It’s almost impossible these days to avoid talking about the weight that everyone has gained since March. With gyms closed or partially inoperable, it’s safe to say that nearly everyone’s gym routine has changed (except for the lucky few with a garage gym setup… we envy you!)
First off, let’s clear the air about this “Covid 15”. Your body may have changed in the last few months. The number on the scale might have gone up, or maybe you can tell you’re a little “softer” than you used to be. That’s… not ideal, right? Sure. But be kind to yourself. Chances are, you’ve had some big life changes this year, mentally and physically. Maybe you used to have a really active job and now you’re at home staring at a computer screen. Maybe you used to hit the gym every day on the way home from work and now you work out of your living room. Maybe you used to have some time for yourself when the kids were at school and now they’re home. All. The. Time.
There are ways to get back into your healthy routines that don’t involve guilt tripping yourself into starvation or some weird diet you heard about on late night TV. Everywhere you look there’s some ad for some amazing diet you can do to “melt fat” and “watch the pounds come off”. And sure, they might work short term. You might lose a bunch of fat (and muscle in the process) but as soon as i stop eating just four string beans a day, you’ll eventually gain that weight back, and usually more. You know why? Because you won’t have learned a single thing about how to properly fuel my body.
You may wonder how possible it is to get back on track without doing some “crazy” program. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s very possible! And not only is it possible with the steps I’m about to share with you, it will actually be more effective. You know why? Because you’ll teach yourself sustainable ways to get back into your routines and stay in them.
Figure out your “New Normal”
Your routine probably changed in the last few months. A health routine that worked for you in February may not work today. Your first step is going to figure out what does work, and that means both your actual exercise and your timing. Maybe you were an afternoon exerciser before, but now your most open time is before your 9 AM Zoom meeting. Maybe you preferred weights, but now all you’ve got is an exercise bike in the garage. Unless you want to go out and buy a bunch of new equipment, you need to make do with what you’ve got. So figure out a routine and a schedule that’s going to work for you.
Our bodies don’t like big changes. That’s how we pull muscles, both mental and physical ones. If your goal is to go from 0 workouts to 5 a week I commend you and support you, but please, start with 2. And if it’s a 3 mile run you’re aiming for, start with a 20 minute jog. You can amp up as fast as you feel ready, but start slow!
Every little bit counts
Some days, getting your workout in is really easy. It feels like a reward instead of a punishment, and that’s great! But not all days are like that. Some days are really really hard. Some days it’s hard to get started, whether that means driving somewhere or even opening the front door. So let me share a trick that I use. I tell myself “Ten Minutes”. I’m going to go to the gym and workout for 10 minutes, then I can leave. Or I’m going to walk for 10 minutes, then I’m done. Nine times out of ten when I hit 10 minutes I’ve usually begun to feel better about being there and my attitude becomes “Well, I’m already here. Might as well make the most of it”. Sometimes I have an awesome workout leaving me feeling amazing, and sometimes I don’t. But at the very least, I got it done when I didn’t think I would. And if 10 minutes arrives and you’re over it? Well, at least you did 10 minutes! That’s more than 0!
Try something new
Once you’ve gotten your routine now, try something new! Maybe it’s personal training online, or a socially distant outdoor class, or even a home youtube video. It will keep your brain and your body fresh.
Give these tips a try and let us know how you feel. Hopefully they help you get back into a routine that makes you feel good. That’s what health is all about!