Staying fit when the weather gets colder can be a challenge in the best of times. With the pandemic zeroed-in on the area in late 2020, however, it’s even more difficult.
That’s not to say it’s impossible. Or that you should slide down into that easy chair and wait until spring to get back on your feet.
For sure, COVID-19 has placed parameters on how we go about staying in shape. There are still safe options available for staying healthy and staying fit. Many of those options include activities, or variations of activities, that you’ve employed in the past.
Sanford Health Wellness Center manager Mike Davidson has done what he can to seek out safe ways for people to find fitness while avoiding COVID-19.
“We’re taking all the precautions to make it as safe as we possibly can,” Davidson said. “Ultimately you have to make decisions that are the best for you, but I can tell you we’re doing everything we can to keep things clean. We’re cleaning 24/7.”
Fitness distancing a key
Those measures include screening for members, guests and Wellness Center staff members themselves, who wear masks or face shields at all times.
Above all, social distancing is encouraged throughout the day. It’s the part of the safety equation that is difficult to enforce but a vital part of avoiding COVID-19.
“We’ve taken some of our exercise machines off the floor so we can do a better job of enforcing social distancing,” Davidson said. “It seems like a lot of our members are limiting their interactions, so that helps.”
Sanford’s two wellness facilities closed in March and re-opened in May with a plan in place to permit people to return. At the time, most had the option to seek outdoor activities to replace going into a building for a workout. Now that’s not as often the case. Fortunately, the staff is prepared.
“Before we re-opened, our team got together and we outlined the procedures and the protocols we’d be using,” Davidson said. “We’ve fine-tuned them since then but those procedures remain.”
Difficult to replace
Class sizes are limited. In many cases, members continue workouts at home, but with input from the staff. Zoom training sessions are also available.
Admittedly, there are parts of peoples’ wellness routines that are difficult to replace. To that, Davidson says patience is needed when staying fit.
“I know we’re all trying to manage the pandemic in a lot of ways,” he said. “But social interaction is a real key for a lot of people. From personal experience with my family, I know there are times when you all just have to get out of the house.”
A successful strategy on that count can involve Davidson’s team.
“At both locations the staff does a great job of maintaining personal connections with members — we’re constantly encouraging people to keep up,” Davidson said. “But we’re also encouraging them to be smart about it and do only what they’re comfortable doing.”
- Strength training at home: More than weightlifting
- Don’t neglect your health needs. It’s safe to seek care
- How to avoid stress eating while you stay home