Workouts in a Pandemic: Maintain Motivation, Reduce Excuses

Nicole Olekanma, Staff Writer

Have you fallen into the TikTok trap, endlessly scrolling through videos and consuming snacks without a thought to the calories? You’re not the only one. Some people have been able to escape the social media vortex and remain fit throughout this pandemic. However, many of us have likely experienced the on-and-off cycle of exercising and then abandoning our workout goals in favor of Netflix binge-watching.  

According to Savanna Jones, senior, “I used Netflix as a way to get away from all the drama that was happening in the real world.”

Things definitely got scary last year but it’s time to take control over our health again. This article will provide the motivation to get you into a home workout routine that is consistent and free, so that you can get your body back to its pre-pandemic shape! 

Why Aren’t People Working Out? 

The Heart foundation states that the top five reasons Americans don’t exercise are tiredness, not enough money for a gym membership, not enough time, no motivation, and no one to exercise with. 

If you are actually sleep deprived, then you should first work on getting more sleep. Making sure that your time is used productively can play a big part in getting more hours of sleep at night. There are also studies that show regularly working out can decrease the amount of time it takes to go to sleep which can help with problems like insomnia.

Tiredness can actually go away after working out.

That feeling of tiredness usually won’t be there after your workout. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins into the body which help boost your mood.   

A gym membership isn’t necessary to maintain a good exercise plan. Jaela Lott, a senior, comments that she has been working out from home to increase her strength and the results so far are great!

You don’t have to exercise everyday. When you do exercise it doesn’t have to be for a long period of time. About 30 minutes to an hour should be enough time to workout and refresh.  

As far as the no motivation excuse, setting reminders or asking friends to keep you accountable could help. Exercising with other people can greatly motivate both people involved. You don’t want to go too hard on yourself in the beginning because you may wear yourself out which can result in you abandoning your workout plan. 


When doing workouts it’s important to know what reps and sets are.

  • Reps, which is short for repetitions, are one exercise. For example, one push up would be a rep.
  • Sets are made of a specific number of reps of an exercise. So, ten reps of pushups could be one set.

Between a certain number of sets there should be a rest period. Using reps and sets when working out can help to make your workouts more efficient.  

Workouts should be divided into sections based on what part of your body is being focused on.  

First up is cardio. According to Ben Levine, a renowned cardiologist, cardio exercises are used to strengthen your heart and blood vessels. Simple exercises that can be done from home that are good for cardio are running, walking, and dancing. You can also do sets of jumping jacks, burpees, jump roping, and mountain climbers.  

Cardio workouts strengthen your heart and blood vessels according to cardiologist Ben Levine.

Lower body workouts mainly exercise the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. To exercise your lower body you can do sets of squats, lunges and glute bridges, calf raises. There are many different types of squats such as jump squats, air squats, dumbbell squats, and Bulgarian split squats. There are also different types of lunges such as the lateral lunges, forward lunges, and reverse lunges.  

Upper body workouts mainly exercise the muscles in your chest, back, arms, and shoulders. To exercise your upper body, you can do sets of pushups, planks, tricep  dips, and inchworms. Some variations of the exercises mentioned are plank taps, plank jacks, one-armed push-ups, diamond push-ups, box dips, and bodyweight tricep dips. 

Last but not least, core workouts focus on the muscles in the lower back, hips, abdomen, and pelvis. Some good exercises for the core are planks, crunches, mountain climbers, and leg lifts. Again, there are many variations including forearm planks, bird dog crunches, bicycle crunches, mountain climber twists, and scissor kicks(variation of leg lifts).  

One of the most important things to do when working out is to stretch. You should stretch for at least 5 minutes before and after your workout. YouTube provides many great and free videos to help you with your workouts and stretches.  

How to Create Consistency in Workouts 

If you want to have a consistent workout routine, then you need to make a schedule. Doing spontaneous workouts is not consistent because when you lack motivation you will just choose not to work out that day. You need a workout schedule that forces you to workout even when you don’t feel like it. So, go grab a piece of paper and get ready to make your routine. 

First off, write down which days that you are going to workout. This way you can’t use the fact that you “don’t have time” as an excuse to not work out. If you choose a day, that means you are able to carve out enough time on that day to exercise. As stated before, you only need about 30 minutes to an hour.  

Next, decide which workouts you’re going to do each day. Make sure you don’t do the same workouts everyday. Try to pick a specific part of your body to focus on each day. For example, you can focus on your legs on Monday and your upper body on Tuesday. Try to have at least one day for rest and one for recovery. On rest days, you can simply do nothing. On recovery days, you can do full body stretches or just go for a nice walk.  

Working out regularly and consistently is very beneficial. It not only improves your physical health, but also your mental health. Exercising is a great way to clear your mind which is definitely needed in a time like this when many people are anxious and stressed. If your goal is to be more healthy, then remember that working out on its own will not help keep you healthy. Maintaining a balanced diet is very important too! Now, go and start that amazing workout plan that you created.