Maintaining one’s health amid increasing challenges to routine

We’re all witnessing the impact of COVID-19 on every aspect of our daily lives, from minor inconveniences to major shifts in the way our businesses, families, and lives can function. For those with a dedication to maintaining personal health and fitness, self-care efforts are no exception.

marathon cancelled

News comes to us hourly about the closing of gyms, fitness centers, pools, and other facilities that were the basis for hundreds of thousands of individuals looking to keep to a workout routine. Additionally, a rising number of running, swimming, and cycling events ranging in scale from local St. Patrick’s Day runs to major metropolitan marathons have been either postponed or cancelled outright.

gym closed sign

Whether you’re in the early stages of your own personal fitness journey, or have been dutifully investing in your health and well-being for a long time, the need to limit interpersonal contact as a result of the spread of coronavirus can, and likely will, affect your ability to maintain that routine in the same way for the foreseeable future.

That doesn’t mean you have to halt or even necessarily scale back the great work you’ve been doing; it does mean that you have to look for other resources and motivation to get it done.

Quote: "Don't waste your training day."
Quote: "Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay fit."
Quote: "Take your fitness goals with you."
Quote: "Stay in. Work out."

Fitness on your terms, your turf

Despite the growing inaccessibility of fitness centers, there are a number of ways in which a fitness-oriented person can seek inspiration and achieve perspiration, while remaining in a safe environment.

Home workout equipment. From a set of hand weights and a yoga mat, to the simplest economy walking treadmill, to a full home gym spread, the options for equipping your space with the tools to train are as varied as the way each of us works out. The wide array of options and price points allows you to cater to your budget, available space, and intensity. Additionally, the convenience of online shopping means no in-store shopping risks…or questions about inventory. What’s more, easy access to product reviews gives you a true sense of the ‘road testing’ done by dozens if not hundreds of exercisers of all intensity levels.

Virtual running, jogging, and walking events and communities. Did your local “Shamrock Run” get postponed? Were you in the process of training multiple days a week for a now-cancelled half or full marathon, and still want to see that hard work pay off? Were you just getting started on a couch-to-5k or similar training regimen, only to lose your access to the gym, track, or trail? Take your race to a virtual space. A ‘virtual run’ is an event that can be run anywhere, at any time, and at any pace. You sign up for it just as you would for a live on-location event, but can then hop on your treadmill to walk, jog, or run your distance. Whether you complete the event distance all at once or over multiple sessions, you’re reaching the same goal — complete with actual finisher’s medal — and ‘virtually’ joining thousands of others around the world in the same effort. The Fanthropy Running Clubs have been hosting these events for six years, and have the largest online virtual running community in the world (a massive built-in motivation squad!). What’s more, each of their events has a charity partner who benefits from the registration proceeds, so you’re not only doing good for yourself, you’re doing good for the world around you.

Streaming fitness classes. For those who need more direct, tell-me-what-to-do coaching, there are a number of ways you can get a voice in your ear to urge you on. If you seek an integrated experience, product lines like Peloton, Tonal, Echelon, and even Nordictrack combine equipment and streaming trainer sessions to guide (or demand) your progress. If you’re looking to leverage equipment you already have, but still want a structured program of routines to follow, subscription services like Beachbody, Jenny Craig, and others are extensively reviewed online for your comparison. If you want to keep costs at the minimum, just head over to YouTube, where a practically endless crowd of trainers and coaches will provide full workout programs you can evaluate. Some require you to have some equipment on hand, but just as many are no-weights, no-gear options — see the Darebee channel for example — so you can queue up, lace up, and get your burn on.

We’re all in this together.

No one can yet say with any certainty how long the presence and spread of COVID-19 will impact our living conditions, our work and educational environments, and our daily routines. We cannot stress enough the importance of listening to the World Health Organization and CDC advisements for proper hygiene and steps to avoid exposure, as well as procedures for effective quarantine should you be knowingly exposed to the virus.

But if one thing is absolutely clear, it’s that just we all share responsibility for taking care of ourselves and those in our proximity, we have others who care just as much for us. That applies to your day-to-day health, but also to your ongoing well-being and fitness. Communication remains open for people to connect and discuss both their challenges and their triumphs, to get that virtual “high five” or “up and at ’em” as needed. We may be more isolated physically than we were in the recent past, but we’re still together in heart.

And keeping that heart healthy remains as important now as it ever has been.

What’s a “Virtual Run”?


The terms “Fanthropy” and “Fandom Running Club” are trademarks of Random Tuesday, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) corporation.