Woman exercising at home

Getting Your Exercise Back on Track: ‘Fitness over 40’

COVID-19 seems to have limited the options for staying active, but maybe it’s opened up a new world of possibilities when it comes to our fitness routines. While the pandemic has made getting in a good workout a challenge if you’re used to hitting the gym, there are many creative ways to stay in shape while staying safe at home.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s new video series, Fitness over 40, explores mini workouts individuals can incorporate into their daily lives.

Ann Marie Wakula, 40, a certified trainer and mother of three hosts the new series, which features three-minute videos packed with tips and inspiring stories of real people overcoming the challenges of fitness during the pandemic— while taking health and safety precautions into consideration.

Try something new

Nicole O’Donnell, 46, who was feeling the physical and mental benefits of going to the gym regularly before COVID-19, knows first-hand about the challenges and having to adapt.

“The pandemic hit and my routine completely went away. I wasn’t able to go to the gym. I wasn’t able to go out. We started ordering food at home. It almost ruined what I built up,” O’Donnell said.

She quickly realized that she needed to cut back on takeout and took up running.

“Each day, I would run a little longer. Two months in, and I realize I actually like running. I’m doing it consistently, and I look forward to it,” O’Donnell said.

Get creative

Wakula says there’s a lot people can do at home using easily accessible household items:

  • Hold a 5-pound bag of flour to add extra intensity to squat sets
  • Run up and down your stairs
  • Use your coffee table for incline push ups
  • Do walking lunges down the hallway
  • Take short jogs outside

Another option is contacting your local gym to see if they are offering online classes. Or ask a personal trainer to put together a program for you, tailored to the type of equipment you have at home.

“Working out and staying active is important to keep you healthy and boost your immune system,” said Wakula. “So if you have never done anything at all, I would say choose a goal, make it a small goal. Look at your week ahead, plan it out and say, ‘I’m going to dedicate this one hour to myself.’ Set a timer on your phone or a calendar alert so you hold yourself responsible. It’s an appointment with yourself. It’s an appointment for yourself because you are important.”

Look for future Fitness over 40 videos at MIBluesPerspectives.com.

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Photo credit: petesphotography

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