Friday, April 10, 2020

Surviving in these COVID-19 times

It is 2020 and this year has been brutal so far for so many. As I sit here writing, we are going through a pandemic that has people dying and people holding on to their lives. I won't try to explain COVID-19 because I assume we have all heard enough and understand the risks and the current impact of the virus. It has kept most of us in our homes with little or no social interaction, and has yielded the term "social distancing". I will however share the tips below on social distancing from the CDC.

As a fitness enthusiast and world traveller, this impacts me in the same way it impacts everyone else, but it also means the things that I spent a lot of my time doing or planning (the gym and planes) are no-go areas. If you are anything like me, you have had to come up with new ways to still enjoy at least some of those interests in a safe manner.

On Instagram, I have been sharing daily routines that you can do at home or anywhere really. This pandemic has re-emphasized the point that you can work out anywhere, so I thought I'd write some tips for how I am staying physically and mentally healthy at home, because at this time, we need both.

Keep a consistent exercise schedule: One thing I have tried not to change is my exercise schedule. I may not be able to go to the gym and I may have to get more creative with my workouts, but I still try to exercise first thing in the morning. This allows me keep some sense of normalcy. If you are looking for creative routines to try at home, here are a few I suggest: 
  • Instagram: You can follow me on Instagram (@eightsnweights) and/or search for fitness hashtags to see routines on a daily basis.
  • Use what you have: There are so many basic bodyweight exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, etc. that you can easily repeat to get a full body workout. If you have basic gym equipment like resistance bands or dumbbells, incorporate those into your workout. If you don't have basic equipment, use things like towels instead of sliders, water bottles instead of dumbbells, and even lift your couch!
  • YouTube: This has been a lifesaver for me. There are days when I just want to follow what someone else has already put together, and there are so many channels like Fitness Blender, Essential Health, Nicole Pearce, Yoga by Tim, Do Yoga With Me, Heather Robertson, etc. that I am very very grateful for.

Eat fresh food: I don't know about you, but being home without social interaction means food becomes my friend so there is food around me constantly. The positive part of this is that I'm cooking fresher food than when I'm on the road, and I can attest to all the ingredients in my food. But it is important to control those portions as well or we could all find ourselves struggling to get back to normalcy when this is over. So try to make more of your own food, but also try to control your portions.

Dance dance dance: One creative way I've found to get some exercise is to also just dance in my living room. I call friends and dance with them on video chat or I dance hard by myself. It has been known to boost my mood and get me sweating as well.

Talk to loved ones: If you are not good over the phone, this is the time to enhance that skill. Call friends and family to show you care. I have done more video calls than probably ever in my life, but it actually feels good to see and talk to people and remain engaged in their lives. For me, this helps provide comfort in a time when many people are anxious, especially with family all over the world.

Get some sleep: The one good thing here is that we all don't have commute times, which means we can get in a few more minutes (or maybe hours) of sleep each night. We will be back to regularly scheduled programming in no time and so take the opportunity to rest.

Take time to meditate: If you have always had trouble meditating because of the noise and hustle and bustle around you, it may help to use this "quiet" time to try to be present and focus. There are several meditation apps available now, or you could pull up meditation playlists on Spotify and try to tune out. My theory is that meditation generally makes you calmer and makes your skin pop :)

Is there something you are doing to stay healthy? Please share.

Cheers Eights & Weights!


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