As difficult and challenging this spring has been from an employment and a public health point of view, the occasional bright point can be found.
One in particular is that many of us have more opportunities to get in shape, or at least fewer excuses why we can’t.
While most states closed many workplaces and asked people to keep away others, they didn’t restrict movement much. This means, provided you stay safe and away from closed areas like public parks and gyms, you can easily get out and walk in your neighborhood or even go for a run.
You may see fewer people out and about, or at least more spread out through the day. This may mean that the route or trail system you like even though it always seems too crowded on the weekends may have more room.
If your daily routines have been interrupted and disrupted, it’s actually the perfect time to try something new and create new routines, especially revolving around getting and staying fit.
Try some of these strategies.
- Force yourself to exercise. Even if you’re having a hard time focusing on daily tasks like cleaning or cooking, make a point to have at least one fitness-related task on your daily to-do list. Walk around the block. Do a set of core exercises. Getting your heart rate going can create endorphins, keep you from feeling tired and out of shape, and go a long way to improving your overall outlook. Plus, it can help you feel in control of some of your life, which is something that’s definitely needed right now.
- Connect with your exercise friends. The buddy system doesn’t have to close with your favorite gym – you can still get together virtually through online chat. You can talk about your daily workouts, share your performance and more. This is more about encouragement and support. If you’re feeling up to it, exercise in person but practice social distancing.
- Discover exercise. Your local gym might be closed but the staff might still be interested in staying in touch and motivating members. Maybe they can record regular messages and share them through email or social media. Or you can invite them to share some basic sets of exercises and activities each week that will provide different challenges.
- Find online resources. There are a variety of commercial videos online, everything from yoga and basic stretching to advanced calisthenics. Some of these may be free others can be ordered like movies.
- Measure your home. If you’re not comfortable going out, look for ways to create your own customized workout. How many ‘laps’ around your living room will it take to equal a quarter-mile? Can you go up and down the steps for 10 minutes at a time?
- Stay safe. This goes beyond trying to avoid COVID-19 – you also don’t want to push yourself too hard especially if you’ve been taking it easy and eating badly for the first few weeks of the pandemic. Start slow, like you would coming back from an injury. Make sure you have the right footwear plus post-exercise relief, everything from ibuprofen to ice packs.
Sweeney Foot & Ankle Specialists remains open and we’ll be happy to provide advice on common disorders and other running resources.