With the pandemic making it difficult to access gyms, many of us have been estranged from our “regular” workout routines and have faced challenges on how to adjust to our new, isolated, circumstances. Here are a few methods for staying active and healthy during the pandemic.
For me, the pandemic meant altering my regular workout routine and deviating from what I had known for years. It meant not going to the gym anymore. Although I am fortunate enough to own some gym equipment, I still found myself at a loss for how I should approach this new routine alone and from home.
I was used to having an active life at the gym, on a basketball court in a park, or just running on the sidewalks outside—all of these with friends or family. I tried exercising at home with basic training and cardio exercises, such as a high-intensity run on the treadmill. These kept me fit and active, and I found that they helped me to stay both mentally and physically strong in the pandemic.
I found new ways of working out with other people in a way that was both safe and still got the job done. I was able to connect with my friends and family through workout apps, such as Nike Training Club (NTC) and Nike Run Club (NRC). These apps provided guided workout sessions, even for those who may not have access to equipment. For those who do, the possibilities are endless. I usually worked out in my basement because of how spacious it was, and because it is where I have my treadmill and weights. Packing my gym bag and carrying my water downstairs reminded me a bit of going to the gym during pre-pandemic times.
When the pandemic hit us and lockdown came into place, I had two main struggles: first, having the space to work out, and second, adjusting to a new routine. Pre-pandemic, I would head to the gym after I was done my work. But, with gyms closed and my class and work schedule changing, this was difficult to manage. The idea of working out with my family in the same room made me uncomfortable, so I tried to schedule my workouts while my siblings were out for a walk or were otherwise occupied to prevent disturbance.
I completed online workouts from one of my favourite YouTube channels, Fitness Blender, that promoted a healthy lifestyle—rather than just a certain type of body—and were easy to do in an apartment building. These workouts weren’t overly intense and helped clear my mind, while also letting me push my body out of its comfort zone. I also made sure to take breaks from sitting all day by going for fifteen-minute walks or doing a series of stretches. These two combined activities helped me prioritize mental health while also taking care of my physical wellness.
Though no date is confirmed, The Recreation, Athletics & Wellness Centre plans to reopen for indoor activities this fall. Even so, the Covid-19 lockdown proved that maintaining an active lifestyle is possible with some ingenuity, adaptation, and the willingness to get up and get moving.