Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Keeping on Target with Fitness Goals

Keeping on target with your fitness goals can be daunting enough under normal life circumstances.  You throw a pandemic in there and access to gyms and fitness classes nixed (or at least heavily discouraged) indefinitely and it can feel overwhelming.

If you've been here for any length of time, you know the Mr and I have lost our collective 375+ pounds never having set foot in a gym.  We are lucky enough to have turned the basement into a tranquil workout space recently but even when it looked like a frat house, we were down there.  If you think "social distancing" (sick of that term yet?!) is the perfect time to get your own home gym going, click here for my suggestions.

Even if this isn't the right time to splurge on non-essentials, it is essential that you keep your immune system up to snuff during this time.  All of the uncertainty, inundation of information whether from the news, online or co-workers can start to take its toll.  Stress is inevitable but it needs to be managed as best you can.  Luckily for you, exercise is the perfect stress reliever and immune booster!

According to this article by government website Medline Plus, "exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections."  That's a good reason to get started with a program if you haven't yet!

You can still take a walk around your neighborhood for 30+ minutes to get the blood circulating.  Wave hi to your neighbors across the street and no petting the pooches even though their sweet faces beckon you to.  It's the owners you want to stay away from so keep your distance for now.  It'll do you good to not be cooped up in the house and consider opening the windows while you're gone (as long as there's no inclement weather) just to get the airflow in your house moving.  Indoor air quality is important especially if we're going to be in our homes more.

If you want something a little more vigorous for free, you know we love Fitness Blender for great cardio, low impact, strength training, and recovery videos.  They even have a healthy recipe section to help you get out of a food rut and stay healthy.

If walking is your thing but going outside isn't, the original walk at home lady Leslie Sansone has some great free videos too.  Many are broken down by time or miles you want to walk.  Stack several videos and walk to your heart's content!

Jessica Smith has great indoor walking workouts as well as some butt-kicking strength sessions!  Her lazy pup Peanut usually makes an appearance laying there looking at her like "yeah, I'm not doing that."

If you want to mix it up, PopSugar Fitness has all kinds of workouts to choose from.  You could literally do a new one every day for over a year and not repeat.

Now that we have exercise covered, what about food?  One thing we were surprised to see was despite people being told to stock pantry staples, they cleaned out all of the produce and meat.

(Thanks guys)

People were using this as an opportunity to stock up on nutritionally void items like snack cakes, high sodium meals in a can and the like.  Yes, those are shelf-stable but do you think a virus is going to pack up sooner when you're putting Little Debbies in your pie hole?  (If this is scientifically proven to be true though, I'd like to place my order for Swiss Cake Rolls, Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Cosmic Brownies.)

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Should you buy through them, I may receive a few cents commission at no cost to you to keep the blog up and running.)

You might be wondering what items we stocked up on that we could find.  Tuna fish, canned chicken, dry beans, eggs, 2% milk, Healthy Request Soups, farro, bone broth, quinoa, high protein pasta, and low sodium pasta sauce (when we could find it), brown rice, frozen veggies, whatever lean meats we could find like frozen fish (mahi-mahi, orange roughy, and salmon), pork chops, organic 85% grass-fed beef, a tub of lettuce for salads, organic oatmeal, and nuts.  My main objective was to get in all food groups that would help keep our immune systems happy and healthy.  Our only "junk" buys were two cans of Spaghettios with meatballs, a frozen Gino's East Pizza, and Easter candy which I wanted dibs on Reese eggs.

I made turkey chili and that is frozen to get us two meals if we want chili only or four meals if we want to stretch it by making chili mac, chili cheese baked fries or chili brown rice bowl.  I made a lasagna and cut it into 8 for four meals and FoodSaved it.  (If ever there was a time to invest in a FoodSaver, I'd say now is it.)  A small beef roast will get us through 2 meals.  I've got beans, rice, and enchilada sauce if we want to go Mexican instead of Italian.  Until meat is back in regular rotation, I'm taking the chicken breasts we have and splitting one between the two of us to make them stretch.  I'd say this is the perfect time to go vegetarian but they're hoarding that stuff too so who knows.

Buy an extra bottle of any meds or supplements you may need.  Don't go buying a crap ton of vitamin D that you can't even take before it expires.  But it doesn't hurt to have one extra bottle of aspirin and/or ibuprofen if your current supply is down to its last 1/3 just because we don't know what people are going to start hoarding next to try to feel in control of an uncontrollable situation.  I was down to the last quarter of our 1000IU and 2000IU vitamin D (we were both told by our doc to supplement due to very low levels) so I restocked that.  I supplement with things I consistently fall short on despite a diet full of fruits, veggies, fish and the like so I have a good supply of those.

Stay hydrated.  I suck at this and maybe a pandemic is just what I need to change that...as I look at my full water bottle. *chugs*  Staying hydrated will help flush toxins from the body and help the kidneys do their job especially if you have a fever.

Obviously, wipe everything down with a cleaner a few times a day on frequently touched surfaces to keep yourself healthy in general.

In everyday life, there are so many things we don't have control over and this situation amplifies it.  What you do have control over is how you spend your time.  Your kids and grandkids are watching and looking to you on how to handle this situation.  Working on your and your family's fitness and staying healthy is paramount and you can turn "social distancing" into a time of personal triumph!

Are you keeping up with your fitness goals?

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  1. A good workout and the time to focus on that time you spend doing it is really good for the soul and for your general well being in normal times. So doing it now is a must!

  2. I've been doing quite well on this front. I've been drinking a gallon of water a day and exercising twice a day, 30 minutes each time with strength training on two days so far. The two places I go for some of my exercise are closed and I knew that was a good possibility so I got all my workout stuff ready to go. My new stretchy band arrived right on time too. And I'm making sure I'm going to bed at the same time every night to help get decent sleep since my sleep patterns aren't always so good.

  3. A lot of my fitness is home based anyway. I have both an elliptical and a treadmill in my basement and I try to make use of one of those every weekday morning before work. Now that I am working from home in order to be compliant with recommendations for social distancing (as I normally work in an open office environment) I am still trying to maintain that routine. I get up, exercise, shower, have breakfast, and then leave for work, but now my commute is back to my kitchen table instead of driving an hour to the office.

    The one area that I will be missing out on is my yoga classes. I normally attend a lunchtime class one day per week in my office when my schedule allows and one night a week at a local studio. For now both classes are cancelled in order to maintain the recommendations for social distancing. That is going to be tough since I don't do well with online resources or videos. I need someone to check my body positions and suggest modifications, as I have shoulder issues. I also find videos or online resources much easier to ignore. A class is like an appointment for me and I hate missing appointments.


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