During this very stressful time of the Covid19 worldwide pandemic, I want to wish you all to stay healthy and to keep everybody around you healthy.
It is very important to be conscious of the difference between health and fitness. Your health is what keeps your body working smoothly, fighting any enemies such as a virus or stress. Health is physical, mental, and social, and what keeps you going every day. Fitness is the cherry on the top, it is very nice to have and will help you stay healthy but might not be your priority at this time. If you can remain healthy, a top fitness level will be regained faster than you think.
First and foremost, I want you to follow all the guidelines and rules set up by the governments and the experts in the fields, such as social distancing, washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home, cleaning and disinfecting frequently, etc. It sometimes might seem much, but we must trust the scientists. It will get harder and harder to follow as times goes by. Hang in there. Your health and the health of your neighbors depends on it.
Staying safe under a pandemic is definitively a bummer. It completely disrupts your life and the safety-nets you had previously created. As always, the most important is not what happens to you but how you react to it. Your positive attitude towards it is the key. Here might be a few tips to stay as much as possible on top of your health:
Physical: Alice compiled a few dryland routines inspired by some of our swimmers. But mostly just stay active, go for walks and or run as long as it is possible, put music on and dance with your family, be creative, keep enjoying life. But remember that starting a new physical routine, such as dryland exercises, running, yoga, even walking can bring its share of problems or as I call it, you might experience the case of the “Terrible Toos”: too much, too soon, too hard, too fast, too long. Even if you feel cooped up and need to relieve that extra energy, proper and gradual progression as well as cross- training remain critical if you want to stay injury free.
Mental: Keep learning, teach your children, watch “how to” videos, find creative new ways to do business, do activities to help relieve the stress, make sure to take advantage of all the resources available to you. This is the perfect time to attack the home project you never had time to accomplish, to learn a new skills (it is always very rewarding), to be ready to improve your life or the life of your family and or neighbor, to keep a positive attitude, to enjoy your children: learn from them and teach them (you might be the at-home teacher this semester: embrace it, your children will benefit from it)
Social: Although through long distance, keep in contact with your friends and family through phone calls, video conferences, social media. Support them if they are going through a tough time or get depressed. Social media and news can also act as a double sword. Be careful of a bombarding of depressing news, of too many video games, of scams and hackers. On the other hand, enjoy the positive and funny videos and of course the virtual happy hours!!
Eat healthy: Eat a balanced plate of healthy natural food (reread my article from last month) but you might have to adjust your portion if you are less active. Share recipes and learn how to cook.
We enjoy our health and all our freedoms so much more when we realize how easily and rapidly it can be taken from us.
Stay home. Save lives. Stay healthy. Be grateful to all the front-line workers. If you are one of those, THANK YOU.
As swimmers and athletes, we are healthier than most of the population. We are resilient, we are strong mentally and physically. See you soon on a pool deck or open water swim.