By Sarah Pelc Graca, Fitness and Nutrition Coach
Person-to-person fitness coaching that seemed necessary to everyday healthier living has been compromised in the attempt to control COVID-19 outbreak.
Expert Answer On Fitness Trend Observed During Covid-19
1. Covid-19 has brought to the fore-front the significance of fitness & optimum health like never before. The significant shift you have observed in the last few months.
I’ve observed several shifts in fitness trends since the pandemic came about.
Here are a few of my top few:
- Zero Equipment — this is BIG right now because gyms are either partially open or still closed all together. Especially with crazy weather patterns, being able to workout at home with no equipment is a must. Kayla Itsines actually just launched a Zero Equipment workout program.
- Time efficient workouts — COVID has opened people’s eyes to the fact that doing something is better than doing nothing! So even doing a 10-minute bodyweight workout, or taking 5 min to run up and down the stairs in your house is worth your while.
- Resistance band workouts — Speaking of convenience, resistance bands are compact, light/easy to travel with, and they have similar benefits to dumbbells, making them a big trend during and probably post-COVID.
- Running! I see so many people out there that I’ve never seen before and it’s great! So many people are getting back to basics and running is just that — it’s free, and requires zero equipment.
2. Mental health has increased focus to ward off stress related to fear of falling sick, spending time indoors etc. Coping skills you have advised to your clients.
Mental health is just as important as your physical health, particularly now, as we head into winter with a pandemic still going strong. I recommend a few things to my clients for coping:
- Instead of sitting inside and ruminating, get outside for a walk and some fresh air.
- Try to move your body every single day. Exercise gives you endorphins and also strengthens the immune system. This does not mean you need to do high intensity exercise everyday. You can move your body by going for a walk, doing 15 mins of yoga or stretching. It doesn’t have to be strenuous.
- Try to do your workout without your phone, ESPECIALLY right now. More than ever, use your workouts as an escape. Avoid looking at your phone for news updates constantly by simply leaving it at home or in the other room. It will help your mental health tremendously to separate yourself from your device for those 30-40 mins.
3. How has the diet pattern changed over the last few months? Common queries raised by clients.
With people being home more, it is inevitable they will want to snack more. Access to food leads to mindless eating. Additionally, many people have a fear of the unknown and will resort to emotional eating or stress eating because of it.
As humans we are biologically and psychologically wired to want to feel good all the time. No one likes to feel angry, upset, stressed, or any other negative emotion so they go in search of that dopamine hit of instant gratification.
Oftentimes when emotional eating is taking place I find it’s the clients who don’t want to face their negative emotions head on. If you are an emotional eater, give yourself permission to feel those emotions. Let yourself feel the unpleasantness and find a healthier way to process those emotions — go for a walk, call a friend and have a good cry, let out a good scream if you have to.
4. How successful have been gym home equipment & accessories helpful in staying fit. Are home videos & chats more popular.
Home equipment has become huge and I really think it’s due to the convenience. A lot of people are buying Peletons. In fact, they have been back ordered for three months because there is just such a high demand for at home workout equipment. It’s so convenient to hop on the bike, do a 20-30 min workout and get showered off for work.
Smartwatches have also gotten big, which I personally love and recommend to clients because not only do they bring more awareness to moving your body, but they also have fun challenges.
For instance, I have a Garmin watch and they do this thing where you get badges for completing different activities. So you’ll get a badge the first time you successfully complete a 5K or 10K, if you work out on different holidays, and one morning I received an “early bird” badge for completing my workout before sunrise. Apple watches have the rings and there is something so fulfilling about doing the monthly challenges where you close your rings a certain amount of times, or get a certain number of exercise minutes logged. What I’m getting at here is smartwatches have the ability to make exercise routines more fun, and that’s particularly useful for someone who is just beginning their exercise journey.
5. With winter chill and new year nearing what are the lifestyle modifications required to stay fit during these challenging times?
Depending on where you live, movement may look different than it did in the summer but the important thing is to continue to find ways to move. If that means bundling up and going on a walk, or going in your basement and doing a bodyweight workout, it’s important to keep up your exercise habits for the benefit of your physical and mental health during Covid.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.