By Sophia Yakumithis

I’ve always enjoyed working out. 

I’m not one of those people who wants every single human I come in contact with to know that I do an hour of physical activity a day. I exercise in a T-shirt with toast on it and Ninja Turtle sweat shorts, for perspective. I don’t even know what whey powder is. 

Exercising just makes living in a body somewhat more enjoyable for me, so I do it a lot. And quarantine has put me in impeccable shape. 

To the naked eye, I know I don’t look like an athlete. You would probably describe my body type as something to the likes of an angel hair pasta noodle, or maybe a Q-Tip. I say that with confidence; my friends have poked fun at my pancake chest for years, going so far as making group chats named after it. But I have accepted who I am.

Regardless, I’m seriously jacked. It’s all muscle underneath the Boys XL tee shirts I wear every day, and, believe it or not, I’ve got insane abs. Odd flex? Sure. But that’s because, like I said, I sincerely enjoy working out.

In these trying times, when access to the gym is unavailable, I thank my stars that I’m self motivated enough to do home workouts or find creative ways to do cardio. In fact, going to the gym is my last resort. I can’t stand being around lunks, and the last thing I want is people watching me sweat like a hog while I plow through some innocent burpees. 

Since a lot of people are taking self-quarantine as an opportunity to get in shape, I thought I’d offer some tips to stay motivated and make the most of your at-home workouts.

Disclaimer: when you have nothing else on your plate, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough after you’ve adjusted to a workout routine. You do NOT have to exercise every day to be in shape, and it’s NOT healthy to tire your muscles seven days a week with no breaks. Be flexible and change your regimen based on your daily needs. And be nice to yourself.

Since I’m an early riser, I like working out as the first thing when I wake up. It gets “me time” out of the way, so I don’t feel like I have to make any sacrifices later in the day if something comes up. Plus, it gives me the energy to get up and get to work, and then I have tons of downtime in the afternoons and evenings.

Blogilates is something I swear by. The pilates blog features low-impact workouts for home with no equipment. But, if you’re into resistance bands or exercise balls, trainer Cassey Ho’s got you covered. She offers a bunch of different series, too, so there’s something for everyone.

I got into Blogilates in middle school when I hated the idea of physical activity. I did a few workouts set to One Direction songs, gradually increasing the amount as my body got stronger. 

On top of pilates, I like going for really long, brisk walks. Sure, running is a hard flex, but I’m not trying to dunk on anyone. I do this for enjoyment, so I would rather take in nature without having to shower or take a whiff of my inhaler. Plus, walking long distances is a lot better for your joints and muscles than running, which is high impact and will kill your knees if you don’t do it right.

I’m not expecting a contract from Nike anytime soon, I just wanted to put this out there for anyone who needs a change of pace or some workout guidance. I’m not studying sports medicine or anything, but this has given me a six pack.

Stay hydrated, folks.