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Shredding cabin fever with at-home fitness routines

YMCA maintains healthy habits via virtual workouts

A young woman practices yoga in the morning sunlight at home. Maintaining a daily fitness routine will help cope with psychological impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic and the YMCA of Marquette County posts workout sessions daily to keep the public active. (Photo courtesy of Pikrepo)

MARQUETTE –Cabin fever may be soaking up your mind, but being cooped up in insolation is not an excuse to set aside one’s health. Using basic items around the house, the YMCA of Marquette County is encouraging the public to stay on track with virtual daily fitness routines.

Each day, the YMCA of Marquette County posts workout sessions on its Facebook page with workout motivation videos from personal trainers including advice and tips from YMCA Director of Personal Training Travis Alexander. Each workout is geared toward beginners but there’s also links on the YMCA Facebook page for more advanced fitness routines.

During this isolation phase, it’s critical to stay active when being stuck inside your home, Alexander said. Though not everyone has access to exercise equipment, people can still utilize objects in their homes such as soup cans or books while doing squats or lunges and it’s an affordable way to incorporate weights into a routine, he said. Running or walking in place is another way to build on physical strength and endurance, he added.

“This is the perfect time for everyone to be able to be active because we have time. A lot of times people don’t have enough time to be active and do things so this is a great opportunity (for people) to take advantage of it,” Alexander said.

Moving at least 30 minutes each day will help with psychological aspects, maintaining a person’s overall mental wellbeing, Alexander explained, adding, people can access their family, friends and coworkers for accountability in making sure they stick to a daily routine. It can also act as a “fitness challenge” among others and boost each other’s confidence during this difficult time the world is facing, he noted.

A person’s wellbeing revolves around different aspects including exercise, sleep, hydration and diet, Alexander continued. Each aspect plays a part and it acts like a “domino effect,” he said, explaining that once a person adopts a healthier lifestyle, all those aspects fall into line.

“Staying active has all the health benefits, but the biggest thing we’re trying to battle right now is the psychological impact. So by staying active, you’re going to release good endorphins,” Alexander said. “You’re going to feel better. You’re going to have a positive outlook on the day; that’s the biggest thing we’re trying to batte right now is the mental health aspect for everyone across the board and obviously during this time, we want to make sure that our immune system is healthy.”

Living in the Upper Peninsula, people have the opportunity to get outside and embrace the warming temperatures while utilizing trails and sidewalks while also following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders and social distancing guidelines, Alexander said. People can also incorporate their own stairs in their homes for building core strength and simply walking around the house can get the heart elevated, he added.

Gyms may be temporarily closed, but it doesn’t mean people have to stop working out, he remarked, they just might “have to think outside the box.” But there’s always professional help to guide people and maintain their fitness.

“This is the perfect time if you have a trainer or you have someone who is a fitness professional, we’re still available,” Alexander said. “Even though we may be at home, that’s the best time to utilize us. Because if you can’t keep yourself accountable, it’s good advice to reach out to a professional that will help get you on the right track and suggest workout routines and things that will make you stay on track during these hard times.”

Planning out daily meals is vital in tracking what a person intakes, Alexander said. It’s important to acquire enough vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins and fats and eating something every three hours will help fuel a person’s energy throughout the day. Alexander warned that people should look out for how many snacks they intake and also the types of snacks. Too many processed foods such as potato chips are not healthy snacks and it’s important to maintain “a well-balanced approach of nutrition,” he added.

“By being able to (have) a positive mindset, it’s going to take exercise every day, eating healthy nutrition and just trying to focus on as much good as we can and be able to take each day at a time, making sure we’re doing our best of our abilities each day,” Alexander said.

Staying active at home provides a better outlook for the next weeks in isolation, shredding off those cabin fever symptoms.

To learn more about fitness and watch daily workout routines, visit the YMCA of Marquette County Facebook page.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is jjahfetson@miningjournal.net.

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