With gyms and fitness facilities currently closed around the country, many people are at home trying to exercise on their own. This can be difficult, especially for those who have been accustomed to attending group classes, having a personal trainer, or working out with friends. While times might be different, it is still important to make yourself a priority, by focusing on what you can control in order to be healthier and happier.
A Business Insider article discusses a recent Lancet study concluding that exercise is more important for your mental health than money. With more than 1 in 5 Americans belonging to at least one U.S. health club or studio, many people are clearly committed to their gyms. Yet these days, too many are wondering when the doors of their health clubs and studios will be open again.
While gym openings will vary from state to state, Wendy Shafranski, owner and head coach at Vero Strength + Conditioning in Florida, where gyms remain closed, is reminding clients daily of her mantra throughout this all: “Control what you can control.” This includes exercise, sleep, stretching, hydration, a healthy diet, and taking time out for your mental well-being. Wendy says, “Don’t dwell on what you can’t do at this time, but find the ‘silver linings’ in this whole ordeal.” For example, Coach Shafranski cites her routine as the foundation for making herself feel really good, which specifically includes “reading for 30 minutes out in the sun, taking the dogs for a walk, trying a new recipe and taking a YouTube drum lesson.”
Wendy and her team have continued to provide both routine check-ins with clients while also offering daily workout programs during the stay-at-home-order. To pump up the motivation, Vero Strength is delivering two seperate strength and conditioning training phases focused on optimizing movement patterns, maintaining functional strength and increasing aerobic capacity.
While gyms may be temporarily closed, Wendy believes that people can make progress at home. She offers the following tips:
Maintain a routine
While your old routine has changed, it doesn’t mean you can’t set a new routine! Lay out your workout clothes the night before to motivate yourself to get into them the next day. It’s said, “the hardest part of working out is often committing to putting that first leg in the shorts.” Set an appointment with yourself. If you used to go to the gym every day at 6AM or 6PM, schedule that daily appointment with yourself at home. Go into each week with a plan for what you are going to do each day. Having this checklist will help with accountability.
Don’t have weights? No problem. Many people underestimate their own body weight and the effectiveness of bodyweight movements such as squats, lunges, push-ups, hip hinges, and pull-ups. Add intensity to bodyweight movements with tempo and isometric holds.
To help maintain the gains you’ve previously made in the gym, it is important to make protein a priority in your meals. High-quality protein will help maintain your muscle/lean body composition, keep you feeling full, help you recover and support your immune system.
While the future of gym openings is uncertain, there are still coaches, trainers, and gym owners who are dedicated to the health of their clients—and they want to continue to help others accomplish their goals at home. If you are struggling with making your health a priority, reach out to a professional for help.
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