bruno-nascimento-phigyugqpvu-unsplashHearing the word “exercise” often makes me cringe. I have a history of plunging into a new exercise routine and abandoning it when motivation dissipates. I tend to do best when I can attend fitness classes or even workout with someone else. The social act involved boosts my interest level and, if nothing else, I feel some motivation to do at least as well as the person I am exercising with. I joined a gym last year to get involved in fitness classes and fell in love with their yoga and cardio dance classes. When the gym closed its doors recently because of the stay-at-home order, I was initially left feeling adrift. I didn’t want to workout alone in any capacity and lethargy set in as time went on.

Then a wonderful thing happened…my husband decided it was time to start exercising regularly and he found two ways to get in shape. One is a push-up challenge. I hate push-ups with a passion, but I figured three days a week was doable, and I have found myself noticeably improving. I went from 5 push-ups in a row to 15. The goal is 100 push-ups in a row, but I have zero interest in that. My goal is, maybe, 25 and maintaining that while in quarantine.

The other fitness challenge we embarked on is P.E. Joe. He releases a video a day, except on the weekend. It’s a 30-minute family friendly, high intensity workout. Since he is a P.E. teacher, he knows how to get kids interested and keep the workouts simple yet effective. Sometimes when we are working out, my 4-year-old jumps in and bounces around.

While I was getting into the groove of these workouts, a friend invited me to take part in a daily yoga class through Zoom. I am thrilled with this format since it feels somewhat interactive. Following a taped video is much less inspiring for me. The simple act of feeling connected to other people makes me want to pull out my yoga mat!

And last, but certainly not least, I love going on long walks with my dogs. They are accustomed to walking together for our family walks, but lately, I have taken only one dog at a time and it’s much more peaceful. I can collect my thoughts while breathing in fresh air and enjoying time alone I normally never get.

I encourage anyone reading this to find a way to stay physically active in whatever way possible. Even a simple walk and light stretching can make a difference. If you find your mood destabilizing with too much time screen time, find an activity that elevates your heart rate for an endorphin release. This has made a huge difference for my mood and well-being.

When the library reopens, check out our collection to find books and videos on exercise! Check out our collection of Health and Fitness books through eBooks from OverDrive.