If it’s been a little longer than you care to admit, that’s OK—even with the best intentions, it’s surprisingly easy to get derailed from your workout routine. A couple skipped days turns into a few weeks, and before you know it, a full season (or three) has passed you by. Of course, when you add a global pandemic and gym closures into the mix, all bets are off.

But exercise in the midst of COVID-19 is especially crucial to your mental and physical well-being.

“Our country is facing a new way of living and lack of social interaction with our family and friends have led to an increase in depression and anxiety,” says Arnit K. Demesmin, MS, a NASM-certified personal and group trainer who has a master’s degree in psychology. “Fitness is a great outlet for anxiety and depression because it allows us to design a schedule and give us a sense of purpose when our lives seem all out of whack.” Aside from elevating your mood, consistent moderate-intensity exercise has been shown to boost the immune system, maintain heart health, combat Type 2 diabetes, and boost energy.

Whether you were previously a fitness junkie or you only worked out sporadically, it’s now more important than ever to prioritize physical activity. Let go of any negative feelings associated with “quitting” your past routine and instead look for ways to overcome the obstacles that got you there.