Updated: Feb 26
How COVID-19 irrevocably changed exercise for the many
Personal tips from our volunteer, Anouk Brown
In March as the world, especially Europe, saw an influx of coronavirus cases threatening every aspect of our normal lives and causing a continental shut down, we were faced with many new challenges. New uncertainties and anxiousness surrounding the severity of this developing virus enveloped the world. One of which was how were we to exercise without access to gyms, classes, fitness, and sports sessions.
Now we’ve all adjusted to our new restrictions within daily life, exercising without our usual sports venues and outlets do not seem so challenging, in fact, the lockdowns have even afforded some people to have more time to better prioritize their mental and physical health through exercise.
Personally, before the lockdown I was the girl you’d find in the gym at least 3 times a week, training using a variety of machines and free weights, also participating in 2 exercise classes such as Yoga, Pilates, or body balance (a combination of the two, along with core exercises). I also did Judo twice a week, having achieved my black belt towards the end of 2019. So, adjusting to no access to a gym for the foreseeable future was really quite hard. Naturally, I found ways: for me exercising is just as much for mental as it is physical health, and necessarily social. I love working out with friends!
"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. "
Luckily, I have 2 hyperactive dogs that need at least one and a half hours of exercise, so walking became the new daily normal for me. However, I was at a bit of a loss at first as to how I would exercise as similar to how I would in a gym at home.
Then I re-discovered the magic of YouTube!
I found a yoga instructor who uploads excellent YouTube videos, so it feels like you’re in a yoga class as much as one can do sitting in their living room on the floor! She has recordings from 10 minutes long to 60 minutes classes. I also invested in a TRX band and a skipping rope – an exercise I have not indulged in since I was maybe 7 or 8 years old! The TRX has been really good for weight training, and again I've headed to YouTube to find inspiration for workouts, and like the Yoga videos, there are a plethora of options, from the length of workout to specific muscle group you want to train. When I don’t want to use the TRX and I want something more HIIT orientated, again I head to YouTube to find a routine I can follow and get my heart rate up as well as body-weight training. As for my skipping endeavors, I found doing this in intensive short bursts was a really good way to elevate my heart rate and get some movement in between working from home throughout the day. I still cannot say I like skipping, but it definitely does the job. Also, I feel a complete distraction like this from work is sometimes better than a coffee or tea for refocusing and collecting your thoughts. Oh, and do not forget a big glass of water afterward!
One thing I’m now thinking of trying is running. Now everyone who knows me knows very well I hate running, but I feel like a small run once a week will be the next thing to add to this new way of working out. Maybe it will be like skipping and I will never be able to say I like it, or maybe I’ll be surprised and find it becoming my thing?! I doubt it!
If anything is certain in these strange times, it is the fact that I cannot wait to resume gym-going again, and in-person classes for Yoga and Pilates. Oh, and of course Judo, but I think that will take a bit longer to resume because as one of my friends once said; “it just looks to me like aggressive hugging”. If we cannot even hug loved ones outside our household at the moment, I think it will be a little longer until I get “aggressively hug” anyone on a Judo mat!
Feel free to join our free online yoga events: https://www.facebook.com/wemovebudapest/events
or train with us on Wednesdays with our Wednesday Workout videos which are uploaded to our Facebook and Instagram page each Wednesday.
Meet the author:
" I’m from the U.K. and I moved to Budapest August 2020 in the middle of COVID-19! I found BAIS by chance on LinkedIn and am super happy I did!"