Making movement part of your day


Working remotely in the same room as my bed has shined a bright, bright light on my lack of discipline.

After a day of online assignments and remote tutoring, Netflix has a pretty seductive siren call, especially when I can justify bingeing a new show for a newspaper review.

That’s not even to mention my phone; endless scrolling in the age of 24-hour news cycles is a very real possibility. You could get lost in there! In the personal realm of texting and Snapchat, does anyone else hear phantom vibrations?

Screens for work, screens for relaxation. Minus the government surveillance (well, hopefully), the pervasive use of technology to entertain and pacify reflects some of literature’s most infamous dystopias.

I’m not blind to the positive power of technology. I FaceTimed with my grandma yesterday. Professors are working hard to move their classes online so students can finish the semester. Yo-Yo Ma is sharing music that gives him comfort on Twitter. Technology can absolutely be a point of connection.

I think I just need to move more.

Maybe it seems silly to be worrying about cardio during a global pandemic, but really, it’s as good a time as ever to be thinking about fitness.

Diet and exercise make up the cornerstone of health, the foundation of medicine.

And if you smoke or vape? “Now” is always a good time to quit, especially March-2020-now.

A man in Toulouse, France, purportedly ran a marathon on his balcony last week during the country’s lockdown. I’m eyeing my own balcony, warily thinking about jogging back and forth for upwards of six hours, but I commend his effort.

Here in Erie, it’s still OK to run, walk and bike outside during the stay-at-home order, as long as you maintain six feet of distance from others and don’t meander or congregate.

There are also plenty of ways to add movement to your day even if you’re stuck inside.

If your professor asks you to mute your microphone and turn off your camera during a Zoom class, boom: you’re free range now! While you should still totally listen and maybe take notes, there could also be opportunities for knocking out some squats and lunges.

You could also put your laptop on your dresser or a stack of textbooks to make an impromptu standing desk. While you’re at it, those textbooks could double as makeshift dumbbells. You could fill a duffel bag with cans of soup and … maybe work out with it? I haven’t vetted that last idea yet, but I’m sure someone’s done it.

When in doubt, bodyweight staples like pushups, planks and squats always work. Stretching is good, too. Maybe just skip the jumping jacks if you have a downstairs neighbor.

With that, I think it’s time to cast off my blanket, change out of my “daytime pajamas” and take my own advice.

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