Fitness Lessons Learned From A COVID Shutdown

It is safe to say that a year ago we would not have imagined living like we are in a dystopian movie. While we are not out of the woods yet, it is important to take lessons from our experience.
There are many facets to the current world state which may be impacted by government response and human behaviors and fears. But it begins with health. Even early on the word was that having underlying health conditions and co-morbidity could negatively affect recovery outcomes. This is a jargon-y way of saying that unhealthy people are more at risk.
Some health conditions we have little control over. Others, we do. Being fit can act like a shield against many things, and even benefit mental health which we also saw take a hit during the isolation/shutdown. The sooner you start to work on the areas you can affect, the better. It probably won’t be a quick fix if you have let things go from neglect. So if necessary start slowly, get guidance (see coaching below), and absolutely just get started.

Here are some things that stood out to me:

1. Fitness (training, exercise & nutrition) needs to be a flexible part of your lifestyle – forever. Having the perfect program that requires perfect cooperation from life and others is not realistic. There will always be conflict that occurs. Schedule and prioritize as best you can, and be flexible to allow yourself to keep forward progress, even if a little slower at times. Training is applying a program that moves us toward our goals and exercise is activity that we can do to complement training or take its place when life throws a snag. Nutrition is the foundation for both. Don’t go on a diet, instead HAVE a healthy diet that is sustainable in all seasons.

2. Your fitness is your responsibility.
Just like the sign at the beach warns, No Lifeguard On Duty. If you get yourself in trouble, it’s up to you to get yourself out.
Now, there is help available, it’s just on you to apply it. There is no promise that it will be easy. Sorry if that stings a bit.

3. Value coaching over access.
You do not have to have it all figured out. When everything shut down what most people relied on (access to gyms) was gone and people were left hanging. There were thousands of workout ideas available online. Yet many people still didn’t do anything. A coach can still provide guidance, customization and accountability. When our gym shut down we still had 60-70 members who received coaching guidance and accountability for training at home. When the gyms could re-open there was a very clear difference between those who kept working with our coaches and those who thought to wait it out on their own.

4. Have a few home workout tools.
You do not need a fully stocked home gym. It’s not a bad idea to have a few training tools on hand that give you options for when you can’t make it to the gym. Consider some form of “cardio” machine. Yes, you could run/walk outside…but winter is coming, so that might affect things. So look at a treadmill, bike or rower if you can. No room? Perhaps a skipping rope, a small stair-mill (probably from a garage sale or amazon), or use a staircase. Get a doorway chin-up bar or minimal TRX handles. Add some moderate-heavyish items, like dumbbells or make a sandbag. Now you can lift, push, pull, and carry. There you go.

5. Hybrid memberships fill in the gaps.
Making fitness a priority in your life might require having a plan on multiple fronts. Do you need a nutrition solution AND learn how to work out effectively? Do you need to know what to do when you travel for work? Do you find working out in a group more motivating? We have membership options to meet those needs. We can combine services in creative ways that help you work toward your goals and optimal fitness. Whether it’s coaching for group workouts, nutrition/habits, personal training, online coaching or a combination of these, we can work toward getting you in the best shape of your life. It’s like having a fitness concierge!

6. Attitude matters.
Anticipate that it will often feel like work. And that’s OK.

7. Be ready for a second wave.
The first wave caught us off-guard. We all had to make to make very quick decisions with new information and lots of uncertainty. How severe the second wave will be, it’s hard to be sure. But it is coming. So we can’t plead ignorance the second time.
If the first wave showed where the holes in the fence were, the time to fill them in is now.

Excuse-proof your fitness. We can help. Talk to a coach for free by scheduling a No-Sweat Intro and see how to get started.


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