Before quarantine began, I may have gone to the gym twice all semester. I can eat my weight in take-out and get out of breath on the million-dollar stairs. To be entirely candid, I was less than happy with the way I looked and felt during spring break. When an international pandemic forced us inside, I took it as an opportunity to get my health in check. The following have been really helpful for me, and I hope for you too!
1. Neighborhood Walks
Yes, the rumors are true: I am becoming a suburban mom. I watch a lot of Jennifer Aniston movies, going to the grocery store is the highlight of my week, and I power walk through my neighborhood. I'm from a place that literally has "hills" in my street name. This not only is a good workout that combines elevation with speed but it also gives you some well needed sunlight and vitamin D. Get a walking buddy and catch up on your favorite shows, what's going on, or even just rant. This time in the day is important for social interaction and just to get outside and burn some calories in the process. And when you want to start trying to run, walk to one stop sign and run to the next or run the downhills and walk the uphills. Wherever you choose to begin, is a good starting point.
2. Zumba Fitness
Zumba Super Cardio Dance Party Workout was the first video I started working out to. I hate cardio, but this workout gave me a way to burn almost 1000 calories in an hour and put a smile on my face. Since the gyms are closed, there is no better time to dance around and sweat in the privacy of your own home. These videos are free with amazon prime and offer ways to step up the workout or tone it down depending on what level you're at in your fitness journey. This was a great way that helped me get more comfortable with cardio and with myself.
I always saw yoga as sitting on a mat criss-cross with someone telling you to do downward dog occasionally. Let me tell you: yoga is hard. It took quarantine and the right program for me to realize that, and trust me, it hit me hard. I began with Julia Marie's 30 day yoga routine which is free with amazon prime. She starts off easy and teaches you each step and how to make it harder, and within the first 10 days, you will be shocked with how much of a workout it is. She also gives tips at the end of each video of how to develop healthier habits in your normal routine and is extremely easy to follow. If you want a more topical program based on what you want to work on, the time you want to invest, or the style you want to try, Yoga with Adriene has playlist organized in every way possible. Her youtube is perfect for beginners or people who don't know exactly where to start.
4. Chloe Ting
Chloe Ting workouts went viral on tik tok and for good reason. She has them organized based on everything you could possibly want to improve on. I really like splitting my screen and doing her workouts while watching Netflix. This way I can spend a couple of hours doing extremely targeted workouts without getting bored. Once you get used to her routines, you can practice the exercises on your own with larger reps and longer amounts of time. This really helped me to increase the intensity on my own and practice the techniques she teaches while watching TV. She also gives great recommendations on how to use resistance bands, where to place them, and which exercises work best with them. This has been another great way to increase the intensity without realizing how much extra effort you're putting forth.
HIIT is perfect for the times you need a good workout without the time to commit to it. Maggie Blinkley's HIIT workouts are a great place to start. You can do 15 minutes and choose ones that focus on what you want to target. Sydney Cummings' workouts will keep you sweating. These are typically of such high intensity, you don't have to spend much time doing them to get the workout you're wanting.
These are what I've been doing to keep busy and feel better mentally and physically. I use these to take a break from school work and to keep me from getting bored. I incorporate daily mediation into these as well as creating a healthier diet than I had been practicing. I think during this time of uncertainty and chaos, it's important to take care of ourselves, to set goals, to give us something to look forward to and to work towards. I think keeping busy and keeping active helps us to be more mentally cautious and self-aware of where we are at and help us to keep a clear mind amongst everything driving us crazy.