COVID-19 and related quarantines have closed gyms and resulted in many people suddenly left with disruptions in their health and fitness plans. While we absolutely NEED to self-quarantine in order to protect ourselves and others, most of us WANT to emerge on the other side of this pandemic as healthy as possible. If you’re struggling with your fitness right, here are 4 super-easy things you can do to maintain and even improve your health while staying inside.
This is your gym now:
Photo credit Scott Webb via Unsplash.
1) Keep up the meal prepping!
Back in the day (January, this year) many of us were prepping nutritious and at least partially home-made meals for ourselves. Now, being stuck at home has made meal prep seem at least partially pointless: why pack a lunch if you’re not going anywhere? However, there are two big reasons that you should keep your meal prepping process running as close to normally as possible: it’ll help you keep track of how one, much you eat; and two, what you eat.
I know that we’ve all seen the memes about having “already eaten all of the snacks at home.” Like most humor, this joke is rooted in a grain of truth. Let’s admit it, it’s easier to snack when we’re working at home, surrounded by the snacks and goodies we’ve already bought – no vending machine required. And if you don’t have a pre-packed lunch waiting for you like you do at the office, you may be tempted to eat whatever is quickest.
Instead of grazing all day, your fitness goals will thank you if you keep eating the healthy foods you were before quarantine (and don’t eat too little, either! Make sure you’re still getting enough protein for your muscles!).
2) Limit alcohol intake.
This is solid fitness advice during the best of times – alcohol adds empty calories, and mixers are usually high in sugar. However, there’s an even more important reason to avoid it now: Alcohol consumption can hurt the immune system.
Now, it is true that the really adverse effects don’t kick in until an individual has exceeded the recommended daily limit, repeatedly. But when you know you’ll be working from home rather than heading into the office come morning, two beers a night doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Also, stress can be a trigger for excessive drinking – and if you’re not dealing with even a little extra stress right now, you are A) lying; B) on a higher plane of enlightenment and please teach me your secrets. Basically, all I’m saying is don’t let your drinking creep up on you.
3) Stay hydrated!
This one should be easy! While working from home, you can easily refill your cup or water bottle just by stepping into the kitchen, not walking all the way to the water cooler. Hydration helps your immune system keep going strong. Also, staying hydrated can help reduce your cravings for snacks, making it easier to stick to your other goals.
4) Seek out new workout options.
Most gyms and fitness studios are temporarily closed. And even if your gym is miraculously open, you might be less than enthused about the idea of going out in public more than necessary. Luckily, many gyms and programs have stepped up and started offering online workout courses, many of which are available on live mediums, like Facebook or Zoom, so you can still get the group fitness vibe, even when you’re alone in your living room.
If you’re not the group workout type, you can also simply visit YouTube for thousands upon thousands of at-home workout videos that require little or no equipment. Depending on where you live, you may also have the option of going on runs/walks outside – just stay 6 feet away from anyone you pass on your run!
5) Remember: Some workout is better than no workout.
If you work through the day and miss most of the live workouts, you’re like me and not great at switching gears, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Get out and go for a walk or jog. Do 20 sit-ups. Make a simple goal, like doing 10 squats or pushups every time you stand up to get a snack/water/bathroom break. Set a timer for 30 minutes and do literally anything physical. Don’t worry about reps or weight. Just do something.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the current situation will end. Eventually, we’ll all be able to get back to our routines. In the meantime, don’t forget about the goals you had before, and keep working towards them as best you can!