Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott Offers Advice for How to Stay Motivated During Quarantine

Dak Prescott

“You have to be self-motivated,” Prescott told us.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended daily life and everyday routines — and that includes fitness regimes. Few people understand this better than Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott, who had to stay in shape under quarantine.

Prescott said he personally struggled with working out at times but emphasized the hardest part about working out is just getting started. Check out the rest of Wake-Up Call’s conversation with the football star below.

Wake-Up Call: How have you adapted your workouts amid the pandemic?

Dak Prescott: Obviously, we’re fortunate — we’re back into the game. We’re back into training back at the facility, but still, I’m wearing the mask, and wearing the mask during workouts is tough. So obviously I’ve got my mask on all the time, hitting the hand sanitizer in between the workout sets.

But going back to when the pandemic started this offseason, it was different. It was tough. I mean, I’m fortunate, I’ve got a little gym area in my house, but I had to go out and get all the equipment that I needed that was going to be able to give me a good offseason. So not necessarily having a coach or having somebody to motivate you to get going, it really just tested the professionalism or me being a professional.

You mentioned you have a gym at home. How have you been able to practice and train? How have you found the motivation?

Prescott: I’ll walk around the house and I realized a lot of the things I have — if not everything — I have is because of the game of football and because of me working out. So it’s easy to find motivation when I go jump in the car that I’m driving or go jump in that swimming pool and realize, “Yeah, if I don’t work out, I won’t have the swimming pool too much longer.” That’s kind of my way of tricking my mind to get going, but it was tough at times.

So what are some other routines you’ve had to change?

I’m big on eating out. I love food, so I love to go to my different spots and eat my chips and salsa and all the different things, so that was a change of pace. I’m very fortunate. I can’t say I’ve had it as tough as some people obviously, but it was tough for all of us.

How much have your sleep habits been affected by the pandemic?

That was probably the biggest thing. Even though I’m getting physical exhaustion, usually throughout my normal day, especially if football isn’t going on, it’s a lot of mental exhaustion as well — whether it’s thinking about plays, drawing up plays. So without having that mental exhaustion — or mental exertion, I should day — through the pandemic, I wasn’t sleeping as much as I normally like to.

I really, really fell in love with the DualTemp layer cooling mat on my Sleep Number bed — that was a huge game-changer for me.

And lastly, what advice would you give to anyone struggling to keep up with their fitness routine right now?

You have to be self-motivated. It’s kind of cliché. I’d say, think about all the great health benefits that working out does — whether it is sleeping or whether it is your diet — it just creates so many good habits.

I just think it’s huge to get some kind of workout in, some kind of physical exercise in throughout the day, just for the mental health and just for the physical health.

It’s a good stress reliever, too, I bet.

For sure. I mean, there were days during quarantine that once I finally got going, it seemed like I was working out half the day because there’s nothing else to do. And then I wasn’t thinking of the fact that we were in a pandemic. The tough part is getting going, but once you’re in it, you have got to take full advantage of it.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

This interview originally appeared on Medium.