Keeping active during isolation key to mood

T-R file photo Angie Paxson, YMCA-YWCA health and wellness director, talks about the importance of staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closure of the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA and other gyms to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has created an extra challenge for those trying to stay active.

There are still many resources, however, to aid in exercise. Angie Paxson, YMCA-YWCA health and wellness director, has some tips on how to work out while some resources are off limits.

She said equipment is not always necessary for getting exercise. 

“I know that it isn’t the same as going to the gym to power lift or do CrossFit. But get out in nature. Go for a walk or a hike,” Paxson said. “Body weight exercises are still a great option for those who do not have equipment. 

For those who may not work out regularly, it is still important to stay active while stuck at home. Most people are on their feet for at least part of the day while working and being at home can limit that regular activity. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk outside.

“I encourage people to get outside.  It’s not only good for your body but also your spirit,” Paxson said.

The Y is releasing a few workout videos to members. Members can also subscribe to Mossa Move, a workout app which is free for the first two months.

Crossfit members can use Wodify to follow home workouts.

The Y has also posted some workout videos on their Facebook page for people to follow. It can be difficult to stay motivated when exercising alone, so it is helpful to have a teacher to follow.

Paxson said it is also a good idea to create accountability by exercising with friends or family.

“To stay motivated, plan to virtually work out with a friend. Hop on video chat and do the same workout,” she said. “Or have each of you write down five or six of your favorite exercises — then take turns drawing them out of a hat while on video chat – whatever you pull out — do for a prescribed amount of time.”

Exercise does not just keep people physically healthy but can also help with mindset. Being active releases endorphins, lifting people’s moods. Paxon said this is especially important right now.

“It is vital to stay active during this time. It helps to boost your immune system and it helps tremendously with mind and spirit,” she said.

There are many sources for workout videos that can be accessed online. Planet Fitness is live streaming a new video every day on its Facebook page. 

These videos are all 20 minutes or less and feature Planet Fitness certified trainers along with special guests including “The Biggest Loser” coach and fitness trainer Erica Lugo, NASCAR driver Joey Logano and actor and director Jerry O’Connell.

According to Planet Fitness CMO Jeremy Tucker, the company is offering these classes to help people during this time.

“Our daily routines have changed in unexpected ways and we know that people may not be able to get to the gym,” he said. “That’s why we’re offering a free, daily virtual fitness class for everyone on Planet Fitness’s Facebook page from Monday through Friday, as we know exercise has both mental and physical health benefits.”

This new program is called “United We Move,” and Tucker hopes it will keep people feeling well.

“We are calling this movement ‘United We Move’ because we know that the best way to stay healthy both physically and mentally is to stay active,” he said.


Contact Anna Shearer at ashearer@timesrepublican.com


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