Here in NYC, we have just made it through our ninth week of NY on PAUSE (aka quarantine). We have all been staying home in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Since most everywhere in the US and beyond has been dealing with some form of this “Stay at home/Safer at home” situation, I wanted to address some feelings that may be arising.
As of Friday, some sections of NY State have re-opened, but here in the city, we will remain on PAUSE for at least another two weeks. What I have noticed over the last nine weeks has been the spin we put on quarantine for ourselves as well as the shifting inner critic that begins to appear as time passes. A big portion of us decided in the beginning that we would use this time to try new recipes, read more books, learn a new language or start a new fitness routine. Some of us made a plan to take a week to relax and then get on an organized schedule in order to be productive. I told myself I would take the extra time to pack my apartment for my upcoming move (I will give you one guess as to how many boxes I have packed).
Once we hit week three on PAUSE and realized we were going to be settling in for a good bit longer, I started hearing the, “Watch out for the quarantine 15!” and “Let’s take this time to get quaran-toned!”… Now here is the thing, I am a fitness instructor and a certified nutrition coach. I am all about keeping people healthy and helping them to reach their goals. My main mission in what I have chosen to do with my life is to help as many people as I can to be active and healthy (and this is the important part) in a supportive and non-judgmental manner.
So yes, be as active as you can, but know that might look more like chasing after the children you are trying to get to sit down to do their homework. Read a book or learn a language IF you want to. But if you are exhausted from figuring out how to teach your teen algebra or drained from hearing/watching the news, just be gentle with yourself. If you feel like you should workout but need a nap instead because pandemic dreams (it’s a real thing) kept you up all night, it is okay. If you baked sourdough, banana bread and bagels and put on a couple of pounds, it is okay. Please be nice to yourself. Please be gentle with yourself. Your mental and emotional health is just as important as diet and exercise.
Take little steps to keep yourself on track. Don’t have time for a 45-60 minute workout? Take gentle movement and stretching for 10 minutes or go on a walk with your family. Eating foods that you don’t usually consume? Focus on maintaining your water intake and getting in your favorite fruits and veggies. Having a hard time getting out of a negative head space? Pretend you are speaking to your best friend, and extend your compassion to yourself. Take a breath and know we are going to get to the other side of this. There is no blueprint for how to quarantine. We are all new to this, so give yourself a break.
I am putting a few tips below for some fun, quick ways to get moving and ideas for some healthy, tasty snacks. Check them out if you want to, and if they sound like a “No, thank you,” that is 100% okay. Remember, you can always reach out to me for support in your health and fitness journey through my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Now take a deep breath, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and know that everything is going to be okay.
Quick Leg Workout
10 Squats into 10 pulses
Single Leg DL to back lunge (right leg) x 10
Single Leg DL to back lunge (left leg) x 10
Curtsey Lunge alternating legs x 20
** Repeat it all 2 to 3 times
Quick Arms (no weights)
10 pushups (knees or toes)
10 triceps dips (using edge of couch/chair)
Arms to a T and take tiny little circles – 30 seconds
Reverse T circles – 30 seconds
** Repeat it all 2 to 3 times
1 Cup milk of choice (I like almond or oat milk)
2 Tbsp of peanut/almond butter
Handful of spinach
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
1 Cup yogurt of choice (I use almond milk yogurt)
¼ to ½ cup blueberries
10 Pecan halves
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Drizzle of honey (about 1 tsp)