It all seems like a blur. One day you’re watching the news and learning about a virus called “Corona or COVID-19” that is hitting countries like a tidal wave. Its alarming mortality rate and unfound cure is causing the complete shut-down of cities, one after the next. It begins to look like a game of dominos, and you can slowly see it begin to creep within your borders. Before you know it, your job has been temporarily suspended, or you are asked to work remotely from home. Suddenly every single “non-essential” business begins to close its doors. In an attempt to buy groceries, you are told to take a number and wait outside in a long line filled with gloved and masked shoppers prior to entering. Now the “essential” stores are required by law to keep patrons at an absolute minimum, allowing only so many shoppers in at a time. The feeling of utter discomfort feels like an understatement.
Before you know it that discomfort you’re feeling becomes grief. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Author Scott Berinato discusses the impact of the different types of grief that COVID-19 has gifted to us. “First, we are collectively feeling that the world has changed, and it has. It may be temporary, but it doesn’t feel like it. Second, we are feeling anticipatory grief that happens when we feel our future is uncertain.” Berinato states that grief is not linear. He references the five stages and explains that they do not occur in any particular order. There is (1) denial: this virus won’t affect us; (2) anger: you’re making me stay home and taking away my activities; (3) bargaining: if I stay home for two weeks then everything will be okay; (4) sadness: I don’t know when this will end; and (5) acceptance: this is happening and I have to figure out how to proceed.
It’s important that with any type of grief that we learn how to manage it and how to find meaning in it. This is where fitness, now more than ever, is essential to your daily life. We have been forced into a sedentary lifestyle where snacking and depression can consume us. Even fitness pros can relate! The day I found out my fitness business was going remotely I had fleeting thoughts of planning my sessions while eating ice cream from one hand while eating potato chips out of another. Aside from preventing weight gain keeping a consistent fitness regiment can lower risks of developing depression, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Exercise helps to improve our mood, overall mental health, sleep functions, and cognitive functions.
The fitness upside to the situation we face collectively is the overflowing amount of now free or significantly reduced cost fitness programs, private instruction, and virtual group classes. For the first time in history, you can train privately or with a virtual group with the world’s most renowned or local favorite instructor at a ridiculous fraction of the typical cost. You would have to travel abroad to catch some of these instructors and now they are training you live in your living room! This is a perfect time to begin a new fitness regiment, enrich a current one, and experience a new class you have previously been intimidated to explore in person. I recently took my very first remote belly dancing class and I am addicted! Your world has been significantly limited, but your fitness life is about to expand if you allow it. And don’t allow a lack of equipment to become an excuse. At this point, instructors are well versed in teaching what household supplies can be used as substitutes for gym equipment.
If you need a little encouragement to get started I suggest finding music that makes you feel like moving. Play current music or music from your past that lifts your mood! Start with basic calisthenics such as jogging in place, jumping jacks, jumping air rope, lunges, squats, lifting light weights (or soup cans), and stretching. Even dancing to a few song selections can boost your mood, get you motivated, and your heart pumping! Set small goals for yourself and start today. Remember, your just one workout away from a better version of you! If you need help getting started feel free to contact me over Instagram @natalie_cirqfitness
Natalie is a fitness instructor here in Atlanta
She can be found on Instagram @natalie_cirqfitness