I made a plan in my head last night. I'm sure you're familiar with it... that glorious plan for productivity that generally includes setting your alarm clock for a certain hour with the intention to wake up and workout, or read a book, or conquer the world... you know, productive things. The kind of plan that we always have the best intentions when setting, but often fairly poor levels of commitment when executing.
And guess what? When the alarm clock went off this morning, I hit snooze. Too many thoughts in my head. It went off again...snooze. And it went off one last time, to indicate that it was now indeed time to get up... but well past the time window I had allotted for my run. Once I eventually dragged myself from bed and plopped myself in front of my computer for the day it seemed like it should have been a very easy task to simply get out of bed a little earlier and complete that workout. That little voice woke up in my head and started to whisper things alluding to laziness, mental weakness, disappointment, etc...
And how could it not? For many of us, current situations with COVID-19 have left us home-bound (if not couch-bound), to sit at a computer 8+ hours a day. We have no commute time and no "prep" time, as we stagger from bed (often still in pajamas) to grab some breakfast and head to the living room (ahem... "office"). Now, more than ever, we should have the time to dedicate to our physical fitness. The excuses are gone! We can do crunches on lunch break, walk circles on conference calls, and get that six pack in no time! ...right? Not necessarily.
This is an unprecedented and stressful time that none of our usual "tips and tricks" in the fitness industry have prepared us for. Making it to the gym and learning to cook healthy meals have always been obstacles for individuals starting their fitness journey, but the closure of all fitness facilities and sparse grocery shelves is an entirely different challenge. We are scared. Scared for our community. Scared for our family, our friends, our finances. And while physical activity can certainly relieve some of that anxiety, it is by no means the time to be beating yourself up over one missed workout or diet slip-up.
For those who have an established fitness routine, quickly establishing an option for working out at home can bring a much needed sense of normalcy. For others, the idea of fitting a workout in while adapting to factors such as working from home, having kids home 24/7, adjusted income levels, etc. can be an extreme stressor. For those who have found themselves working even more than normal during this time (our wonderful workers in healthcare, law enforcement, grocery stores, pharmacies, agriculture, banks, trucks, restaurants, warehouses, etc.), an exhausting schedule can make it difficult to prioritize working out, though it may serve as much needed stress relief and essential for personal health.
With the many recent publications in our media reinforcing the importance of physical activity and a healthy diet for our general health and immunity, I think it's clear that there's a benefit to staying as active as possible. I encourage everyone to be as physically active as they can during this time. However, I think it's also important to give yourself a break. Don't feel like doing that leg workout you had planned for the day, but have a garden full of weeds in the backyard? Do some gardening. Miss your planned run this morning, but your kids want to play a family game of soccer later in the day? GOAL!
Your fitness goals are important, but your health (both physically and mentally) takes priority. Exercise when (and how) you are able, and try to do so in ways that you enjoy. If you're having trouble finding ways to stay active, please reach out to me or another one of our trainers. Please remember that you are not alone, and I look forward to seeing each of you back at Wellness for Life when it is safe and appropriate.
Please continue to stay healthy and safe, and look out for each other!
WFL Personal Trainer