Here in Massachusetts, we’re in week five of the “stay at home” advisory, which means we’re all slowly getting accustomed to our “new normal.” Regardless of what your fitness routine had been prior, you have no doubt had to make some adjustments. For some, that may have been as simple as changing the time or route of your daily run. While for others who might have gone to a gym every day, attended your favorite yoga studio, or been a part of a recreational league/team (in my case rowing on the Charles River) this likely has completely upended your schedule.
In addition to my role at MassBio, my side hustle, as the kids like to say, is a group fitness instructor for Equinox. As such, it is imperative that I continue my workouts during this time, so that once we all go back to our previously scheduled lives, I will be ready, willing, and able to jump back into teaching. Despite what you may see on Instagram, even fitness instructors and gym rats have times when they just don’t want to work out, so here are my strategies for keeping (or starting) a fitness routine:
- Put it in your calendar. If you don’t make time and space for your workout (or many other tasks in life) it’s unlikely to happen. For me, if my main workout isn’t done before 9 am, or ideally 7 am, it doesn’t happen. The one caveat to this is if I have a “date” with someone else to workout. So, put it in your calendar but invite friends/family/colleagues to join you.
- Hourly breaks. Right now, most of us are spending full days sitting in one place – no colleagues to visit, no meetings to go to. Set an alarm for the top of every hour and take a few minutes to move your body. This can be a very strict movement break (10-20 pushups, sit-ups, squats etc.), or it can be fluid (stand up and stretch). If there’s time and weather permits, take a lap around your block. Research shows we are far more productive when we take regular breaks throughout the day.
- Get your kids involved. Many of us are home with children. Whether it’s your infant who you take on endless laps in the stroller to promote that much needed nap, or your high schooler who joins you to try the latest dance move on TikTok, moving our bodies as a family benefits everyone. My children (7 & 9 years old) enjoy GoNoodle which incorporates movement and learning. We also follow along to The Fitness Marshall, (he can be a little racy, so watch those on your own first!).
- GET OUTSIDE! All caps and exclamation points for a reason. The weather is finally turning warmer, and a fantastic workout is just outside your door. Walk/jog/run around your neighborhood. I sometimes go up and down my street doing walking lunges, squats, and pushups. There are countless studies, articles, and adorable memes to back me up on this one, but here are 9 ways getting outdoors will improve your health.
- Get Online! OK OK, I know I just said get outside, but never in the history of spandex has there been more free fitness content online. Chances are if there is a gym, studio, instructor, or program you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t had the time, money, or a location close to you they are online now and FREE. I’m biased, but these are my personal favorites: Variis by Equinox, Peloton, (which now offers family programming, see #3 above), Orangetheory AT HOME, BURNIN’ by Ray, Yoga With Adriene, and lastly me, I’m leading MassBio MOVES, a total body class on Zoom every Thursday at 7:15am. You can take advantage of MassBio MOVES, Orangetheory, BURNIN’ by Ray, and Yoga With Adriene with MassBio’s Virtual Member Benefits.
My goal is to come out of this pandemic stronger in body and mind, (not smaller, I’m also baking every day) and I hope you’ll join me!