How Exercising During the Coronavirus Era Will Help You – RIGHT NOW
Let’s face it 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone. Most families have spent more time together in these modern times than the Cleavers did in the 1950s. It has been great to a point as it has re-established much needed connections for busy working families which was almost nonexistent before Coronavirus, but after 9 months of “staying home”, it is frankly feeling a bit too much. There is a thing called “too much togetherness” and I think we are reaching that threshold um, right about … NOW!
There is no way around it…everyone needs their “individual outlets” and structure. Kids NEED to go to school. Parents NEED to go to work. Everyone NEEDS their extra-curricular sports and social activities to feel whole. EVERYONE NEEDS THEIR OWN PERSONAL SPACE. For the past 9 months, people have had bits and pieces of this but not the way they really NEED. We have been restricted, held back and afraid to be all touchy and huggy with those we love the most for fear of contaminating them. But we are human, and people need to feel connected to others especially others outside their homes. We all long for the day when we can be free to socialize as we wish without concern for contracting or infecting someone else with the virus. All this just feels inhumane to a point. We are intentionally avoiding each other and even less likely to interact with a stranger for fear of where they have been and what their connection to the virus might be. It is a sad state of society if you ask me. But how can you combat these feelings of disappointment, anxiety, and frustration you might ask? Ask any person who exercises on a regular basis and they will tell you how important it is to have this physical outlet multiple days per week. THEY NEED THIS! Their body needs it, and their mind needs it as our physical and mental well-being are so intricately intertwined.
Another definite reason you need to exercise NOW as we approach the holidays, is due to entry into the “snacking zone”. You know the deal, there may not be a lot of family Christmas parties and certainly not any office parties this year, but clearly, we will all have some extra treats on hand to “cope with” the stress of the “Coronavirus Christmas”. It is just not right that we cannot see all our beloved family members, so we soothe our souls with some extra peanut butter cups and red wine. But do not let that mindset overtake you! Exercise instead of eating that junk or EAT THAT JUNK but ALSO EXERCISE to offset the additional calories. It is so easy to slip into a downward spiral right about now with all that is going on in the world and kick off some serious bad habits, but for the sake of your health and those that love you, give yourself the gift of health. The truth is if you do not have your health, you really do not have much of anything. You need to take care of you and put your needs first. It is not selfish, it is smart. Find someone to motivate you if it helps and begin changing your life one day at a time. Making a pact with yourself also gives you more control over your life in a time that feels out of control. You dictate what happens each day. You put yourself in charge of your exercise routine and you can control what you do and how you treat your body. Use this “pandemic downtime” to turn your life around and I am certain you will be glad that you did.
And the truth is, I am a marathoner. I run for freaking fun. But you do not have to run at all. All you need to do is find an exercise you enjoy and take it one day at a time. Make the commitment to yourself because YOU are worth it. Your body is worth it, your mind is worth it, and your family is worth it. Take control of your health and go for it. Trust me, when your body feels good, your mind feels good. Even if I do not feel like going out and running in the freezing cold, I am always glad that I did because I feel great afterward with the shot of endorphins rushing through my bloodstream. And studies have shown that those who exercise more tend to be healthier and less likely to get sick. Your body will be stronger and able to stave off any lurking viruses or infections and one could argue, even depression in these dark and unprecedented times. So, try exercising just a little bit with all your newly found free time (with not commuting to school or work) and see what happens. Get yourself out of the house so you can achieve a little bit of personal space from your immediate family while you are at it! See, a double benefit! Go ahead, you have nothing to lose – but so much good to gain. If you commit to yourself one day at a time, soon you will develop a habit and then a structured regimen that you simply will not want to give up because you will need it and you will WANT to do it to feel good EVERY DAY. Before you know it, your life will be forever changed. If you make the commitment to yourself for 3 weeks total, a routine is developed, and you will be amazed at how wonderful you feel physically and mentally. Try it and write back here to let me know how you are doing! But do not forget, it is always a good idea to first check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program to make sure you can handle the physical demands. Good luck and raise your last glass of red wine for a toast: “Here’s to taking back control of YOU in 2021!”