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Elaine Corkery Guest Blog: Fitness

  • Posted on Jun 8, 2020

Even though I have been living this new reality for several weeks now, at times I still can’t quite believe that this is happening, but here we are, living through a global pandemic and when all around me is thrown into chaos I have found that routine and incorporating my basics into my new lifestyle help me to cope.

Powering through a Pandemic

So what does that mean when it comes to exercise?  Back when I had never heard of the word coronavirus I was in a pretty good exercise routine, I swam 3 times a week and went to the gym 3 times a week, at the gym I did one session walking with the aid of an anti gravity treadmill, one session of weights and one of cardio, usually using the dreaded ski erg.  I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with exercise, I do it because I know of the huge health benefits but I wouldn’t say I always enjoy it, so routine and the push from a personal trainer are especially important for me.  I was never a fan of working out at home, always preferring to ‘go somewhere’ to do my exercise but that does not work during a pandemic when the country is on lockdown!

So what’s a girl to do?  Over the last approximately seven weeks I have had to adapt my workout plan as the restrictions and seriousness of the situation have evolved.  In mid March, for a few days, I still continued to go for a wheel/walk with my sister and friend at a distance from each other, as things changed I continued for a few weeks to go out by myself trying to go at times that there were less people around and avoiding going to popular walkways areas.  The truth is when I closed the doors and stopped going out and seeing the general public, I found I was very slow to do any exercise and I didn’t know why, I eventually realised it was because I was scared of hurting myself, I live on my own and do not want to risk having to go to hospital right now so to overcome this I had to come up with a few strategies.

Safety first

I decided that for the moment I would only do exercise that I feel completely safe doing, I am focusing on simply keeping my body moving, I do not want to achieve anything extra during this tricky time.

Assembling the team

My friend suggested doing an online Pilates video at the same time in our respective homes, this approach really works for me because like the ‘going to the gym’ it is at a set time and I am answerable to someone, we found some great online videos that are suitable for both of us.

As time has gone on, I have started to get aches in my back, probably for a number of different reasons including reduced activity and not having my new ‘at home office space’ set up correctly, I told my friend who is a physio about this and she sent me some gentle stretches to do to ease my back pain.

Sticking to the Routine

I decided on days that I am working to do a 10 minute workout before I start work, this is a good start to the day for me and I have found that I have now incorporated it into my work day routine.

Changing it up

This week I decided to partake in a zoom chair yoga class, up until this I had been doing online videos but it was a nice change to be doing something live and interactive.

Location, location, location

For my morning routine I use a specific room where my laptop is set up and I keep a pair of small hand held weights, on sunny days it’s nice to change location to my back garden and do some exercises on my Pilates mat.

The positives

Earlier today, I did an online workout specifically for wheelchair users which was uploaded 2 days ago, it got me thinking about the positives to come out of all this, before there were not as many exercise videos for wheelchair users (or if there were I certainly wasn’t looking for them) but these videos will remain post pandemic and will be available if and when for whatever reason I am unable to go to the gym.

And…. relax

Some days I am full of beans, motivated and ready to move my body!  Other days, I am not….. That is ok, as time has gone on I have learned to not be so hard on myself and if I can’t do as much exercise today as I thought I would, tomorrow is another day.

I hope that all the BBS members are safe and well and I look forward to when we can all see each other again.

(Please note, this blog should not serve as medical advice. Any exercise or instruction you undertake is done so at your own risk and you should always speak to a medical professional in the first instance. )