I think we can all agree that life is pretty uncertain right now. We’ve all been asked to stay in our homes, only go out for essentials, and keep at least 6 feet of distance between ourselves and others. Most small businesses have been forced to close and a lot of employees have been laid off. It can be really easy to get caught up in the negativity and fear of Covid-19.
One thing that is not being talked about much is how we can see this time as an opportunity rather than a crisis. Even though we are being asked to slow down, we can be using this down time to improve our lives.
There are many people who have been needing to put life on “pause” for a while now. What if this shutdown is your chance for that? Maybe you have been wanting to learn something new but never had the time. Now, you have been given that time.
There are numerous ways to turn this shut down into an opportunity. Maybe now you can do that thing you’ve been putting off for months.
If you aren’t quite sure how you can be utilizing your time to make the best out of this shut down, we have a few ideas for you. Keep reading.
Improve on Something Fitness Related
Let’s admit that we all have weaknesses when it comes to the gym. Let’s also admit that we often avoid the things we need to do in order to improve those weaknesses, especially if they have to do with FLEXIBILITY.
Now is the best time to be stretching and mobilizing DAILY. That’s right, I said DAILY. Daily static stretching is the only way you are going to improve your hamstring flexibility and be able to touch your toes! Does your overhead squat suck? Well, the only way to improve it while sitting at home is to stretch your shoulders. I promise, if you spend your quarantine time stretching, you will see improvements when you get back in the gym.
Another short term goal we can shoot for is to increase our capacity of bodyweight movements. If you’re a CrossFitter, you are probably gearing up for MURPH in a few weeks. You can seriously improve your MURPH time this year by working on air squats and pushups in your living room! Heck! Make it a goal to get all 300 of those air squats done unbroken! Use this time to build up your muscular endurance for that specific movement. Maybe you want to run a faster mile, get your butt outside and run! Just stay 6 feet away from other people while you’re doing it.
Choose 3 things that you want to be better at when this shutdown is over. Use this shutdown time to work towards them each day. And then, when your back in the gym, put your hard work to the test.
Give Those Nagging Injuries Time to Rest
All right, I know there are some of you out there that have shoulder problems, knee problems, back problems, etc that you just keep pushing through during your workouts. If this is you, you have probably needed to take a good week long break from training for a while. Now is the time to take that break.
Let your body rest. YouTube some rehab exercise; most can be done in your living room. Just take the time off. Your gym is closed right now anyway, that’s the best excuse you can have.
After you’ve taken some rest time, slowly ramp your training back up from your living room. Start with bodyweight and by the time the gym opens again you’ll feel better and be in a better position than before.
This sounds simple. Some of us have developed a slightly negative relationship with food. And now we are being forced to eat non-perishable canned stuff, or worse, we feel obligated to order out to support small businesses.
Guess what? It’s okay to eat.
If you’ve been on a super strict diet for some time now, first you should know that no “diet” is sustainable for a long period of time. Instead of focusing on calories or macros try focusing on portion sizes and balanced meals.
Buy some frozen or canned vegetables to go along with your boxed mac and cheese. Drink lots of water and try to limit your sugar intake. Don’t worry so much about the calories right now. Small changes can still yield big results during this time.
Find a Way to Help
This one is not fitness related but it’s just as important. If you’re relatively young and healthy you are the most likely to make a full recovery from Covid-19. This means that you can be helping.
What are some ways you can help? There are probably plenty of resources in your area but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Volunteer in your area.
Call a local church, hospital, or shelter and find out if they have any volunteer initiatives going on. There might be ways you can get involved without exposing yourself or others.
If you are lucky enough to still have a job, see if you are able to donate a portion of your pay to others in need. Do some spring cleaning (finally) and donate your clothes to a Goodwill or other shelter in your area
Local animal shelters are always overrun with dogs and cats. When they run out of room, some of them start to euthanize. You should have plenty of free time right now. Look into fostering a dog or cat for the period of the shutdown. If you live alone an animal can be the perfect quarantine companion! Fostering a dog will give you a reason to get out for a walk a couple of times a day! It’s a win win!
Better on the Other Side
Make a commitment to yourself to be a better version of yourself after this crisis is over. Just because the world has stopped does not mean we should stop chasing the best versions of ourselves.
Take this time to determine what the best version of you looks like. Then, spend your time implementing habits to get there.