The exercise rut

Staying active can be so beneficial especially now, but finding the motivation can be challenging.

Daniel Lee, Staff Writer

It’s the Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020, and people all over the world are stuck at home in quarantine.

However, restrictions have begun slowly lifting, and Cameron Ginter is excitedly getting ready to go out with friends for the first time in months. As he is leaving his house he realizes he forgot to get a quick workout in that morning. Deciding that skipping just one day was okay, Cameron closes the door behind him.

Ginter, a senior, began quarantine with a set plan to do 100 pushups a day. For a while, he kept up with his plan, completing his workout while watching a movie, or right before bed. However, this all changed a few months into quarantine as restrictions began lifting.

“I began having people over and forgot. I felt less motivated to do all of the workout, and scheduling got in the way as I got busier,” said Ginter. “It was the gradual decline that killed it.”

Ginter described it as slowly losing the motivation to either complete the workout or do it all. As the days, weeks, and months went by, Ginter’s desire to stay fit and “keep up the streak” waned.

Unfortunately, Ginter is not alone. Karen Carrillo, sophomore, and Irlanda Camacho, senior, both offer similar stories.

“I’m too busy with my life, and there’s not much time for it,” said Carrillo. “I did exercise before, and to be honest, now that we’re in quarantine, I’ve been feeling too lazy to workout.”

“I was [exercising] at the beginning, but as the months passed, it died down,” added Camacho. It seems that a key factor in stopping the workouts has been a loss in motivation. In a time as strange and unfamiliar as the current pandemic, it only makes sense that people begin to lose their normal drive and determination.

“I think I lost motivation and interest. As the months go by, you get desperate just staying home and doing the same thing. It felt like exercise was becoming that. There was no catch to it anymore,” said Camacho.

However, unlike Ginter, Carrillo, and Camacho, Carlos Ocampo — a senior at Hoffman Estates High School — has been trying to keep exercise a regular part of his routine. A look into his motivation will answer the question of why Ocampo has kept up exercise.

“I made a bet with my dad. We both bet $50, and whoever loses the most weight before a certain date gets the $100,” said Ocampo. “People all have their own motivation.”

Ocampo claims to have not really exercised before the quarantine as he was always too busy, but now he has too much time on his hands. Instead of continuing the same lifestyle, the bet with his dad kickstarted Ocampo’s active side to a point where he now enjoys the exercise.

“I’m definitely going to exercise more after this. The feeling of exercise has grown on me. I enjoy it now,” said Ocampo. “I really like a challenge.”

A piece of advice that Ocampo shared is to “set goals and try to accomplish it with other people.” Camacho agreed that having a goal and a partner is something that can motivate you.

Ocampo set his goal of losing weight and found a partner in his dad, and it has been working so far to keep Ocampo motivated. Although the prospect of making some money probably helped as well.