Staying active in small spaces

blog-staying-active.pngBeing active is hard enough without having a literal pandemic going on. Now that many facilities are closed, it is tougher than ever to maintain your fitness on top of worrying about your studies. Here are some tips for keeping active this spring!

Get motivated

The hardest part of staying active, whether you're in a pandemic or not, is actually getting in gear to work out. Here's how to stay on top of things when getting out of your PJs at 3 pm seems overwhelming.

  • Set achievable goals
    The looming thought of a 10K or 200 sit-ups in one session is enough to scare most of us out of our running shoes—start with goals that are achievable and that help build strength and stamina. You don't have to meet the Rock's workout regimen. Go outside and get some fresh air for 30 minutes instead! Success in small steps will open the doors.
  • Make a work-out schedule
    A good tik tok session might take you anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. We get it. Make a work-out schedule to plan ahead around your midterms, assignments... and whatever else. You'll feel less guilty about using study time to get fitness in. Try dividing a 45-minute workout into 20 minutes of cardio, 15 minutes of strength training and 10 minutes for stretching. Short on ideas? Try these!
  • Keep yourself accountable with a friend or online class
    If you need a little extra push to get moving, a friend or a coach can be a huge motivator. CBC has a great list of free online classes that you can try. Committing to attend makes you less likely to bail at the last second!

All the gyms are closed :(

I am a huge gym goer and I am missing stationary bikes and the squat rack like crazy—but there are other ways to get your blood pumping!

  • Take advantage of Edmonton
    Ever heard of “urban hiking?” Edmonton is an excellent location for getting outdoors and exploring, with our extensive trail system, river valley and many neighbourhood walking and biking paths. AllTrails is a perfect place to start if you are looking for a new area to walk or run close to home—and they have an app, too.
  • Try new forms of cardio
    Without ellipticals and treadmills, many of us are in need of a new form of cardio. If you’re like me and despise running, or maybe you don’t own a bike, there are still many options get that cardio in! I have been trying out Zumba and other dance workouts, a dynamic stretch program called Essentrics and jumping rope with equipment I purchased for under $15 on Amazon.
  • Use what's around you
    You might have to get a little creative incorporate some tools into your workout. Try filling 4L milk jugs with water for an adjustable weight with a handle, or soup cans for something a little lighter. Desk chairs and bed frames also work great for support for tricep dips and other exercises.

Support your fitness with balance

Physical activity is just one part of maintaining your health. Don’t forget to consider other aspects of your lifestyle when increasing your fitness.

  • Eat a balanced diet
    Working out takes a lot of energy. If you've been ordering Skip as much as I have, you might have to change it up. Eat high protein foods like eggs, nuts and legumes. You can also stock up on your leafy green veggies and other high in fibre foods. If eating balanced is a pain, try daily multi-vitamins to keep up with nutrients you might be lacking.
  • Sleep schedule is key!
    Lacking the energy to get going? Reevaluate your current sleep schedule. Even though you might be getting more than your recommended 7-8 hours, an inconsistent sleep schedule can lead to drowsiness, concentration issues and weight gain. Try and wake up at the same time everyday even if you need to compensate with a nap later.
  • Go easy on yourself
    At the end of the day, remember that we are living through a time unlike any other in the modern era—be kind to yourself! It is okay to not get out everyday and beat your personal best. Take care of yourself physically as well as mentally and take a break when you need it.