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Not Motivated to Work Out During Coronavirus? It's Not Just You

Head shot exhausted female student holding head in hand, tired of monotonous study alone at home. Sleepy unhappy young woman feeling lack of energy motivation, working distantly online on computer.


For most (if not all) people, 2020 has had serious ups and downs. Between the COVID-19 crisis, environmental turmoil all over the world, and a tumultuous year of politics, we’re all tired. Everyone is beat up, burnt out, and worn down by all these wide-lens problems that no one has the headspace to think about other things.

Our own small problems feel silly in the grand scheme of things and goals that once seemed important feel rather worthless — not to mention, we’d have to muster up some nonexistent energy to achieve said goals.

Take fitness, for example. In January and February of this year, you were hitting the gym hard and loving it. Then March came around and the world got confusing (to say the least). Then April and May went by and all of a sudden it’s June and you haven’t exercised in three weeks. But you don’t have the energy to care. Fast-forward to December and the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of disappearing, and working out during coronavirus seems like the least important item on your to-do list.

Even Ekrin Athletics’ own co-founder Dan Kozak has endured this challenge: “Before COVID-19, my wife and I would go to the gym every morning and we had a pretty good routine going,” he says. “Trying to keep that up at home has been challenging, not only because of the motivation factor but also because of the limited space and at-home equipment that we have.”

Lately, Dan and his wife have been taking advantage of cooler temperatures by doing outdoors activities in place of traditional workouts. Mountain biking, tennis, and running constitute much of their physical activity.  

Active family biking on mountain biking trail in the woods on a summer day

 Mountain biking is a great form of exercise - plus it's a great way to get outdoors and have some fun!

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Motivated to Work Out

First things first: Do not allow guilt to consume you. You are not a bad person for deciding you don’t feel like working out. This requires a mindset flip for most people, especially people who (pre-COVID) were hardcore gym junkies. Exercising has no moral value. It has health value, absolutely, but no moral value. Instead of telling yourself things like, “You’re horrible for skipping your workout” say, “You’re doing a good thing by honoring what your body says right now.” Believe it or not, working out is not the antidote to all things. 

So the thought of doing another bodyweight HIIT workout in your living room makes you shudder. No problem — maybe there’s another form of activity calling your name? Any outdoor activity serves as a nice and necessary refresher from your usual workout routine. Try hiking, biking, swimming, playing frisbee, or simply walking. Don’t overlook the mundane, either: Household chores like yard work get you moving and offer a sense of accomplishment.  

Young men exercising on a race track. Two young friends training outdoors.
Young woman massaging her foot in her living room with a massage gun

 Working out with a friend or taking some time to relax and recover are great ways to recharge your motivation.

Sometimes, all you need is a friend. Working out with a friend can energize and motivate you, not to mention make you try harder (we all have somewhat of a competitive edge). Just take caution with this suggestion in the age of coronavirus — only exercise with someone you’ve been seeing since the start of the pandemic or someone who has recently been tested to confirm they don’t have the virus. 

With all the stress from the pandemic and other 2020 happenings, an intense workout could actually add more unwanted stress to your body. Give your body the rest it needs and use techniques like foam rolling, percussive massage, stretching, and other forms of muscle manipulation to speed up muscle recovery.  

Physical activity isn’t the only thing that can give you a much-needed boost of endorphins. Call someone you love and tell them you love them. Just saying the words and hearing them back in a familiar voice can boost your mood for a while.

Written by Ekrin Athletics Staff