Well, here we are. Week 7 of quarantine.

It has been seven weeks since the world as we knew it was turned completely upside down.

Seven weeks of watching the news, wearing face masks, stocking up on toilet paper, homeschooling our children, and learning how to work from home.

Seven weeks of isolating ourselves.

Seven weeks of looking over our shoulders every time we hear someone clear their throat.

Seven weeks of binge-watching Netflix.

Seven weeks of – dare I say – elastic wasted pants….

How are you doing?

I will say that I’ve had my ups and downs. For the most part, I am thankful for the extra family time and slower pace this quarantine has brought. I pray daily for those health care and front line workers who don’t get this luxury. For the most part, I have been able to keep a pretty good work/homeschool/exercise schedule. I’ve even worn jeans a few times throughout this whole thing!

On the down side, my two oldest daughters have developed a sudden interest in baking. It all started with a blind taste test competition to see who made the better chocolate chip cookie. Then, before I knew it, they were making cookies every day trying to refine their secret recipes.

Guess that is what I get for buying that jumbo bag of chocolate chips from Costco….

I’ve heard from enough of you to know that I’m not alone in this. In fact, if you search the hashtag #Quarantine15, you will see for sure that this is something most of us are dealing with right now.

But, here’s the deal.

We really don’t know how long this quarantine will last. No one does. While some states are starting to take measures to open back up, no one knows if this will trigger another outbreak and cause us to have to hunker down even more.

I’ve read some reports that this whole thing could go on in cycles like this for a very long time.

So, what do we do in the meantime?

Might I suggest that we make the most of this time?

Think about it….The number one reason people give me all the time as to why they don’t exercise regularly is time. No one has enough of it.

Well, now we do!

I hear this same justification for nutrition.

Who has time to meal plan? Shop for all the strange ingredients? Look up recipes?? Cook from scratch???

Again, now we do!

We are committed to being a blessing to you through this. In a few weeks, we are rolling out our new and improved Plant Based Challenge – complete with how to’s and tips and tricks to help you get started.

Today, I want to challenge you to move your body.

Every single day – move your body!!

Even from home – you can get a great workout in! And as you have heard me say time and time again, when you exercise regularly, you will see the benefits. Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, and Psychologically. Our bodies were made to move!!

So, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Plan it out: this involves a few things. First and foremost, schedule your exercise. Even if you think your schedule is wide open these days. Without a schedule, you will fill your days with aimless activity. You will reach the end of the day, look back on everything you did, and feel like you don’t have much to show for it. On the other hand, one of my favorite authors, Michael Hyatt, always says that “what gets scheduled, gets done”. Therefore, if you schedule your workout, you are more likely to complete your workout!

The second part of this is to plan your fitness program. Before you begin exercising, have in mind what you want to do.

A basic exercise program will include a warm up, aerobic workout (aim for at least 30 minutes at a time), strength training exercises (no equipment necessary for this!), stretching, and a cool down. All of this can be accomplished in as little as 45-60 minutes!

For aerobic exercise, try taking a walk outside, riding a bike, following a workout video, swimming, or stair climbing. There really is no right or wrong exercise, so pick something you enjoy!

Resistance training can be entirely body weight exercises – squats, push ups, dips, and core strengthening. If you want to add light weights or resistance tubing, you can easily do so at very low cost! I get all my workout equipment on Amazon. The delivery man may not appreciate it, but it is very convenient 

To stretch, try floor based stretches. Reach a point of mild discomfort and then hold that position for 10-20 seconds, until you are able to ease more into that stretch. Yoga is another really great way to improve your flexibility. If you have had cancer surgery recently, be sure to check with your oncologist about any contraindications you might have, as some moves might exacerbate lymphedema.

  1. Find an accountability partner: You are less likely to skip your workout if you know someone is counting on you! If you live alone and want to observe the rules of social distancing, you can use face time to hold each other accountable. Otherwise, a spouse, one of your kids, or even your dog can serve as your workout buddy! And as a fellow dog owner myself, I can say from experience that your dog will not let you skip more than a few walks in a row!
  2. Track your progress: Because, lets face it….Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated. We all have those days where our couch is so comfy and that Netflix show is so compelling that it is hard to force ourselves away. If you have a day like this, but you push through – write it down! Then the next time you feel that way, you can look to that day and remember how you pushed through before.

Make notes on how you feel before a workout. At the end of a workout. Your energy level throughout the day. Your sleep quality. Your mood. After a while, you will start to see a trend towards the positive….After all, exercise is medicine!

  1. Set goals: Setting goals will help you stay motivated. Set a big goal with a lot of little goals along the way. For example, earlier this year, my daughter wanted to learn how to run a 5K. Only problem was, she wasn’t much of a runner. So we set a big goal – running a 5K. To get there, we set a lot of little goals. They included running five minutes without stopping. Then running a mile without stopping. Before we knew it, she was able to run the entire 3.1 miles!

Bottom line is this. There are blessings in the midst of this difficult situation. Together, we can embrace this time and maximize our health and wellness!