The pandemic has altered everyday life as we know it. It’s changed lifestyles in ways we could never have imagined, including how we take care of our bodies and our health. It’s no longer possible for many people to go to their favorite gym. For some, going outdoors to exercise necessitates wearing a mask, something that can greatly inhibit ideal aerobic activity. Even worse, normal social and work activities are often not possible, resulting in more time spent in sedentary mode. But this is not a time when you should be abandoning your fitness goals. Sitting on the couch and binge watching your favorite television episodes while munching on comfort foods will only eventually lead to being overweight and out of shape. When the pandemic subsides—and it will, at some point—wouldn’t you rather be fit enough to really embrace your freedoms again? Here are some ways to achieve your fitness goals during the pandemic.

Adopt the SMART Fitness Methodology

In times of chaos, it’s helpful to be very organized and methodical about your fitness goals. The SMART method is a good way to set and remain focused on goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

Specific – Be very specific about what you want to achieve. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight in 2021, consider something like “I want to lose five pounds by January 31st.”

Measurable – Give yourself some metrics to evaluate your progress. That way, as you reach milestones, you have something concrete to feel proud about. Consider quantifiable criteria such as being able to fit into a certain sized dress or being able to lift a certain amount of weight.

Attainable – Be realistic about your goals. Your goals shouldn’t be anything that requires drastic measures like not eating for three days in a row or running a mini-marathon if you’ve only just started jogging for the first time.

Relevant – Your fitness goals should fit into your existing lifestyle, not some imagined lifestyle. Don’t ask yourself to do things that require a huge financial investment or to dramatically alter your life.

Time-Bound – Make sure that you set a general deadline for your fitness goals. That way you’ll be able to look forward to a specific date in the future when you know you’ll be healthier and fitter than you are now.

Look for Creative Activity Opportunities

For most people, getting fit means allotting a certain part of the day to exercise. But all activity counts toward fitness. Look for less obvious ways to use your energy and muscles throughout the day and evening. Even better, use these activities as a substitute for sitting on the sofa watching TV. Some ideas include:

  • Choose a parking spot at the farthest away corner so you have to walk farther to the door.
  • Use stairs instead of escalators or elevators
  • Do a thorough, whole house cleaning all by yourself
  • Wash the family pet
  • Paint or wallpaper a room in the home
  • March in place during every television commercial
  • Wash and wax the car by hand

Share Your Fitness Regimen

Another way to stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals during the pandemic is to share your fitness plan. Consider starting your own YouTube channel where you share the exercises you do in your home. You’ll not only be motivating others to be more active; their comments will inspire you to keep going and make more videos.

Make a Chart

Visual aids can also be helpful for you to stay focused on your fitness goals. Make a colorful chart of your exercise regimen and hang it in a prominent place in your home. Each day, when you do what you planned, put a check mark down on the chart. As the check marks accumulate, you’ll want to ensure that you never miss a day.

Rock Out to Music

Music can be very motivating when it comes to physical activity. Whether you’re exercising, cleaning house or enjoying a hobby, play your favorite tunes in the background. You may even be inspired to get up and dance like no one’s watching! And if you break a sweat in the meantime, even better!

Add Breaks into Your Workday

Most people these days work in front of a computer, which results in a very sedentary workday. Whenever you can, incorporate breaks. Get up every ten or fifteen minutes and take a stroll around the house or the office. Do some stretches, or maybe some light calisthenics, even if only for a few minutes. That little bit of extra activity will add up over the course of a week.

Don’t Resort to Fast Food

Nutrition is an important part of being fit. Don’t let the pandemic be an excuse not to eat healthy. Make a point of making meals from fresh, whole foods. If getting to the grocery is problematic, consider signing up for a grocery delivery service.

Remember, you are strong and capable. When this pandemic is over, you will emerge as a fitter, healthier person, using these fitness tips.