During these difficult times we should be staying home and social distancing to protect the health of ourselves and others. Many people are out of work and confined to their homes.

It is easy to find ourselves on the couch, streaming any entertainment that we can find. Every day seems to be the same. Many of us may suffer from depression and develop a strategy of “when this is all over, I will start a fitness program.”

I suggest that now is a great time to start, since what we have now is time!

WORKOUT stands for Walk Outside Regularly and Keep On Using Technology!

Since spring has finally come, everyone should be outside. I am averaging two walks a day. I walk around town through Commons Park, on the path to the YMCA, and the trails of Pokagon State Park. I use technology by using my phone. It tells me that I usually exceed 15,000 steps a day. To be safe, I walk by myself and I use Spotify music to entertain me.

If you are glued to your TV, you understand that technology can help you get in shape because a number of online fitness classes are now free! Through Facebook, You Tube, Zoom, or another service, you can do aerobics, dance, kick boxing, yoga and meditation, just to name a few!

As an example, while watching TV I get my workouts in. During this pandemic, there is no doubt that my time in front of the TV is up, but I refuse to be a couch potato. I have a stationary bike that I pedal while I watch reruns of James Bond movies. Other times, my rule is when there is a commercial break, I use that time to do a set of exercises. Most commercials are around three minutes long, so I can do plank, push-ups, sit-ups, or dumbbell exercises, and then rest when the show returns. In a one-hour show, there may be six commercial breaks, so within a one-hour show, I can do six sets of exercises for that hour.

I use technology to record all my walks, workouts and nutritional intake. I organize my day and by keeping records of my progress, I stay motivated. Remember that the best exercise is one that you are willing to do. I vary my workouts to make them interesting and I might do one set of exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and do something different on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Three weeks from now, the pandemic will still be here, and we will still be practicing social distancing. But you will be in better shape because instead of sitting out the pandemic you will have been sticking to your workout!

Bill Maddock is a retired coach and teacher, and a founding member of Shape Up Steuben.

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