It was Jimmy Connors who gets credit for the “use it or lose it” quote. When it comes to stamina, both mental and physical, that statement is true. COVID-19 lockdown has changed so much for us.  For people who are not on the frontlines there has generally been a decrease in physical activity. 

Take a moment and think about it and how you are moving differently prior to this life altering situation. Imagine a typical weekday. Getting ready to head to work, and the movement involved to getting to your place of employment. How about the physical activity during the day? Trips to the washroom count. Then heading home at the end of the day. Even changing into your “at home” clothes is considered physical activity. It’s small but it’s movement none the less.

Many of my online training clients are showing signs of decreased physical stamina. The workouts with me are still happening but it’s the other daily activities that are missing. All of the incidental movement that we don’t think about. The walk to the car or even to work. The time that is spent moving around the office. Or how about that spontaneous thought to walk a block to get a coffee? It’s all on hold for now, but it has to be replaced so you don’t cough up a lung climbing a staircase that never bothered you in the past.

Here are some ideas:

  • If you have a fitness tracker put in on.
  • If you are wearing a fitness tracker set a step goal that matches or exceeds what you were doing prior to the lockdown. AND – activate that “you’ve been sitting too long” reminder to buzz and don’t ignore it.
  • Walk – around the block, your neighbourhood or your house. Walk fast, walk slow, forward, backward, sideways or skip … just move.
  • Climb the stairs or a hill anywhere that you can. Up and down. It’s the most boring thing ever but it’s better than the alternative that comes with being out of shape.
  • Get up and down from the floor. Those of you who know me will say “you’re trying to sneak in burpees again, aren’t you?” Yeah, I am. But just watch what happens to your heart after doing that a few times in row.
  • All of the above and anything else you can think of.

The biggest obstacle to overcome in doing any of this is actually doing it. We do love our routines, and they have been busted up right in front of our eyes. All I can say is make the best of this. Your body wants to move. Get out your calendar now and schedule ‘moving’ sessions as appointments. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 minutes or 20 minutes. As the folks at Nike like to say:  Just do it!

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