Fitness and health expert Bob Harper will try anything to get in a sweat session during quarantine. And by anything, he means anything. Spending some time in his sauna blanket? Check. Old-school step aerobics? Check. Army-style bootcamp sessions? Check. You name it, he's probably tried it.
And for Harper, that's what working out and staying fit is all about right now — finding a new, exciting, and healthy way to sweat every day. And usually, that involves trying new things to make what can often be the mundane act of working out at home fun and engaging. And while this new mindset has certainly lead to a few less-than-well-known exercise routines, it's also changed Harper's perspective on at-home workouts.
"I used to think before COVID-19 that workouts needed to be structured in the gym for the full effect," Harper tells Woman's Day. "Now I really believe that the health and fitness industry is going to change because people have gotten so creative in their homes with different ways to do it. The simple can work if you let it."
A post shared by Bob Harper (@bobharper) on Jul 9, 2020 at 11:47am PDT
When it comes to working out, "simple" can mean anything that efficiently and effectively elevates your heart rate. Harper finds a way to get his heart pumping by setting up a stopwatch and letting it run for 30 minutes or an hour, then making sure he's moving his body around for that specific amount of time. "Even if it's just dancing around to a YouTube dance video, I'll do that because those things do matter," he says.
Of course, if you're struggling to get motivated to take the time to exercise in the midst of this ongoing global pandemic, you're far from alone. A survey of 2,000 Americans found that 65% of them are "taking a break" from their fitness routines during quarantine. And since another 45% of Americans say COVID-19 has negatively impacted their mental health, and millions of Americans are filing for unemployment, are worried about their continued ability to work safely and provide for their families, and facing even more uncertainty as they look towards the fall and winter months, feeling less than enthused about working out is understandable... to say the least.
Harper acknowledges the struggle many Americans are facing, but says that overcoming that struggle is all about committing to yourself. "I think it gets to the point of deciding what you need to do to take care of yourself and better yourself, and it comes from a place of I’m worth it enough to take this time out of 24 hours to think about what is best for me," he says. "You’ve gotta get yourself in that mindset of I’m worth it, I can do anything I put my mind to, and right now I'm gonna put my mind to taking care of myself physically. You’ve gotta have these kinds of conversations with yourself." And since studies have shown that establishing a consistent and sustainable exercise routine can improve a person's mental health by reducing depression, anxiety, and negative moods while improving self-esteem and cognitive function, talking yourself into moving your body for even just 30 minutes can be both physically and mentally beneficial.
So take a page out of Harper's book, turn that YouTube playlist on, and get to shakin'!
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