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Our Daily Breather

Our Daily Breather: Steve Aoki's Quarantine Workout Routine

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Steve Aoki

Where: Las Vegas, Nev.

Recommendation: Starting a daily workout plan


I'm a very goal-oriented person and I love having a schedule. I went through the calendar with my team, like, "OK, now we're home, who knows how long this will last? We have 15 songs on the album that are not out yet. I'll do 15 workouts in a row, and I'll drop a brand new song from the album."

By day 10, I didn't even think about it — it was something that I did. Working out for 15 days straight is actually quite a task; it's something I never did before. But what happens in the brain is that when you do something like this all the time, it becomes natural to continue doing it. It's not such a task anymore. So I put myself into that rhythm of, "Well I always work out, and I work out the next day."

And then I kept following suit, and as I followed suit I picked up other things that were complimentary to being healthy, complimentary to the exercise — like breath work and meditation and yoga and stretching.

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For me, after I do a workout, I don't want to eat bad food. The pizza that I'll want will be later on in the day, but not right after. I want to eat something protein rich, healthy, more plant-based. I just think differently about what I'm putting into my body.

It has very large ripples, and it goes across your whole life without you even realizing it. I think that's the thing: When people think about, "Oh, you're eating this, you're doing that, you're doing that," it's just too much. It's just too much to even think about. I'm like that too, in many ways. So you almost have to trick your mind. Start with one thing that is manageable — one thing that can start overriding into different parts of your life. And as you do that one thing that's manageable, it makes it easier; the barrier of entry to get into these other things is naturally easy.

Everyone is different, everyone's got different things they want to do, but you can obviously change this up. I think a good place to start is doing a round of three very basic workouts: Push ups, sit ups and squats. It's all about the core. Start with your core. Start with core workouts.

There's two things that work for me. Before you start, put a goal, so you have already a plan in mind. And two is: group accountability. So if you want to lose some weight and gain some muscle, you want to gain some energy — find that friend of yours that is willing to do this with you.

It doesn't actually take up that much of your time. When you do body workouts, you can do a 20-minute body workout and totally exhaust yourself in an area; that's just enough to do jumping jacks and push ups and burpees. So you don't really need that much space, and you can exhaust your body to the point where you feel your endorphins running through your whole system, and your heart's pumping and your body's screaming, in a good way. —As told to Jon Lewis


Steve Aoki's new album, Neon Future IV, is out now.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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