All right, LISTEN UP.
LISTEN TO ME.
Turn off the news.
Get the hell off Twitter.
And let’s be adults right now.
There’s clearly some real issues going on around the globe with this Coronavirus, but we need to focus on the biggest problem of them all ⏤ the gyms are closed.
Meatheads everywhere are freaking out because our repertoire of lifting equipment has been reduced down to a few bands and maybe some random dumbbells that we have to find in the garage.
In hopes of providing you with clarity during this confusing time, I wanted to simply attempt to add as much value as possible in what I’m best at: diet and exercise. I’m not an economist, I’m not a virologist, and I’m not an epidemiologist.
I’m a Registered Dietitian and a personal trainer.
So what I CAN do, is help you make the best of this situation with at-home workouts, nutrition advice, and some tips to stay proactive instead of reactive during these strange times.
And now, let’s collectively grab our hand sanitizer, virtually tap elbows, and dive into things.
MANAGING YOUR AT-HOME WORKOUTS
Here’s the deal: every single person reading this is going to have a different situation than someone else. Some of you will have a full home gym, some will only have dumbbells, some will have bands, some won’t have any or a combination of them all. Not to mention, you may have different goals than someone else. So I’m not going to provide you with an arbitrary workout that may or may not work for you (don’t hate me yet, keep reading).
I’m going to do something better. I’m going to add a list of MULTIPLE home workouts (bands, dumbbells, bodyweight, etc.) from people in the industry that I trust.
Sound cool? Cool.
Free Bodyweight/Minimal Equipment Workouts
- The PERFECT Home Workout (Sets and Reps Included) by Athlean-X
- Coronavirus: managing your training and nutrition by Aadam Ali
- How To Adjust Training & Diet For Coronavirus + At Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed!) by Jeff Nippard
- Home Workouts: How to get abs when the world is ending by Chris Coulson
- How to Stay in Shape Without Leaving the House: The Ultimate Guide for Getting Fit at Home by Nerd Fitness
Free Dumbbell+ Only Workouts
- The Best Home Workout Routines for When You Can’t Go to the Gym by Mike Matthews
- Coronavirus: managing your training and nutrition by Aadam Ali
Ways to Make Your Training More Effective With Less Weight
- Use a 3-6 second eccentric (lowering phase)
- Add a pause
- Use stricter technique and less momentum
- Decrease rest periods
- Take the last set of each exercise to complete failure
- Do more reps in less time
MANAGING YOUR NUTRITION & DAILY HABITS
Again, like I said above with training, individual situations will vary with nutrition advice. I think it would be most helpful to provide some practical and simple-as-shit things you can do every day to make sure you’re staying on track with your goals (and keeping your sanity).
- Spend at least 5 minutes every morning with your eyes closed and focused on your breathing. Here’s the meditation app I use (free month).
- Write down everything you need to do in the near future. Prioritize that list and pick 1-3 to accomplish today. Here’s how I do it.
- Focus on the next 5 minutes. What’s the next best step? This could literally be drinking a glass of water or cutting up fruit.
- Get off social media and news outlets. Other hobbies to pick up: walking, reading, cooking, playing an instrument, learning a language, solving a puzzle, writing, hiking, painting/artwork, learning video or photoshop, photography, stoicism philosophy, gardening, hunting, etc.
- Eat 3 balanced meals and 1 snack per day, at roughly the same times. Don’t eat outside of those meal times (to avoid mindless snacking and cultivate regular eating patterns). For me, this means I’m eating every 3-6 hours.
- Reduce your caffeine intake by half. Caffeine can increase anxiety and shit is already hectic enough.
- Now is a great time to get better sleep. Here’s 20 ways to get better sleep.
- Since you’re home all the time ⏤ learn how to cook! This cookbook and this book are both extremely helpful.
- DO NOT BUY TRIGGER FOODS THAT YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOUR TEMPTATIONS AROUND.
- If you have to buy trigger foods because your kids or spouse will attack you if you don’t, make them very hard to reach and out of sight (for example: on a top shelf, behind other foods; wrapped heavily in tin foil).
- Drink (at least) one 8 oz glass of water between every meal/snack.
- Healthy snack ideas: beef jerky, 94% fat free popcorn, any type of peeled fruit (small banana, orange, apple, etc), Greek yogurt, protein powder, ready to drink protein shakes, protein bars, nuts and seeds/nut butter, string cheese, deli meat, unsweetened dried fruit, whole grain bread/bagel/muffin, whole grain crackers/pretzels, oat based granola bar, dark chocolate
- Consume at least 3 portions of fruits and/or vegetables per day. More variety, the better.
- Taking a multivitamin is probably a good idea right now. I take this one. They also have a women’s version. There’s also nothing wrong with a “One-A-Day” or my girlfriend’s favorite ⏤ Flintstones vitamins.
- When in doubt, eat more protein and vegetables.
- I can’t believe I have to say this, but there are no supplements for Coronavirus. There are, however, supplements for anxiety and relaxation. KSM-66 Ashwaganda (600 mg/day) and L-Theanine (200 mg+/day) are two supplements that I take regularly for this.
- Use my Healthy-Unhealthy Rule: any food that is less nutritious must be paired with a food that is more nutritious. E.g., if you have a bowl of Lucky Charms, you have to pair it with scrambled eggs and blueberries.
- Seriously, stop looking at the news and social media. I would encourage reading this book.
NON-PERISHABLE FOOD LIST
Canned beans, lentils, etc
Nuts and seeds
Nut butters (all kinds)
Rice (rice and beans = high protein meal)
Protein powders (whey, casein, plant-based etc.)
High fiber tortillas
High fiber cereal
MORE PERISHABLE, BUT STILL HEALTHY FOOD LIST:
Any type of peeled fruit (small banana, orange, apple, etc)
Unsweetened dried fruit
Whole grain bread/bagel/muffin/crackers/pretzels
Oat based granola bar
Eggs (hard boiled, scrambled, omelette, etc)
Meats (chicken/roasted chicken, beef, fish)
(stole some of these from Aadam)
- This was a really good podcast with Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease expert. You can also view a transcript of the interview here.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24 hours)
ONE LAST THING…
Just to throw this out there: I’m scared. For myself, for my loved ones, and for all of you reading this. And I’m sure you could agree.
But in a weird, sadistical way, it’s a special moment in history where the entire world is focused on one singular problem.
We’re reminded of our humanness, our vulnerabilities as just another animal in the biological tree of species.
This humbling, eye-opening experience of how close death really is for all of us will⏤hopefully⏤liberate us to truly live once this is all over.
And, man, what a glorious day that will be…
Stay safe out there.