Until there is widespread coronavirus testing in place, humanity will be under some variation of shelter-in-place restrictions. We won’t have the all-clear until a coronavirus vaccine has been widely distributed at a global scale. The current forecasts for a vaccine are the summer or fall of 2021.
As I saw from one pundit, the pandemic isn’t like a marathon. Marathons have a known distance and an identifiable finish line. The pandemic is more like a “last man standing race.” This type of race continues lap-by-lap until one person finishes a final lap. Except in this case it’s virus vs humanity. We may think we are smarter than miniscule chunks of RNA, but virus gonna virus.
To make it through, we’ll need to keep feeding our positive behaviors and mental states that will enable us to keep it together for months and months.
To weather this storm mentally, emotionally, and physically, make use of the foundational idea: “movement is medicine.”
Most of us have limited sets of movements in our fitness repertoires. We tend to only do a primary sport–running, cycling, hiking–all of which are pretty much one-dimensional. Limited movements eventually lead to injury, and can also hinder performance.
What to do?
To help you think outside your fitness box, here are some suggested strength and conditioning movements you can do at home that require no special gear or props. The underlying principle is:
“Use what you have. Start where you are at.”
One starting point is to simply do household projects. Gardening or landscaping projects are awesome. Many of us have forgotten that there is no need to go to the gym to chop, lift, and sweep. Gardening and landscape projects are the very definition of “functional strength.”
I also often incorporate strength and conditioning intervals into my *runs.* The basic idea is to stop every 1/4 to 1/2 mile or so and do 3-9 minutes of strength and conditioning movements. This can turn a 4-mile run into a great ~2 hour workout.
Here is a basic menu of movements to get you started:
“Core” & Upper Body
Sample workout format
Prior to a run I print a table of options for the workout and put it in a zip lock.
I have found it’s better to have a longer list of exercises than you’ll actually do so you have some flexibility.
My default is to do 3x 1 minute of each movement in each interval. Depending on how many strength and conditioning intervals you do, that can add up to a long workout!
Here’s a sample: