I just read a Popsugar article that completely changed my perspective about fitness during quarantine.
Let me start with saying that as both a health and a fitness professional, I strive to keep people healthy – both mentally AND physically.
It’s ingrained in me to provide advice and education wherever I can.
Now that I have a fitness blog, I’m able to share my thoughts on the latest trends and give advice about current events. Anyone with any business sense will tell you to pay close attention to what your audience needs and tailor your content towards that.
So as the “Virus-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named” made its way into our media, our countries, and our lives, I did what any business-savvy, fitness-promoting person would do: I focused on providing home workouts and encouraging people to keep working towards their fitness goals. I gave out those expected quarantine fitness tips.
Now I see how unwise that was.
What Popsugar Says
The article I read is titled, “I’m Worried About a Million Things Right Now and Not One of Them is Gaining Weight.” And it’s specifically about life during this Virus-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
In it, the author writes about the massive life changes we’ve undergone and how our lives have been completely upended.
And that it’s okay if we don’t have our lives together right now.
She writes: “Some days I’m too anxious to eat anything all day. Other days I find comfort in a half bottle of red wine and tortilla chips for dinner. We are all doing our best…right now, I’m still in emotional survival mode.”
And she implores fitness influencers and health publications to stop providing their “tips and tricks” to stay on track right now. Because “focusing on weight gain, counting calories, and obsessing about our appearance in a moment where lives are literally at risk is not helping anyone.”
So today I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Because I get it. I’m living this too. I realize that a little bit of comfort food and a glass of wine can work wonders while I’m questioning whether it’ll be a whole year before I can board a flight to see my family again. Or wondering whether I’ll get sick at my new nursing job. Or whether my friends will lose their jobs.
I’ll keep providing home workouts for those that need a way to work out and want new routines. But I’ll stop encouraging you to stay on top your fitness goals in this time of turmoil.
Instead, these quarantine fitness tips focus on the things that will help you stay healthy and just plain sane during this time of turmoil.
8 Unconventional Tips for Staying Healthy When You Can’t Leave the House
1. Stop working!
Dear goodness, I need to take this advice.
Many of us are working from home right now. Not having a physical split between your home life and your work life makes it hard to completely give your all to either.
I know this far too well, since I’ve worked from home for about a year. I’ll catch myself still working at 8pm and realize I’m mentally exhausted.
The best way I’ve learned to prevent this is by creating set work times.
I try my best to stop the high-brainpower work by 6pm. Any work I do after that is mindless stuff I can do for a half hour while watching TV – like making pins, re-pinning other blogger’s posts I like, sharing my posts to other platforms, deleting emails from my inbox, and editing pictures.
And whether you’re working or not right now, plenty of us have other responsibilities too: cleaning, home projects, and even working on homeschooling for children. Don’t let these obligations overwhelm you right now.
Our lives have definitely been thrown a curveball, but at some point in the day you need to say, “Enough is enough. It’s time to relax.”
2. Stop putting pressure on yourself to get extra stuff done
Yes, you’re at home a lot more than usual right now. But no, that doesn’t mean you need to deep clean your entire house or “finally” organize that messy closet.
If you need a distraction and are bored, go for it. But if you’ve already got enough on your plate, don’t feel like you need to add more.
Seriously. Just don’t do it!
3. Enjoy the sunshine
As someone who works from home normally, I know how gloomy it gets staying inside all day. Oftentimes, I’ll go to a coffee shop just to get out of my apartment.
That’s not an option right now.
So the only times I get outside are taking my dog out and going for runs.
When I do, I focus on enjoying my brief stints outside. There’s nothing quite like getting out in the fresh air when you’ve been cooped up all day. I’ve even seen families out walking together around my apartment complex, I’m sure for that very reason.
Health benefits aside, if you’ve been considering taking up running or walking, now really is a great time. Don’t feel like it’s time to take on World Records – set a timer for 20 minutes and cruise at a comfortable speed.
Enjoy your time outdoors.
4. Try home workouts – if you’re feeling it
Love working out and miss the gym? Looking for a way to move your body on rainy/cold/hot days? Then in-home workouts are a great option.
Many people feel their best – both mentally and physically – when they get a workout in. I still recommend taking a day off here and there, but doing a home workout in the middle of the day can be a great break for your mind.
Like I said, unless you know it’ll really benefit you mentally, it’s okay to take a step back from going gung-ho on your physical goals right now. Take the time to adjust to all this madness, and then reassess.
But if will help you to stretch out and feel better after your couch-sitting, then by all means, do a home workout!
5. Make sure you get some fruits and veggies in every day – frozen is fine!
Life is different now.
I used to always buy salad ingredients at the grocery store every week; now I’m personally not willing to buy salad ingredients that will go bad quickly.
I went to the grocery store this morning and it took 3 hours. While I’m glad for their social distancing practices, I decided to buy foods that last so I don’t need to go shopping every week. I’m also starting a new nursing job soon and want to decrease my risk of exposure as much as possible.
So instead, I’m leaning towards produce like carrots, broccoli, apples – and lots of frozen fruits and vegetables.
I feel better (as does my stomach) when I eat fruits and vegetables every day, and I know many others do as well. And since frozen produce actually tends to have more nutrients than fresh – because they’re frozen immediately after being harvested – I’m very up for that option!
Your body feels best when it has the fiber and nutrients you need. So aim to get some form of fruits and veggies every day.
p.s. Frozen vegetables are also super inexpensive!
6. Make sweet treats for yourself
Although nice in the moment, eating too much sugar usually makes us feel pretty bad later.
Take that from the girl who ate too many Skittles last night.
But I also think it’s going to be impossible for most people – myself included! – to go for weeks without any sort of dessert.
Like I said earlier, sometimes comfort food is necessary. So try baking something off my Healthy Baking or Healthy Sweets Pinterest boards. I only save recipes that have way less sugar and oil than their typical counterparts. And you’ll find a wide variety of recipes that are also gluten-free, vegan, paleo, etc!
I made these healthier chocolate chip cookies the other day – no flour, eggs, or dairy, and minimal oil and sugar – and they were phenomenal! Like, I was honestly surprised haha.
Remember: indulging in sweets doesn’t have to be all or nothing!
We’re aiming to have you feel your best right now, and swapping out a sugary treat for a slightly healthier version is a great way to keep both your body and your mind happy.
Relaxation and stress relief are probably the most important aspects of your health to care for right now.
Even if you don’t have anxiety, this crisis is sure to bring out some worry.
If you ever feel that stress heighten – say, after looking at the day’s news – it may be a good time to try a stress-relieving activity. Yoga and meditation are obviously some great options. Same with reading a good book or even scrolling through Pinterest.
Today you may need a relaxation session more than a workout, and that’s okay.
8. Video chats
My family never video chats, and now we have twice in the last week!
Although I may not be able to see my family and friends as soon as I hoped, I’m actually getting to talk with them more than usual. And it’s extremely uplifting.
Instead of social distancing, let’s aim for physical distancing only. Reach out to friends and family and stay in touch.
Our social lives are crucial for our mental health and wellness – which, as I pointed out earlier – is paramount right now.
A FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Zoom chat may be just what you need!
I obviously don’t think that regular exercise is unimportant – I’ve made it my career, after all! But most of us have never experienced a period this catastrophic, one that’s disrupted every aspect of our lives.
So you do what you need to do right now. Cope how you need to, and take it one day at a time.
Stay healthy and safe, everybody!
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