pandemic, people are, instead, using physical activity as a means of stress relief. The time that we spend moving our bodies has become a true practice in self care. If we’re not able to move around as much outside of our homes, our movements inside are going to be joyful.

“We’re not thinking so much about: ‘Will I get results?'” —Joey Gonzalez, Barry’s founder

This is an idea that Sadie Lincoln, co-founder and CEO of Barre3, echoes, suggesting a “noticing practice” help helps you become in tune with your body. “This would guide you through every single move as you notice your body as it is right now, how you feel sensations like your feet on the ground, your heartbeat, your breath. This driving of your awareness takes your mind from worry, uncertainty, chaos, and anxiety—which so many of us are feeling—to certainty.” Just glancing at the news headlines over the past few months can lead one to spiral into despair about all of the things we’re unsure about. Aligning your movements and being present in your body can quell a lot of that restlessness, at least for whatever length of time you’re on your mat.

As our living rooms have become our makeshift gyms, we’re our very own motivators. So what you choose to queue up on YouTube or join via Zoom is a way to tune in to what both your mind and your body crave. “Motion creates emotion,” says Lincoln. If a certain workout won’t bring you a half hour of physical joy, it doesn’t deserve you hitting the play button.

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