Social distancing is making us all yearn for things we once took for granted. Restaurants, concerts, sporting events, hugs, the list goes on. For those of us who like to work out, the motivation of gyms, running buddies, even exercising outdoors is sorely missed.
Here are the ways you can still fuel up your fitness routine during COVID-19, no matter where or how you work out. As always, please follow your area’s health and safety guidelines.
Psychologists recommend dressing like you’re going to work even if you’re working from home, and the positive mental impact of dressing for a workout is equally large! Putting on your favorite workout clothes for a quick run or a twenty-minute garage yoga session helps you get mentally prepared for exercise. It’s amazing what lacing up your shoes can do for your mindset!
Even though we can’t gather at our beloved gyms, cafes, and trailheads, there are still plenty of ways to show up for workouts. Whether that means setting aside a dedicated corner with a yoga mat, weights, soup cans for weights, a dedicated solo running time, or a stationary bike, be there!
From setting up a phone or Zoom call to share a workout with your usual group to setting aside a dedicated gym area in your garage, the psychological benefits of accountability and exercise are numerous. Look for ways to channel that feeling of getting into the rhythm at the gym or on a group run, no matter where you are.
No matter where you’re working out, fueling is essential to performing your best. That means staying committed to what you eat and when you eat and treating your body like the amazing machine it is.
Kylee Van Horn, RDN, offers relatable insight into nutrition planning, “Some of the biggest things that will save your sanity during social distancing are to keep yourself on a schedule and to plan meals and snacks out for the next week. Lack of control and organization can throw people into chaos leading to cravings and boredom eating.”
Sticking to a nutrition schedule will keep you mentally and physically primed to exercise. Feeling fueled and ready to perform allows you to exercise in a way that creates true balance in your daily routine, which is something everyone is grappling with right now.
When it comes to kick-starting your body, simple carbs are the answer. Van Horn says, “Think of your body as a gas tank. It only has a limited amount of carbohydrate-based energy stored up as glycogen to fuel you properly for exercise.” And after a workout, replenishing your body helps you recover for next time. Van Horn concludes, “You’ll want to try and choose items that are simple carbohydrates with some protein.”
Simple carbs are foods that quickly provide carbohydrates to your body without the added difficulty of digesting a complex meal. Honey Stinger Waffles and Chews are a great way to add simple carbs to your fitness routine, and Protein Waffles were designed specifically for post-workout recovery.
It All Adds Up
Shelter in place recommendations have created unique challenges and opportunities for everyone. All of our lives look different than they did a few weeks ago and we are all doing our best to adapt.
Routines have changed, but the benefits of exercise remain the same. Even if your workouts are modified, your mind and body will benefit from the time and space you dedicate to movement. Not only do small wins add up in big ways, but now is a unique time to focus on movement and health for baseline fitness and enjoyment rather than a structured race calendar.
And it’s a great time to experiment with how you fuel your workouts without the panic of wondering what a new food will do to your stomach on race day. Van Horn notes, “This is a unique time to allow yourself to look closely at your nutrition if it is something you have been putting it off. Now is also a good time to try new recipes or experiment with fueling products that you can use during training and racing. Dialing in the nutrition now can benefit you as an athlete in the long run!”
Keep it Fun
With races canceled and constraints on how and where we can work out, now is the time to lean into having fun while exercising. Try a workout video that’s outside your comfort zone, come up with a backyard race course, or try some Strava art. We’re all going a little crazy, embracing it and laughing can make workouts feel less like a chore and more like an escape.
Honey Stinger provides fuel to help you prepare, perform, and recover, no matter where your workout takes you. Now is the perfect time to find your favorite flavors and discover what properly fueling your fitness routine can do for you.