Well we are more than 214 days (from St. Patrick’s Day) and counting since the first COVID lockdown. With a second wave making an appearance worldwide, we will be here for a while longer. As we face an uncertain few weeks, I thought it might be a good idea to help everyone take a step back and focus on what we can control. Our health. Now gyms and studios were out of the question for us (our bubble included new parents, their baby and my Oma), but there are lots of other options available. We miss the gym, especially @savannahjessie (she loves classes and is especially bummed), but in a pandemic, you need to improvise.
The Easy Ones
Sure the weather is getting colder and it’s certainly darker early and late, but outside is easy. Outdoor activities are the easy ones to do now before the snow sets in. For the first half of the lockdown it was primarily Running and Cycling. We are expanding our horizons by exploring Ontario’s beautiful parks (Hike Ontario is a great resource). We’ve visited Mono Cliffs, Balls Falls and the Cheltenham Badlands. Beautiful scenery, especially with the leaves changing color and nothing too intense so they’re suitable for all skill and fitness levels. Go early (lots of other people have the same idea) and make sure you pack water and some snacks.
We also branched out and managed to find some sporting equipment mid-pandemic so we’ve been out playing tennis and pickleball. Equipment was tough to source as everyone was buying up weights, machines and whatever they could lay hands on. Bicycle? Good luck, please come back in 2021. Still if you look around, Kijiji, Play It Again Sports and other smaller retailers, there are options out there. Don’t be afraid to try something new and some free weights or a yoga mat will provide you with flexibility. I will also highly recommend a skipping rope. If you have the room either outside, in the garage or in your basement (ceiling permitting).
Now you don’t need me to tell you about the usefulness of online classes or apps to aid in fitness during these times. Lots of gyms and studios of all sorts have pivoted to provide some type of online service as a means to stay open. Not only do you see your friends, but you can get and give encouragement while sweating your face off. Be active (and vocal) before, during and after classes to show community and spirit to those sharing the pain with you. That little cheer might brighten someone else’s day and help them push a little harder. If your hesitant to join because a lack of equipment, so far every class I’ve been to has had modifications to accommodate everyone.
If live classes are too intense for you, @savannahjessie and I have found success with the Peloton app as well. It does cost $15 a month, but you can get a 30-day trial to see if you will like it. They have everything. Literally everything from yoga to hiit, spinning, running, strength training and everything in between. You can filter and search to find the perfect workout for whatever pocket of time that you have. There are apps from Nike (Training or Running), Apple (with Fitness+ coming later this year) as well as Garmin available. I can recommend any of the ones I’ve previously listed as good (except Fitness+ which I will review when it comes out). Have you used an app that has been awesome? Drop a comment below and share your experience with us.
With the second wave in full effect and the winter approaching now is the time to start building those healthy habits. We certainly don’t want the COVID 15 turning into the COVID 30. Remember that it’s not just the body that needs to be exercised, but the mind and soul too. I touched on yoga briefly above, but that combined with meditation and breath work might reduce the anxiety that is swirling around. Get your workouts in, but don’t forget to stop and just breathe every once and a while.