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Staying active during a pandemic

Keisha Lockhart, health and wellness coordinator at the Marshalltown YWCA/YMCA, thinks At least 30 minutes of exercise five days can make a difference.

Staying in shape is important, especially so during a pandemic.

Staying active through exercise can help strengthen an immune system, improve mental health and make people feel better in general.

“It’s extremely important,” said Keisha Lockhart, health and wellness coordinator at the Marshalltown YWCA/YMCA. “Not only for your physical body, but for your mental health to take that time to take care of yourself. It impacts everything in your life.”

Mental and physical health relate quite a bit.

“When your mental health is in a good place and your body feels better, you’re more motivated to move your body,” Lockhart said. “They play on each other.”

Lockhart suggests adults working out in some capacity at least 30 minutes five days a week.

That time should be used for moderate to intense exercise, she said. “Find an activity you enjoy, because if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t make it priority.”

The more someone likes an activity the more they will make time to do the activity.

“Utilizing the outdoors is awesome,” Lockhart said. “Walking is a great option, just doing some body weight exercises like squats, planks, sit-ups, those types of exercises are really staples for our body. They can be done anywhere”

The Y is continuing to offer fitness classes including yoga classes. To help encourage social distancing during their classes there are marks on the floor indicating the six foot distance.

“There’s a max capacity for the studio,” Lockhart said. “We haven’t had an issue with it as our classes are still building back up. We definitely have members who are not ready to come back and exercise in a space like that yet. We’re here for whenever they’re ready.”

They do ask members to bring their own mats.

For members who are not ready to come to classes they have a YouTube page with exercise and yoga classes.

One of Lockhart’s favorite yoga classes is the Buti Yoga.

“Buti Yoga is an energetic yoga combining jump training, tribal dancing and dynamic yoga postures,” Lockhart said. “It’s all about finding your own strength and flow in your life.”

It has a faster pace than most yoga classes.

Wellness has always been important to Lockhart. She started as an intern at the Y and has stayed around.

“I love it here,” she said.

While exercising, people should not try to over exert themselves.

“It’s important, when we’re exercising on our own to listen to our bodies,” she said. “Our classes are open to all ability levels so you don’t have to have a certain fitness level. Beginners are welcome.”

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Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611

or tnelson@timesrepublican.com

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