I’ve found that over the past week, the basic mantra has been “modify and adjust”. A pandemic will apparently do that to you. We still need to be able to stay healthy during this time though. Physical activity is important for our bodies and our stress level. First step: take a deep breath. Unless you’re one of those families that needs toilet paper and hasn’t been able to find any due to the hording, our current situation is just mildly uncomfortable.
If we stay in this holding pattern for 2-3 weeks, “mildly” won’t be the term to use. For now though, we’ve made adjustments: figured out who’s watching the kids, who’s going to work, where we can find eggs, and made tentative plans about fish fries, Easter, birthday parties, and more.
Next step: consider the physical activity you were engaged in prior to this and determine if you can still do those things. Since I usually run by myself and do so outside, I can continue to do that. However, if you were training toward a goal, particularly some event that has been canceled or rescheduled, it throws a real wrench into your training schedule.
If you’re a runner, it is usually easy enough to run your race in your current location instead of traveling to that race in the Florida Keys, South Padre Island or some other exotic location. I wouldn’t appreciate the trade-off, but at least months of training wouldn’t be for naught.
For those who engage in physical activity that is facilitated by a local gym or athletic club, the options can be more limited. (Perhaps it’s time to take up running!) However, there are still options. Consider these three:
- Look up some body-weight exercises that you might do at home. YouTube has a ton of videos that give you information about form, repetitions, and modifications.
- Take up something you haven’t done in a while. Maybe you hung your bike in the garage several years ago; now’s the time to take it down and add air to the tires!
- Try something new: yoga, hiking (visitor centers are closed, but trails are open), or tai chi. Again, you can find videos to help you, and none of these activities require specialized equipment.
If you have kids, particularly if they’re now hanging out with you or grandma at home, you can keep them engaged in physical activity too. Some options are:
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Homemade obstacle courses (Note: don’t make this a huge task for you or grandma. Have older kids set up a course for young children and remember that plastic cups turned upside down can certainly be a substitute for cones.)
- Go for a walk
- Or combine your physical activity with theirs by giving them rides in a wheel barrow and then letting them attempt to reciprocate!
We’re going to get through this. It will just take some time and a bit of flexibility. Remember! First step: take a deep breath.