The change of season always brings new possibilities, but never more so than in the crazy year that is 2020. The weather is turning warm and gyms, bars, and restaurants are reopening. People are bursting with the desire to get moving, see friends… and, really, to just get out of the house! But the world has changed, and as we adjust to our new reality, it’s important for us to take inventory where fitness and movement fits into our “new normal.”
The fitness world is evolving to meet the needs of this pandemic. Exercise regimens now available to us with a click on an Instagram story. Peloton sales are up dramatically. Bike trails are packed. Maybe you’ve found your groove and are thriving. Maybe you have found more balance in your life while being forced to work from home.
But maybe you have felt stuck. Maybe you miss your workout buddies. I personally have found myself on hour long phone calls with my personal training clients, because we are so accustomed to catching up during our sessions… and they are awesome people who I miss! Maybe working from home with little ones to rear makes you feel like there is no time for anything else, including yourself. Maybe you are looking at your budget differently. All of this is okay. This, too, shall pass, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.
Regardless of where you land on the above spectrum, now is a good time to take stock of how your life may have changed and how to fit movement into your plans moving forward. Because not only will we need to find time to exercise in the final summer and early fall months, but we will also have to assess how comfortable we are returning to gyms, studios, running groups, etc. There are no “right” answers, only answers that you are comfortable with and that will allow you to get back into a routine that benefits YOU!
I often give speaking engagements around the city on how to start, stick to, or improve your exercise routine. Regardless of whether I am speaking to a large group or engaging in a one-on-one convo with a new personal training client, I like to begin by asking the same few questions. What do you like to do to move? And, how do you envision yourselves performing these activities?
I also ask myself these questions a couple of times a year and I recently went through them again to “check in” with myself. No judgement. It’s a painless, fun, and quick activity that provides a lot of insight. So grab a pen, a journal, or open up a fresh page on your computer, and play along!
Visualization and attention to detail are both powerful tools, so take a moment or two to marinate on these questions!
- When I see myself moving:
- Who am I with?
- Am I flying solo?
- Am I in group setting? With one or two great friends?
- If it is with a buddy or a group, who are they? Be specific!
- Where do I feel moved and inspired to exercise?
- Outdoors? In the gym? In a studio?
- Have fun and get specific here, too. If it is outside, do you have a favorite trail to hike? Are you near the water? On an adventure somewhere?
- Is there a class or a style of workout I have been wanting to try? Take fear and intimidation out of the equation and write what pops into your mind!
- Do I find joy in keeping “track” of movement?
- Do I like to be held accountable by numbers?
- Or, do I like freedom from tracking, preferring just to get moving?
- What time of day do I have the most energy and the time to exercise?
- What can I do today to get moving? What steps do I need to take?
I hope this helps you refresh or reimagine your daily activity to fit what YOU need, RIGHT NOW–wherever you are or however you may be feeling. I always say, no matter what we may be struggling with at this moment, getting moving helps you regain control. I want you to love how you move, and find yourself feeling positive and strong as a result. And whether you are thriving or on the struggle bus, there is always another option, and a great Quidwell, Live In The Movement, and Cincinnati fitness community that has your back!
If you are so inclined, I would LOVE to hear an answer or two if you are willing to share! Here’s to creating a movement routine you look forward to and sticking to doing things you enjoy!
Meriden McGraw is the co-founder of Quidwell where she works to optimize the health of women. Outside of Quidwell, Meriden combines her master’s level education in mental and public health with her training in mind-body modalities to teach individuals and groups techniques for optimal wellbeing. Meriden holds various certifications in pranayama (breath techniques), positive psychology, mindfulness, and yoga. On an average day, Meriden can be found practicing yoga, drinking kombucha, dragging her husband to strength training workouts, and taking her pup for a walk.