Getting Creative to Stay Physically Fit
[San Juan Silver Stage | Spring 2021 | Kathryn R. Burke] Self-care is high on the list of consequential activities during Covid. Isolation takes a toll both physically and mentally, and the two are inexorably tied together. To look good is to feel good; physical fitness fosters mental positivity. “Working out” has never been more important to keep your body and mind in shape.
With many physical fitness entities partially closed down, there are fewer opportunities to exercise in an indoor facility. Gym memberships and “Day Passes” take on a whole new meaning—an often it is a virtual meaning.
I belong to an exercise group. I “go to class” three times a week. Right here in my bedroom. Because I belong to the class Facebook group, “Actively Ageless” (and yes, I qualify), I can access archived sessions whenever I need them. Group membership is based on a monthly fee, determined by your level of participation: from just exercise class, to team activities, to a full program that includes nutrition and meal planning.
Each day’s exercise class has a “theme” which makes it fun. We’ll all be dressed in green and sporting gold coin headgear for St. Patty’s Day, for example. The group leader, my fitness coach, concentrates on a different body system each day, like core, upper body, glues and lower, etc., using a variety of fitness tools, such as light weights, exercise ball, a wound-up hand towel, most all things you can easily gather at home.
For her “barre” sessions, you can use the back of a chair for stability. For her seated exercises – that same chair serves. One day a week she does “Spin” and for that you do need a spin bike. (I don’t have one, so I skip that day and do one of the archived programs instead. When it’s a particularly nice day, I skip the whole thing and go for a walk by the river, but try to catch up later with a quick light-weights routine.
Depending on your area’s Covid rating, many local fitness centers are now offering limited plans and programs, allowing just so many people in at a time, with hourly head counts and check-ins, to use the equipment or pool, or participate—masked of course—in group sports like pickleball.
Another interesting innovation is the hookup between the creative arts and the physical arts. Many of the same organizations we write about, which offer art and entertainment venues and classes, also offer physical fitness activities, like yoga and pilates. Dancing, from ballet to western line dancing, also offers opportunities to socialize a little, even if it’s only for home.
Bottom line, put down that bag of chips and can of soda. Turn off the TV and turn on the computer, and sign up for an exercise or activity class. Even better, tune in to a program that offers nutritional counseling—sorry, that won’t include junk food. You may discover a wealth of ways to look and feel good, so when we come out of Covid, you’ll come out fit and healthy.