pandemic not time to get in the best shape of your lifeYou can listen to this article. Use the player below, download the MP3, or use iTunes.

There are exceptions to every rule, this one included. If your life has been minimally affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, then you may be able to devote more effort, time, and attention on your fitness and nutrition regimen. If that’s the case, this article isn’t for you.

But if you lost your job, you have a job that puts you on the front lines, you’re working much more than usual, you’re juggling working from home with homeschooling your children, or you’re otherwise experiencing increased levels of stress, anxiety, uncertainty during this time, piling on more stress by demanding you “get in the best shape of your life” is an unnecessary burden.

We’ve all seen the social media posts and memes declaring you must use this time to your benefit and emerge from this pandemic smarter, leaner, stronger, more skilled. Like we’re all on a carefree vacation with loads of free time to pursue whatever we desire. But we’re not. Most of us are directly affected by this situation, and some more than others.

It makes no sense to make things harder for yourself by suggesting that, on top of this unusual, stressful time, you should also kick up your nutrition a notch (even though grocery shopping has radically changed, and not for the better) and bust out video-worthy at-home workouts every day, and be sure to do it all with a smile on your face.

Yes, during this time you should still exercise, in some fashion, frequently.

Not necessarily to achieve a specific goal like to lose fat or build muscle or get stronger or learn new bodyweight exercises, but to keep your body and mind healthy. To invest in self-care. To, hopefully, alleviate some of the accumulating stress.

And that will require working with what you have available. Maybe that means going for a walk every day. Or sneaking into the garage for a 20-minute bodyweight workout session while the kids do schoolwork. Or doing a few rounds of lunges, push-ups, and squats in your living room.

Do you refer to just be told what to do so you don’t have to waste brain power to create workouts? Use the at-home workout guide for workouts that use bodyweight only, dumbbells, or a suspension trainer.

Want a more flexible approach? Make it a priority, every day, to deliberately move your body. Go for a walk (if you have that option), set a timer for 10-20 minutes and do bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, planks, rows, whatever. You don’t need a specific plan or program — just do something.

Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you may be. And know that it’s more than okay to not use the Coronavirus pandemic to “get in the best shape of your life.”


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