Last year, when things felt settled and plans were more reliable (y'know . . . in the Before Times), I talked a lot about fitness and wellness here. And I especially focused on the importance of building our strength and fitness levels as we age. I harped on talked about the benefits of regular movement and strength training. I posted sample workouts and fitness tips and inspirational stories. I even got some of my fitness pals to share their stories and workout strategies!
Now that we're deep into . . . a whole new way of living . . . I thought it might be interesting to check back in with my fitness pals again -- a year (and a lifetime) later. Y'know . . . to see how they're doing, what's changed for them fitness-wise, and to see if they have any tips or words of encouragement for working out during a pandemic.
This week, let’s check in with . . . Patty.
(Here's a link to last year's fitness post featuring Patty. In case you want to refresh yourself before moving on.)
Patty: Pandemic life has not been too stressful for us, and we consider ourselves to be extremely fortunate. I’ve been going to work the entire time. Just a few people in a really big building so we social distance and it’s worked well. Doug has been home so it’s been harder for him. We take more Sunday drives! We do miss out-to-eat but have been consistent with ordering out at least once or twice a week to support the local restaurants. And we spread the love – breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Kym: What's happening for you fitness-wise? Are you able to work out in the same ways you used to, pre-pandemic? Have you added anything? Modified your routine? Stopped working out altogether?
Patty: The gym closed so we just walked. The results from walking have been amazing. I lost 5 lbs and firmed up. I tried to do some at-home things – like you, the on-line stuff the instructors from the gym attempted - but most of the time it was awkward, people couldn’t get on, the instructor’s technology would fail, etc. Though I tried…I am completely unmotivated to lift any weights or do anything like that on my own. Trust me…I look at Adriene all. the. time. I think I may try sooooon.
Now, though, the YMCA has re-opened, and I am back at class three mornings each week. I feel that the measures they have taken do keep us safe. Sadly for them the number of folks that have returned is quite small and revenue is taking a big hit.
Kym: Let’s talk about the YMCA for a minute, Patty. You’re the first person I’ve talked to who’s actually gone BACK to the gym! Would you mind talking a little bit about how you decided to go back? What is your gym doing to keep you safe -- and do you feel like it’s adequate? Do you have any advice for others considering a return to the gym?
Patty: Well, I would say that I did not really hesitate to go back to the gym -- with Doug's blessing. If he did not want me to go I would not have returned. The rates of infection have been very low here and that played heavily into my decision to return. I've been a believer of washing hands and keeping distant and the Y made this possible at every turn.
Keep moving friends…no matter what you do!
Patty's commitment to her regimen - like my own - remains as solid as ever. While I switched from working out in a gym environment to my home environment, Patty feels comfortable going back to her gym -- with acceptable safety measures in place.
I would also like to echo Patty's words about keeping at it (fitness) until you find something that fits FOR YOU. It's important to find some sort of exercise (or movement, if you will) that you like doing. Or that you don't mind doing. Maybe you hate running but you love walking. Maybe you only like to workout to Broadway tunes. Maybe your body just won't bend until later in the afternoon. Maybe you can't stand to be around other people when you work out -- or maybe you need other people around to make you work out. Who knows? It really doesn't matter. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. But . . . you'll be a whole lot more successful if you find what works for you!
How about YOU? How has your fitness-life changed in the past year? Let me know. Let's get this fitness conversation started again!