We think it's pretty safe to say that every aspect of 2020 has been unexpected thus far - especially a global pandemic. When your extracurricular activities involve going to the gym, meeting up with friends, going out to eat, and hosting at home, being stuck inside with not much to do can get you down. According to UC Davis Health, 'COVID Fatigue' is hitting people hard - you're tired of being stuck at home which can lead to careless decisions such as not practicing social distancing, not wearing a mask, mindless munching, or little to no physical activity.
UC Davis Health states that there are different stages of disaster stress and everyone responds differently when faced with stressful situations due to a disaster - in this case, it's a pandemic. The good news is there are different ways to cope with this, and luckily they all involve staying healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Although it's important to stay active in general, keeping up with a workout routine is crucial when facing a disease such as COVID. Engaging in regular physical exercise plays a huge role in boosting your immune system, preventing weight gain, improving sleep patterns, and providing more energy for your day. In addition to all of this, it's a great way to help relieve some of the disaster stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. After all, heightened stress can lead to poor sleep, weight gain, and inflammation, so why not do something to prevent it?!
There are so many online fitness instructors and workouts that could last you a lifetime. However, if you're not one to work out at home, we recommend researching places like BKLYN in New York. BKLYN is the first outdoor cycling gym that was created due to COVID-19 to offer an outdoor version of its indoor cycling.
Recommended Classes & Communities
1. The Balanced Life - Pilates Strong Challenge - starts Monday September 14th and just 15 minutes a day of Pilates. This is a challenge multiple LivBar team members are joining! The Balanced Life also has a packed free YouTube Library and an online community.
About The Balanced Life - created by founder, Robin, who wanted to create workouts for busy women that struggle to find the time to workout, want to love their bodies again, and are looking for workouts that'll work long-term.
3. Lauren Leavell Fitness - Online HIIT and Barre Classes every week - sliding scale fees from $5-$15 per class!
2. Find An Accountability Partner
It's no secret that finding an accountability buddy has numerous benefits. We suggest doing this during the pandemic to help with motivation that may be lacking. Find someone who has the same goals and passions as yourself and hold each other accountable when it comes to being active, healthy eating, and overall mindfulness. You can also do this through joining an online workout community or even paying for a class so you have skin in the game!
3. Try New Recipes
Using the extra time you have right now to explore in the kitchen is a great way to stay busy. Trying new, healthy recipes should be fun! It's important to be mindful of what you're putting into your body to ensure you're fueling it with immune-boosting foods - especially in the middle of a pandemic. The good news is that there are so many healthy recipes - including dessert - that are out there. Some of our favorite recipe creators are:
- Mary's Whole Life - gluten-free, dairy-free, Whole 30, and keto recipes.
- Minimalist Baker - numerous recipes created with whole food ingredients and can be tailored to different diet types/allergies.
- Rachael's Good Eats - easy time efficient recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks AND dessert. The cookie skillet is one of our fav's!
- LivBar - if you're looking for a good dessert/snack, we got you!
4. Minimize Mindless Snacking & Practice Mindful Eating
For some people, being bored can create bad habits such as mindless snacking throughout the day. We suggest paying attention to your body and practice mindful eating instead. This means acknowledging the difference between hunger and boredom. If you're feeling like a snack, drink a glass of water first. If you're still hungry after that, choose a healthy snack that is filling such as a handful of nuts/seeds, 1/2 avocado, fruit, veggies, and more. Minimize the amount of processed packaged food you have in your house if you know you are a mindless snacker! This can all take practice so be patient with yourself.
5. Walk to a Farmer's Market (or anywhere!)
If you're near a farmer's market, we suggest making this a recurring weekend activity! Plan your grocery list around going to the farmer's market so you can get the best, organic seasonal fruits and vegetables. Not only does this involve walking and getting outdoors, but you are also supporting local farmers and small businesses in the process. But don't forget a mask!
If you're not a fan of walking - make yourself a fan of walking! It's one of the best forms of exercise out there. To make it more enjoyable we suggest listening to a podcast such as The Doctor's Farmacy or The Balanced Life.
6. Social Media Inspiration
Since we are spending more time on our electronic devices, filling your social media feeds with people who inspire you can help change your mindset when it comes to healthy living. We suggest finding people who give realistic tips that are achievable during a time like this. Some of our favorites are @laurenleavelfitness, @shutthekaleup, and @realfoodology. Unfollow any toxic fitness people that make you feel guilty, shamed, and are bad motivators. Below are more specific ways you can change up your feed for the good.
7. Integrate Anti-Racism Into Your Fitness
"In the workout world, as elsewhere, standards of whiteness often dictate whose bodies become the definition of fitness and health on social media. But plenty of BIPOC fitness instructors and influencers to follow on Instagram have been producing excellent workout content for years." - Bustle
This is the perfect way to integrate anti-racism into your fitness lifestyle, especially if you're realizing all of the fitness influencers/instructors you follow are white. Bustle suggests looking for BIPOC instructors that suit your physical fitness goals all while challenging and changing that "dominant image, both in your own feed and in the fitness industry overall."
8. Follow Inclusivity Focused Fitness Pros
"For individuals with marginalized identities, whether it be members of the LGBTQIA community, people of color, older adults, individuals with disabilities, or individuals in larger bodies, walking into a gym can feel terrifying." - Shape
Every single person deserves the same amount of access to fitness spaces that will empower them and make them feel comfortable. Filling your feed with trainers who are aiming to make fitness inclusive for everyone will help you feel like you belong in the space and all your fitness goals & worries are 100% valid and important! Some great accounts are @moritsummers, @decolonizingfitness, and @chilltash.
Meditation is a great way to ease your mind in this time of stress and illness. It can take a lot of practice, but now is the time to do so! Meditation can help with stress reduction, anxiety, emotional health, self-awareness, sleep, and so much more. We love the @calmapp because it offers many different mediation options and is a great way to increase your mental fitness!
10. Practice Gratitude
It can be easy to get frustrated during such an uncertain time where everything seems to be falling apart. However, it's important to recognize all the things you do have to be thankful for. Practicing gratitude can help you see things that are much bigger than yourself and life's stressors. One of our favorite ways to do this is to keep a "gratitude journal" that you add to every day. You can start by writing one thing you're grateful for in the morning, and one thing at night. It's simple act that can have a huge impact.