Your Guide to Staying Motivated to Exercise During COVID-19

Photo Courtesy: Unspalsh

“Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” — Paul Terry

We have all felt that way occasionally. Maybe you were great at keeping up with exercise plans until COVID-19 hit. Or maybe you were never good at sticking to your fitness goals. If any of that rings a bell then this is the article for you.

Virtual Exercise Communities

From Discord to online clubs, there are plenty of online support groups out there to help you stay on track of your exercise plan. It is easy to find virtual communities for zumba, lifting, fitness apps and more. You can do this by searching through public Discord servers, contacting a Bellevue College sport/club advisor and by looking through social media.

I found that some groups can be toxic, however. Some people may promote unhealthy dieting plans and use of illegal substances. It’s best to do your own research before asking online members for help. Another thing to be wary of is your internet privacy from strangers you meet online.

Accountability Partner

Having an accountability partner is my favorite way to stay motivated for school, work and fitness. Finding the right partner can be difficult, though. Talk with your friends and figure out what you would like out of your accountability relationship.

For some people, sending your friend daily check-ins of your exercise log is fine. Others may want to do exercises together virtually on camera and schedule an appointment. I find the latter easier to stick with, as it puts more pressure on you.

Exercise Games

Exercise games can turn your workout from a chore into a fun activity. For example, there are online motion-based games such as Just Dance, Pokemon Go and Oculus Move. However, these may require a heavy investment, like getting a Nintendo Switch or VR headset.

There are also in-person games you can play with your family and household members, like Twister, tag and fitness board games. You can even get creative and make your own. Keep in mind that these may not be suitable for apartment dwellers or for small houses.

Finally, although this is technically not a fitness game, it is worth mentioning. Gamified life apps like Habitca, Epic Win and SuperBetter let you earn points for checking things off your to-do list and creating habits. These can be used to make fitness and life more exciting.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Criticizing yourself is easy. Once you miss a workout or two, you can start calling yourself names and beat your self-esteem up to a pulp. While you might think it’s helpful and motivating, it can wear away your confidence and drive. 

When you feel pressured to do something, it may feel better to avoid the activity altogether, which then increases your anxiety over the thing you were supposed to do. Don’t get caught in the procrastination cycle


Staying healthy doesn’t need to be a chore. Make it fun with the people you like.