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Checking In: Talking Fitness Again

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.)

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Kym: So, Patty. How are you doing, generally, during these pandemic times? What’s happening for you? Are you working at home? Going to the office? 

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. 

Temps are checked at the door.  You must make a reservation to attend class and to use equipment.  They are cleaning everything after every class and use, and I see this happening every time I attend.  They have hired additional staff solely for this purpose. (Poor kids.)  The classes are now held in a full size gymnasium, and the room is limited to 14 people - though we've only got 6 members attending, and there are 14 big squares taped out on the floor.  You've got your spot and you wear your mask from door to square and back out again.  They've even staggered the squares so your droplets don't spew toward another class member! :-)  
 
As you know, I need the motivation and support of a class.  It's what works for me, and the months at home only proved this.
 
For folks considering going back - check out the protocol put in place by your facility and see if it works for you.  My Y has been vigilant in their practices and that makes me feel safe.
 
Kym: What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about your own health, well-being, fitness, etc. since the pandemic “hit"?
 
Patty:  I’ve learned that maintaining fitness is really important no matter what the situation is.  I know my limitations, so to combat my laziness I did not skip the walking.
 
Kym: Do you have any advice for others who may be struggling or trying to figure out how to add fitness into their lives?
 
Patty: Keep trying different things until something fits.  I know I need the support of a group environment -- I need to feel accountable to my fitness community. It’s also important to find your preferred time of day to work out.  The morning is key for me…I can talk myself out of anything if you give me the entire day to think about it!  Wine or weights?
 
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Kym: What helps you cope with life in the time of pandemic?
 
Patty: Focusing on the fact that we’re all in this together and it’s really not one bit about me. (Hard some days!) I’m extremely thankful that I do not have elderly parents that are suffering from loneliness or children who must make their way through this current new normal.  We made a small “bubble” when this whole thing began and that has been very helpful.  It was exercise based and we remain committed to our weekend walks/runs still. 
 
And alcohol.

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!

So.

How about YOU? How has your fitness-life changed in the past year? Let me know. Let's get this fitness conversation started again!



Comments

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Bonny

I'm so glad that you've re-visited Patty (and a big hello to Boone), and her commitment to fitness is inspiring! She told me the other day that she was heading to the gym after 10 minutes of the debate, and I knew she was motivated. (By 9:00 pm I'm usually in my pajamas and ready for bed!) I got lazy over the summer and only walked occasionally (too hot, too sweaty for me) but I'm back at it again, especially when I think about the wonderful examples that you and Patty set.

Patty

Thanks for the fun Kym! xo

Mary

what a treat! loved dropping in for this conversation between two ladies I actually know ... and wow, a little jealous that Patty's back in "real life" classes.

Vera

Nice to read this. I'm not really a class or gym person and don't like the on-line stuff. Initially I was working out with weights at home, but somehow stopped...(bored maybe?). Then I was walking a lot. Walking has been difficult lately - too busy work-wise to take off for a couple of hours during the day, and it's dark early. But, I've gotten back into archery and am really enjoying that. It is something I can do during the work day - I just run out back for 20 minutes or so and shoot some arrows....multiple times per day.

Debbie

I've really gotten into walking as my main form of exercise, I just love everything about a walk outdoors-with or without my dog. I have a question about clothing for winter walking, I want clothing that is warm, yet not bulky. Do you have any recommendations?

Carole

I read these posts in a whole new light these days.

Kat

I am with Carole on that... yes! A whole new light! Go Patty! (and I love the "and alcohol" lol, yep.. exactly!)

Sarah

Hello Boone! I'm glad to hear that Patty has been able to go back to her classes and that her Y is being so safe.

I continue to be shocked by how much I've been running. I am now enjoying the cooler temperatures of fall but am starting to wonder how to maintain my activity level when the weather starts getting more wintry. My husband runs pretty much every day, even in frigid temps/snow/ice, but I don't think I can do that. I'm really happy with how much stronger and leaner my body has gotten thanks to all the running, and I don't want to lose that over the winter months, but I can't see myself going to a gym.

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