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How to Elevate Your At-Home Workouts, According to Fitness Gurus

You can still really get your sweat on without hitting the actual gym.
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We're all obviously spending way more time at home than we ever planned to in 2020. For those who prefer in-person group fitness settings, that's probably translated to perhaps less exciting, less motivating, and perhaps less frequent workouts.

But that doesn't have to be the case: Eager to ramp up the motivation and truly get the most out of all these at-home sweat sessions, we asked fitness pros how to elevate our exercise game. From motivational tips to inexpensive purchases, here's what they shared.

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Take on an Inspiring Challenge

One of the surest ways to keep motivated is to give yourself a goal to work toward. This can be a solo venture — such as aiming to run a mile or even a 5k without stopping, mastering the 1-minute plank, hitting 10k steps a day on your FitBit, or setting a goal to work out a certain number of times a week. And since so many others are in the same boat as you, you're also apt to find others eager for a challenge, too.

"For instance, if you're not a 'runner' you can sign up for a virtual 5k that will take you on your first steps towards becoming a runner," suggests Ellen Thompson, fitness manager at Blink Fitness. "What's great about these virtual events is that you can go at your own pace and you're logging into a supportive community — one of the very things we lost when we lost access to gyms and fitness studios, as well as in-person running events."

Even hitting up a friend or a group of friends for a friendly competition or accountability-buddy is a great way to challenge and motivate yourself!

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Write Down Your Goals & Keep a Fitness Log

Science has proven over and again that simply writing down your goals can increase your chance of success. "This visibility will allow you to navigate what is working for you and what is not and can help with future goal setting. It is also important to constantly evaluate your goals as you move through your fitness journey," says Lauren Jenai, CrossFit Co-Founder and CEO of the new health and fitness app, Manifest. "Meeting small attainable goals, while consistently setting new and more advanced goals are the stepping stones to increased health and fitness."

You can log this in spreadsheets, word documents, apps, or even in a simple journal. For something pretty to scribble in, consider something from Rifle Paper Co.'s lineup, such as this Garden Party Fabric Journal, $24.

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Schedule Your Workouts and Create a Weekly Routine

Babies, toddlers, high schoolers, adults — the majority of us thrive when we have a set schedule and routine. When it comes to fitness, which can sometimes feel like a chore, it's especially tricky to stay committed. Penciling workouts into your schedule and creating a set daily or weekly routine will help you stay on track.

"It can be easy to move yourself down the priority list, especially as the day goes on," says Danielle Cote, the director of training operations for Pure Barre. "Treat your workouts like they are mandatory meetings that cannot be rescheduled. Find a time that works best for you and schedule, whether it is the same time each day you are working out, or it needs to shift based on other obligations and commitments."

Lauren McCallister, fitness expert for Mindbody, agrees, adding that working out from home makes it even easier to sidestep your workout sessions.

"When sweating from home, you might be tempted to answer an email, start dinner, dust shelves, or binge Netflix. To avoid doing so, remove as many distractions as possible by creating a specific workout space away from your work, phone, and TV," she says. "Even if it's just a small corner in your bedroom, designate a clean and calming space for your at-home workouts."

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Consider Virtual Classes

Virtual classes are amazing if you're craving that group fitness atmosphere, or if you tend to excel when you're being led in a workout versus coming up with an exercise routine on your own. McCallister says, "With fitness studios and gyms offering virtual workouts globally, it's easy to try something new from anywhere in the world. Purchase a live stream class package or start a new on-demand workout series to keep your body guessing and give you a new source of motivation."

Some programs to consider include BeachBody on Demand, Obé Fitness, Pure Barre (individual studios offer live virtual classes, but they also have on-demand), Blink Fitness, and Corepower Yoga. Also check in with your local fitness studios or personal trainers who likely have virtual offerings (and even some one-on-one options) available.

Image via @corepoweryoga

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