Exercise and diet are the two key components to a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes to exercise, current circumstances are making it harder for people to stay fit.

Local gyms are offering online workouts and one-on-one training, but many people still don’t feel safe going out and meeting in person. Creating a home gym or a space where workouts can be accomplished is an important aspect of staying healthy at home. With limited space, limited or no access to equipment, and lack of privacy, it is easy to make excuses for putting on weight or choosing to watch a movie instead of working out. Fortunately, all that is needed for a good home workout is the human body.

Find a space in the garage or in a spare corner of the bedroom and create a wellness sanctuary. Yoga mats, weights, cardio equipment and more can be purchased at Back in Action Fitness Equipment in Bend, helping to create a space conducive to your goals. Kevin Roll, owner of Back in Action Fitness Equipment, said sales on equipment have been up for the past eight months, which isn’t a surprise.

Since this local business delivers anywhere in the state of Oregon, purchases can be made from the comfort of your home and brought to your door.

When asked what he would purchase for his own home gym if he could only have one item, Kevin said, with complete confidence, “Any total-body exercise piece of equipment: an elliptical, cross rower, or air bike… it allows you to exercise your full body with just one machine.”

If space and budget is an issue, don’t be discouraged. The best piece of equipment we have is our own body. We can do lunges, squats, push-ups and more without anything extra. Create a routine with a local trainer or by doing some research online. The workout routine doesn’t have to be perfect; the main goal is to stay active and limber. Embrace the chaos of life in this moment and push through limitations with mental and physical strength.

Ryan Hudson, owner of Level 5 CrossFit, said, “I did the home bodyweight workouts during both shutdowns and got in the best shape of my life training for the ‘Murph’ workout, which consists of running, pull-ups, push-ups and air squats. All you need is access to a pull-up bar and a place to run. When all else fails I turn to this style of training and always get great results.”

If a person cannot do the basic movements such as a squat, pull-up, and push-up properly with just bodyweight, weight should not be added to the movement. Proper form and technique are critical. People can get in the best shape of their life from doing mat Pilates and yoga work, targeting the stabilizing muscles. Once that is achieved, it is appropriate to add more weight.

To keep your workout space and the rest of life separate, it may help to creatively organize your space, putting a yoga mat and hand weights on a shelf or in a basket that brings some beauty to the room. Finding music that makes you want to move may also be a big motivator to get started and to keep going. Some people enjoy listening to books on tape or podcasts to keep them entertained throughout the workout. What works to motivate one person may not work for another, so find the best method for yourself.

Go into your workout with a plan and track your progress to stay committed to the process. For instance, if you decide to walk the three-mile loop around your neighborhood three times a week, track how long it takes you. If you want to build upper body strength, write down the weight you lifted with your repetitions and sets completed. Having a plan before going in will help you get started and creating a baseline will help you keep going.

The best thing you can do for your health during the pandemic to stay healthy and illness-free is to eat well and move. Remember to find a routine, both in nutrition and exercise, that works best for you and that you enjoy. Once you find it, keep pushing yourself to restructure your daily life to this new way of healthy living.

If it is possible to fall off the wagon, it is possible to get back on it. Take charge of your health and feel good about it.