Just Do It!

The day before the lock-down measures became effective, people rushed to Decathlon to buy fitness gear. Staying in a good shape during confinement may be a first-world problem but is a challenge nevertheless. As all our habits have been reshaped by social distancing measures, our metabolism is fundamentally altered: because we no longer commute to our work places or run errands in the morning, we walk less and tend to sleep more. We move less as we are confined in the limited surface of our apartments and we cannot practice physical activity the way we would like to do. Days have a slower pace and can be boring; to cheer ourselves up, we turn to comfort food or indulge in family cooking time. People started to share pictures of food as a way to socialize: with my co-workers, we often show each others what we eat for lunch or dinner. It is a way to feel as if we were together; some have also started drinking sessions over video messaging phone applications. As a result of all these forced changes, many of us are putting up weight.

It is possible to keep fit during these days of confinement, but we need to rethink the way we approach physical activity: counting on the soothing voice of an instructor to walk us through a pleasant hour of Yoga practice in our favorite downtown studio is no longer an option. We cannot engage in physical activities with friends and motivate each other or count on expensive gym machines to help us keeping our body mass lean and efficient. Before the lock-down, my weekly routine consisted of 6-7 hours at the gym, complemented with occasional swimming sessions, slow basketball matches with my co-workers, or cycling with my girlfriend. I would keep track of my weight and my sports sessions, as it helps me to stay motivated. I had to impose myself some discipline to transform my personal practice of sports and I am still working on this aspect of re-inventing my life to cope with Coronavirus. Luckily, my apartment is in the middle of a network of parks: stepping out of my door, I can walk for more than two hours in a very calm and green environment, the paths go up a hill and are perfect for keeping in good shape. I also developed a daily workout. As exercising alone in my living room is not fun, I opted for a super-simple and light routine, targeting most of the body muscles in a very short time. I do one hundred push-up and two minutes of plank position. This routine can easily be amended to be more efficient. If I want to work out more, I just need to increase the load, for example passing from two minutes of plank exercise to three minutes.

As I mentioned in some other post, I gave myself an objective to stay focused: this month I will do one hundred push ups every day. We just cruised past the first half of April and I am on tracks. I have not yet managed to bring my metabolism where it was before the lock-down and I have put on a little weight. To solve the issue, I conveniently decided to avoid the scale for the few weeks to come. In the next days I will try to control my calories intake better; My approach will continue to be soft and I will still please myself with good food and occasional drinks: in such difficult times we need to keep our morale high and if resolve to fight weight gain with too much self-deprivation, the cure may end up being worse than the disease.

As someone said, everything in moderation, including moderation 😉


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