All anyone can talk about right now is COVID-19; worldwide to our neighborhoods, the food industry to the sports industry, it is hitting everyone hard. Even through all of this though, while sitting writing this at my dining room table, I see more people outside. I see kids riding their bikes, families walking their dogs, and runners. This is one of the best excuses to get back to basics. To take the extra time that life has given us to learn new skills, spend quality time with our families, begin a new workout program, or create a new healthy routine.
Typically on a Sunday, I am racing around my house in some hyper state of insanity where my husband, our dog, and cat steer clear. I am usually cleaning the house, meal prepping, working on my weekly Instagram posts, writing my weekly emails to my personal training clients, doing loads of laundry, trying to organize my week to a T, and trying to remember to eat something.
Now that this all has happened, in a way, it’s a breath of fresh air. My husband and I are able to spend more time together, as we both have full time corporate jobs and we are both coaches. Now, neither of us have anywhere to go and our lives have slowed down. We can just hang out and actually eat dinner together. We’ve been able to work on house projects, exercise as much as we please, and just lay around and binge watch Food Network/Impractical Jokers.
At first, when we heard we were going to be working from home for six weeks we laughed at how silly that sounded. It took a few days for it to settle in that we couldn’t do all that we took for granted - running out to the store for a few things, meeting up with friends for dinner, going to the movies, hugging a family member. As frustrating as this all is, we are lucky that technology is as advanced as it is now. Gyms have started using Zoom for daily classes, I have the ability to work from the safety of my house, we can have Skype and Facetime to actually see our families, Social Media to keep in touch and share updates from afar.
The one thing I was super excited about was that I would be able to really focus on my nutrition and training. I was fighting an achilles injury for a little over a month, which healed, however a new one took its place. I had a virtual doctors appointment two weeks ago and found that I have a pinched nerve, SI Joint dysfunction with possible degenerative disc, and the beginnings of arthritis. Needless to say after a month of not running, this was a hefty blow but this is not something new to me. Luckily, I can still bike and strength train so I can focus on my weaker areas of my training and come back even stronger in a few months.
Like the rest of the world right now, let’s work on controlling what we can and asking for help where we need it. Let’s help our small businesses when they need us most. Take online gym classes and don’t cancel your gym memberships if you are able to pay for it. Buy gift cards from your favorite restaurants/stores to use at a later date. Order delivery/pick up meals. Most importantly, take care of yourself and others you love.
Here are some simple tips:
-Good Cleaning Habits:
You’ve heard it 1000 times: Wash your hands for 20 seconds (sing a song while you do it: Sugar We’re Going Down, Spongebob Square Pants, Happy Birthday, etc). Make sure you’re disinfecting your home and commonly touched items often (ie: lightswitches, your phone, handles, doorknobs). Some people even Lysol their packages, grocery bags, and shoes before walking in their homes. Take precautions, you are not just protecting yourself but everyone around you.
Maintaining regular exercise is a sure fire way to boost your immune system (as long as you are not sick!). If you are sick, it actually decreases your immune system as your body is under stress. Be smart about what you are doing, avoid extremely hard workouts as it does temporarily decrease your immune system while your body heals. For some options: tag @trailblazerrunco on your runs for a shoutout on our Social pages and make sure you log your miles on Strava to count towards our 2020 Miles group challenge AND Run the County 2020 (I’m working on revamping this). Also, check out @otbathletics for their daily workouts on Zoom (more info on the Social pages). Finally, @otbphysicaltherapy has a variety of mobility options: weekly Mobility seminars, free Ergonomic assessment of your home workspace, and virtual physical therapy sessions!
We’re runners after all, take advantage! Indoor air is actually really polluted between dust and recirculation. Whenever you get a chance, open your windows for a few hours to air out your home. During the day go for a walk around your neighborhood, work out on your patio if you can, switch up your workout - running/biking etc on trails, strength training in the driveway, do yoga in the yard…the options are endless.
Some of my favorite local trails are: Patriot’s Path, West Morris Greenway, Dickerson Mine Hill Preserve, Randolph Trail Network, and Lewis Morris Park. Share your favorite trails so we can come up with some good Group Run locations for when this is all over!
Focus on ensuring your diet includes lots of whole foods! Foods that are in their most natural state are some of the best foods as the nutrients haven’t been processed out of them. Eat whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein. Avoid too many prepackaged snacks, make sure that you balance your diet. Also, make sure that you are keeping hydrated with water, tea, and unsugared drinks.
Some great immunity boosting food options: Oranges, bananas, green tea, coconut oil, almonds, ginger, eggs, carrots, spinach, salmon, kale, chia seeds, and onions.
It is so important to make sure that you are not going out to the store everyday. This disease spreads so easily even if you don’t show symptoms. If you must go out - dr’s appointment, food store, pharmacy, etc, make sure that you are doing your part and wear a mask and gloves. You might get some looks but at least you are protecting yourself and others. You never know who is out at the store and is high risk with no other option. My Mom is 77 and has not left her house in 3 weeks, I went to the store for her, and we spoke to each other through her storm door with masks and gloves on. She Lysoled all of the bags before bringing everything in her house. Think about others.
-Connect with Friends/Family:
We are so lucky with technology! Take advantage of it by connecting with your family and friends while practicing safe social distancing! Join Zoom workout classes to see your gym crew, FaceTime Skype or Zoom with your families so you can actually see them, check in with everyone often. This is a very lonely time as we are so accustomed to being able to meet up with people whenever we want. Take the opportunity to maybe start some new traditions!
-Create a Healthy Routine:
We have been granted with more time, take advantage of it! Look at your daily routine and rework it. What are things that have always gotten in your way? Have you always wanted to start a daily meditation routine? What about taking up yoga? Fine tune your training program? Learn some new skills? Read some books? Yeah, there are a lot of options!
For me, I have a big stack of coaching materials I’m working through: NASM, Pose Method, Sports Nutrition, Gait Analysis, etc. Pick up a Runner Cookbook and learn some new recipes. Find space in your day for the things you enjoy!