The importance of regular and sustained physical activity has never been more important. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that health and fitness is not a luxury but a necessity. Far too many people are, “at higher risk” due to constant inactivity and poor diet. Obesity is not just about esthetics anymore it has become a health care crisis.
While our legislators were lobbying for a distinction between, “essential vs non-essential” workers they have literally crippled the industry that provides the needed outlet.
Exercise provides many benefits such as:
- Stress relief
- Balance improvement
- Mental wellness
- Stronger immunity
Movement is what our bodies were designed to do. It keeps us balanced mentally, physically, and emotionally. I would say fitness and nutrition are essential in every facet. Failing to acknowledge this was a major mistake by our legislative powers that govern our cities, states, and country.
How many people have neglected their active lifestyles during this pandemic? How many have failed to find consistency with regards to healthy behaviors such as; regular workouts, mindful eating, and getting quality sleep. These have all been impacted during this pandemic and adversely affected our health.
Finding balance is more crucial than ever.
Let’s face it our homes have become work stations, schools, restaurants, and coffee shops. Our entertainment has been tied to social media, blogs, streaming content, and tv. How could the average person who struggled pre-pandemic make fitness a priority now? These obstacles have become more like barriers for some. Fitness is about, “being active” which is also a state of mind. When our minds are being inundated with convoluted messaging and anti-movement closures it is easy to let the health priority go to the wayside.
Contrary to what most think the best medicine is movement. Obviously practicing social distancing and wearing a mask is important especially in public.
Those with high-risk health concerns should find alternative means for fitness such as:
- Online home based fitness platforms
- Community-based virtual fitness for seniors or children
- Walk outside when it is not crowded or hike
- Get some home equipment that you would enjoy. Could be cardio, weight-based with dumbbells or kettlebells.
- Yoga online for relaxation
- Body weight-based exercises for those with limited budgets.
Aligning yourself with like-minded people can be motivating and inspiring. Companies like Trainerize that provide fitness platforms from professionals to the masses. Empowering people through health and fitness mediums makes working out easier during this stressful time. There is a simple saying I live by, “too much analysis leads to paralysis.” Stop overthinking and start doing.
Fitness doesn’t have to be costly or intrusive to your schedule, minor adjustments make the biggest difference:
- Pick a time to be active and stick with it – try and workout at least 3x per week
- Have a routine do not try to wing it – get a program that’s right for you
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water – a lack of hydration leads to fatigue and a lack of movement
- Eat fresh foods that energize you: vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins
- Track your activity
- Make a food log
Start with something simple and progress. Small incremental gains are key. If we look at walking as an example, maybe start with a time-based walk before a distanced based one. If you’re beginning starting with 10 minutes at a good pace and work your way up from there. Gauge it in terms of weekly improvement. Track and hold yourself accountable. People tend to help motivate people, so talk with someone on the phone or FaceTime and encourage them as well. We are a species that tends to work better in packs. Workaround the guidelines of social distancing by utilizing technology.
The reality is even during a pandemic you can get fit, stay fit, and reach your goals. The first step is setting a target and then track it.
I am of the belief you can remove barriers in life, overcome obstacles, and treat them like hurdles. Simply do not let others dictate your health and wellness. Restrictions and health club limitations are happening to counteract that with a plan.
As we navigate this uncharted path in human history do not let your health become negotiable. Do not increase your chance of being static with this catastrophic disease. Obesity is a disease we can all fight through movement and diet.
Fitness doesn’t have to be boring! Finding the right program or person to guide you can be quite entertaining and empowering. Stay active and find your balance. Never compromise your health even in a pandemic get the help you need. There are people, platforms, and programs available to help. Find your motivation and get moving.