Before Covid-19, I exercised five days a week. My rotation consisted of outdoor runs, the Peloton bike in my apartment building’s gym, spinning at NYSC, and rowing classes at Row House. When gyms were ordered to close down, I had to re-access my fitness routine. Spinning, rowing, and the Peloton bike were no longer options because I don’t own the necessary equipment. I’m just recovering from an Achilles tendonitis injury so I’m reluctant to run on back-to-back days. I’m also gun-shy to spend too much time outdoors these days. My previous routine was very cardio-heavy, which meant I was neglecting a lot of muscles without even realizing it. I learned this when Row House opened in my neighborhood and I took their “Body” and “House” classes. In both, we step off our rowing machine (erg) twice to do strength exercises, either with dumb bells or using our own body weight. These portions of the class were more challenging for me than the rowing itself partly because I lacked strength, and also due to my horrible balance! Despite the difficulty, I became addicted to these classes, and anticipated getting through the struggle.
Covid-19 forced me to think outside of the box with respect to my exercise options. It was also an opportunity to work on those muscles I neglected while focusing on so much cardio.
There are thousands of videos on YouTube, but I’ve never enjoyed doing exercise from my computer or phone because the screens are too small. With my purchase of the Roku Streaming Stick, I was able to upload YouTube on my television—GAME CHANGER!! The selection is amazing and I’ve found several favorites. When I get bored or the video becomes easy, I find a new one to take its place. I now rotate these videos (a mix of body weight, HIIT, Pilates, and yoga) with running outside—I found a wide-open space near the water where I can run back and forth without a mask and feel comfortable with it. I’m proud to announce I haven’t missed a single day of exercise since being at home—not one! I’m working out seven days a week. The videos aren’t as long as my exercise classes at the gym and I’m not walking as much as I used, but I hope that by doing it every day and working parts of my body that have been mostly neglected before, I escape social isolation in as good, if not better, physical shape than I entered it.
These are some of my favorite classes:
This a Pop Sugar bodyweight class. It’s a great mix of cardio and strength exercises. Although the cardio is getting a little easy, the arm section still kills me almost two months later.
This is another Pop Sugar bodyweight class to shake things up a little. This one includes more balance exercises which are a challenge for me. I still haven’t mastered side planks.
This is an HIIT WORKOUT with Self Magazine for when I need a cardio fix. It’s so hard! I’m always out of breath, but there are well-timed breaks. It’s probably 95% cardio, but there are also planks and walk-outs for upper body and abs.
This is a Pilates and Yoga fusion workout through Trifecta Yoga. I have a hard time letting my mind go, which makes yoga difficult (and sometimes boring) for me. Although I know it’s great for the body and mind, I prefer mixing it with Pilates for more muscle targeting. Beth, the coach, is clear and concise with her instructions.
What about you? Did you exercise before the pandemic? If so, how has your routine changed? Are you still making fitness a priority or are you taking the moment to give yourself a break? No judgement! All that matters is getting through this time as healthy and sane as possible and that means different things to all of us!
Until tomorrow, stay safe and be happy!