Putting Off a Fitness Plan?
Postponing Workouts til We're No Longer "Distancing?" Keep it Simple & Jump Back In.
If you’ve been suspending your workouts or dragging on plans to start, think seriously about jumping in. First of all, social distancing is likely to stand as the norm for a while to come, so waiting could mean missing a big window of workouts. More important, exercise, like medicine you wouldn’t skip, improves & protects physical and mental health. Actual beneficial changes in brain & body occur, simply from exerting ourselves through regular bouts of movement. While the gym may not be an immediate option, simple home and outdoor workout options make getting fit very possible. All it takes is some thought and commitment.
Keeping exercise plans uncomplicated (at least to start) helps tremendously. Straightforward workouts will keep you coming back because they feel less like hurdles. Here are some suggestions for making exercise simple & straightforward.
Recently, when I've surveyed people about workouts, many say they’re not really exercising but they ARE walking. In an age of commercial, high intensity cardio plans, we sometimes think we have to push ourselves to extremes or the exercise doesn’t “count.” Walking represents one of the best ways to care for ourselves. Doing 30-60 minutes at a moderate pace on most days impacts health & potentially weight.
Hiking & Outdoor running are obviously great options.
If more intensity is indeed your “speed,” then hikes and runs, especially now that warmth has returned to our weather, make for exhilarating workouts. If joints need extra care, try seeking out rubberized tracks. (Early morning may also allow for a bit more space between diehard runners.) When hiking, use trekking poles, which dramatically reduce knee, hip & ankle impact.
Nix Boredom with simple cardio mix-ups.
Some of us really rely on variety to stay motivated. Even if it’s one or two workouts a week, mix things up. I’m partial to bleacher workouts, climbing, running, using rails to anchor resistance bands and employing benches as “cardio steps.” More simply, you could use a sturdy park bench or a flight of outdoor steps in a similar way. Even more basic would be a list of calisthenics (like jacks, burpees, etc) that you could do anywhere from the living room to the park. And of course, tons of internet workouts abound—If you can stream them, you can do them (at the appropriate level for your current fitness, of course).
Strength training does not need to be complicated to trigger major change.
Building muscle is extremely doable at home. Again, pick a straightforward method. Resistance bands, suspension trainers (like TRX straps), 3-4 sets of dumbbells, and bodyweight are all very effective choices. With any ONE of these, you can increase muscle strength, endurance and mass. (Consult a certified trainer for input if you’re unfamiliar with strength training.)
Buddy up within guidelines.
Finally, we may not be able to “Zumba” right beside our pals at the moment, but working out with a friend via Skype or in a group via Zoom are not bad substitutes. Walking, hiking, and running a couple of arms’ lengths apart may be something you already do with a friend. What about sharing a simple driveway workout with a neighbor across the way? When solitary workouts wear on you, call a pal and tap into a dose of fun.