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How to Stay Fit in a Pandemic

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Author

Cameron Kennerly

It’s hard to stay fit when the gyms are closed.

At the beginning of this pandemic, we—like you—thought we’d get a little time away from the office; a well-deserved break, if you will. 

With the sudden closure of gyms, businesses, and even recreational outdoor attractions, we thought we’d spend our sudden of abundance of free time reading the classics.

We thought we’d all become an ubermensch; the perfect embodiment of peak physical fitness, with gladiator-like physiques, and toned curves that would make Lombard Street blush.

And then that first week came and went…

Then the second…

Then next month…

And before we knew it, we gained 15lbs, and the goal to “stay fit” turned into “please fill this mind-numbing boredom with anything but the news.”

Now, with the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s time to salvage what’s left of 2020 and get our beach bods ready for next spring.

Are you with us?

First, it’s time to…

Go for a Run or a Nice Walk

A group of runnersHere’s a fun fact about running:

It’s actually kind of fun.

Aside from the fact that it’s an excellent exercise for improving your cardiovascular health, a TON of people do it, so it’s easy to make friends.

It’s also free.

Throw on some loose-fitting clothing, step outside your door, and pull a Forrest Gump and just start running. The beauty of running is that it doesn’t have to be a full-on sprint either. You can job at a snail’s pace if it suits you, the biggest step is to do it consistently.

As we’ve mentioned before, building good habits requires discipline but consistency leads to progress so start slow. Jog around the block for 10-15 minutes for a week. The next week, up that pace to 20-25 minutes. The week after that, try for 30 minutes and so on.

Ingrain the habit into your body and go up from there.

Okay, we get it, the idea of running at all can seem daunting for those couch potatoes out there so try this.

Walk.

Not only is walking good for increasing blood circulation, mood, and supporting your joints, but in quarantine…it’s just good to get outside.

Throw Your Body Around

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” 

Tennis legend, Arthur Ashe said that once and he was dropping some real pearls. In times of high demand and low supply, we get it, workout equipment isn’t just hard to come by, it’s also incredibly expensive.

With gyms closed, going out to purchase a treadmill, stationary bike, or rack of dumbbells means throwing out thousands. And with unemployment at record highs, that’s a non-starter for many Americans.

But here’s something important to remember:

Cavemen didn’t have Bowflex.

They had their body weight—and Sabertooth Tigers chasing them—but that aside, they made do with what they had around them to gain strength. Thankfully, we’re a lot smarter than they were and we can do even better than them.

Start with 25 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, and 25 squats a night.

Do that for a week.

Then go up to 30.

Do that for a week.

Keep going up by 5 until you hit a plateau. Then switch the exercise. This will shock your muscles and renew your gains.

The point is that there’s plenty we can do within a small amount of space, and do so at no cost. We just need to get a little creative.

Delete Postmates and Cook for Yourself

This is a big one.

Trust us, we get it. We’ve all been there late on a Thursday night. When the meal you just cooked for the whole week has run out or gone bad, and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking. Let alone going back out to buy groceries.

Heck no.

So, you redownload UberEats, Postmates, or Doordash and find some criminally-expensive meal that’ll take just as long to deliver as it would to cook it.

And congratulations, you’ve just spent $25 on a $10 meal, and you’re unhealthier for the privilege.

We’ve got to reset that cycle, and it starts with planning better at home.

To start, it’s better to spend more than you need on groceries than more than you need on food. Those little meals add up to big bucks compared to a hunger-driven splurge at the grocery store. Keep fresh bread, eggs, and some form of meat around you. Not only do these items last a good while but regardless of the time of day, you can always make a sandwich.

Next up, grab dry pasta. If making sauce isn’t your thing, grab a jar of it. Make sure the pasta is whole-grain and be mindful of your proportions. The good thing about pasta is that it will last forever and you’ll rarely find yourself “out of the mood” for it. 

It also doesn’t take too long to cook up!

Venture the Great Outdoors

A man overlooking a mountain peakFinally, it’s important to remind yourself that there is a great big world out there beyond those four walls.

If your thing isn’t weight training, running, or at-home yoga, there are a plethora of outdoor activities to get you active. 

Here are a few to get you started…

  • Take up archery
  • Go for a long hike
  • Plan a camping trip
  • Go surfing
  • Learn a martial art
  • Go fishing
  • Play frisbee golf
  • Take up cycling
  • Etc.

There is a TON of stuff to do outdoors that’s physical and will get you active burning calories, building muscle, and improving your overall health.

You just have to step out of those four walls and commit to it.

Closing Thoughts

Times are weird right now. Gyms are closed, everything feels temporary but also indefinite, and it’s hard not to wonder if things will be “normal” anytime soon.

However, “normal” is what we make it. 

You don’t have to go inside a building to work out. You can do it right here, right now, in the space that you have available. 

It’s that simple.

The question is…

Are you willing to change your behavior to get what you want?

Stay fit, guys.

DID YOU KNOW?

Walking can be almost as good as running for your heart health? So, if running feels like a stretch, go take a walk.

DID YOU KNOW?

Exercising has excellent effects on improving mood, health, and life expectancy.

 

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