The importance of exercise – at the best of times – can’t be overstated, when it comes to our overall health.
However, and perhaps you’ve noticed, these are not the best of times. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many a wrench into many a plan when it comes to trying to stay active and keep fit.
Since late December, gyms have been closed in B.C. due to provincial health regulations, leaving many residents struggling to find new, at-home methods of staying active.
And though gyms won’t fully reopen for a number of weeks, there are likely many residents on the Semiahmoo Peninsula who will not feel comfortable returning to a gym setting until the Omicron variant settles down.
So, what to do in the meantime?
At the start of the pandemic – back in the early spring of 2020 – a number of health and fitness professionals all had similar advice, when asked by Peace Arch News for some at-home workout tips: Do anything, as long as you aren’t sitting still.
Innovative Fitness president Curtis Christopherson compared it to a reset – rather than a retreat.
He suggested people adjust their routines as needed in order to fit in some at-home exercise, whether that’s waking up a little earlier and working out with your own gym equipment in the basement, or simply making sure you get outside and go for a walk on your lunch break.
And though that advice came back when people were more restricted, and more confined to their homes than they are currently, the advice is still sound.
“Not only from a physical standpoint, but emotionally and mentally, (exercise) is also super helpful,” Christopherson told PAN at the time.
Of course, considering the recent cold snap that’s beset the Lower Mainland in recent weeks – not to mention yet another atmospheric river rain storm – getting out for a walk has been a challenge lately, but warmer weather may be on the horizon, although you’ll likely still want to invest in a raincoat for those noon-hour walks.
If you don’t own your own weights, there are plenty of workout routines that don’t require any equipment, but are instead “body-weight workouts” that include push-ups, crunches, squats and similar activities.
“You don’t need to have the latest technology to stay active and fit. You can actually cycle through a pretty decent workout without gear,” Christopherson said.
For those who struggle with motivation – especially when their usual routine is upended and their gym is closed – many experts suggest finding a group of like-minded individuals to help keep you on track – either a group of friends or an online community.
At the start of the pandemic, group chats, zoom workouts and online challenges – like the Instagram pull-up challenge that pops up from time to time – all gained in popularity, and could do so again if more people are reticent to return to in-person group training at fitness facilities.