I’ve always been an active person. Exercise, playing sports and working out have been a very important part of my life since I was a teenager, so the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions have caused me to adjust that part of my life. I’ve primarily worked out at gyms and fitness centres over the years, but since last March, my workouts have been done outside or at home and involve long-distance runs, boxing and plyometric workouts and body-weight exercises.
I typically run five to six days a week, between eight and nine kilometers during each run. I have a couple different routes, starting and ending at my house. My boxing workouts are done in my basement 2-3 times a week for about 45 minutes, which largely involve rounds on a heavy bag and skipping with a skipping rope. So 2-3 times a week, I’ll go on an outdoor run then come home and do my boxing workout.
I’ve had to adjust my strength workouts to primarily focus on body-weight exercises. I’m lucky to have found a small outdoor workout area near my home, where I have been going two to four times a week and doing a routine centered around pull-ups, chin-ups and pushups. It’s actually been interesting to feel the benefits of just doing body-weight exercises, rather than lifting weights. Some days, I’ll run to the outdoor workout area, do my body-weight workout routine and then run home.
As the NAIT men’s basketball coach, I have created virtual workouts for my team since late November when COVID-19 restrictions would no longer allow us to practice on the court and in-person. We do the 45-minute to one-hour workouts three days a week. They largely involve plyometric, core exercises and stretching. I’ve been participating in those workouts with my team, has been a great way to stay fit and bond with my team.
While COVID-19 has certainly forced me to change how I stay active, I have really enjoyed getting creative with my workouts and spending more time outside, which has been the biggest benefit for me. Living in Edmonton, it’s easy to use our weather as an excuse to stay indoors for a good part of the year. The pandemic has forced me get outside a lot more than I have in the past, which has not only helped me to stay fit, but it has really helped my mental health; every time I finish an outdoor run or workout, I always feel better physically and mentally.