As you probably have heard there’s this thing called Coronavirus which is in the process of shutting down the entire world.
Every gym in New York City – including Mark Fisher Fitness – has shut down for the foreseeable future which means that there are a lot of people who are currently trying to figure out what to do so that they can maintain an exercise practice and be physically active while in captivity, er, I mean quarantine.
All the advice that I offer today is based on how we can best honor social distancing because I think right now maintaining our fitness ideals should be secondary to maintaining the collective health of our society. Now that we’ve gotten that big rock out of the way, let’s carry on!
Fitness In the Age of Coronavirus
Okay, so you’re staying home. You’re not going outside, you’re scared of everybody with a cough, and your Netflix algorithm is really confused. What do you do?
All kidding aside, if this whole pandemic thing it’s stressing you the f*** out, I think that maybe the best thing that you can do for your Fitness is to meditate and walk around your apartment.
Yes, I know that’s advice that underwhelms some of you, but I’m not kidding! Stressful times call for exercise that is stress-reducing, and maybe being quarantined in your home while a highly-contagious disease ravages the world isn’t the time to train at maximal intensities.
Yes, I know that a lot of people feel empowered doing high-intensity exercise, but we should acknowledge that high-intensity training is inherently stressful and if you’re already navigating a recent uptake in stress – spoiler alert, you are – then it may be too stressful for your immune system or psyche to handle right now.
As we’ve alluded to in previous posts, your body doesn’t really know the difference between doing intentional high-intensity training and trying to escape from whatever carnivorous predators inhabit the land of your ancestors. And if you’re adding the stress of training on top of the chronic cortisol stress of quarantine, my guess is that your immune system would prefer to be in top shape if and when you have to navigate the stress of the coronavirus. That makes sense, right?
Okay, so walking, meditation, and anything that can help you chill out. If the walking happens to betaking laps of your coffee table, up and down the halls or stairs of your building, or if you venture outside to a park – but not in a large group! – I truly think that walking is one of the best things that we can do for our mental and physical health right now. Low intensities are entirely sustainable, and some of us will actually be able to get in some of that nasal breathing work that we’ve tried so hard to resist up until this point.
What happens when you’re stuck inside and you want to move your body in more meaningful ways?
There are hundreds if not thousands of fitness professionals – myself included – posting free content on social media to encourage their followers to remain active. Going along with my same idea of not adding stressful training during stressful times, I think that most home yoga workouts should be a fantastic way to tune in with your body and tune out if whatever headline is on the news right now. Learning new fitness online concepts online may not be ideal, but also being quarantined isn’t ideal either, right? Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Now to be fair, I think that we should talk about quality control for these online workouts… but at a later date.
Remember what I said earlier – don’t let perfect be the enemy of good – so I want to thank each and every coach who’s sharing free content right now, and celebrate each and everyone of of you that’s doing these workouts – good job staying active at a time when it can be easy not to.
I love seeing all of y’all loading up backpacks, duffle bags, and tote bags with weights, with heavy books, using potted plants and bags or rice – I’ve seen it all this week. I’m truly so excited to see any activity right now – and I want to make sure we’re keeping an eye on the the future to figure out exactly how we adapt to the constraints of home workouts while we adapt to the constraints of the coronavirus related quarantine.
As of right now, literally anything you’re doing at home is going to be better than nothing, and as we consider the reality that we’re not sure how long we’ll be in these situations, thinking about next steps is really important. There’s a chance that you’re already thinking about that, and I want you to know – I’m here to help!
I’ve already written a few programs for people who have specific strength or physique goals and want to be a bit more meticulous in their approach to progressive overload. Just because the conditions aren’t ideal doesn’t mean we can’t approach our training in the most intentional way, right?
With that being said – if you need a strength training program that address any injuries or imbalances that you have or is custom tailored to you and your space, send me a message and I’ll help you figure this out.
I also want to tell you that MFF’s Amanda Wheeler – yes, the one who got married on the street – has built a brand-new online training platform called MFF Homebody to help our community navigate the lifestyle displacement that people are experiencing.
We’re not sure how long we’ll be stuck inside, so Wheels has built a brand-new online “experience” that’s 14 Days of unlimited live, virtual MFF classes you can do from anywhere with no equipment. Classes happen on Zoom and are capped at 25 people, which means that Wheels et. al, are actually coaching and giving feedback so that you can get better.
There’s a Facebook group for check-ins, and if you can’t make one of the scheduled class times you can watch recorded the classes so that you can still get your workouts in. I taught a class with Wheels right before her wedding, and I absolutely love that I’m still able to give meaningful feedback and adjustments to Ninjas, so that you’re not just trying to figure it out on your own and hoping for the best.
If you’re looking for the support of MFF from the comfort of your own highly-santized home, you can check out all of our online offerings by clicking this link. I would love for us to support MFF as much as possible right now so that we’re able to continue our fitness practices in quarantine and ensure that there’s a Clubhouse to come back to after we turn this thing around!
What does the future hold?
NYC has basically been shut down for almost two weeks now, and I’m expecting the rest of the U.S. to follow as the coronavirus spreads and affects more people.
Do everything that you can to stay home to keep you and your family safe, explore the whole world of new fitness options that are popping up out there right now, and please don’t hesitate to ask me if you’ve got any questions about how to get the most out of what you’re doing!
If you want to *watch* these words, you can check out my episode of HGTV by clicking here.