Tips to staying mentally healthy and physically fit at home during COVID-19.

Before COVID 19, many of us could be found exercising outdoors or going to the gym. We'd often attend the gym three or four times weekly, sometimes even with a personal trainer.

This was the life… the gym life!

Unfortunately, this changed.

How...? You ask.

We are now confined to our homes working out in our bedrooms and patios; we're using our body weight and we're getting creative with makeshift home objects (brick in a bucket) for weights. But damn that gym camaraderie... we miss it.

Truth is, it's hard to stay motivated at home, so I've reached out to my trainer Jeffrey Gay Jr  or "Jeff" for some tips on staying focused and physically fit during this period.

Jeff is the owner of Holos Health Inc. and a local fitness trainer, massage therapist, and most recently life coach. Holos Health Inc - Pain & Stress Management was founded in 2015, and offers a combination of fitness training and a range of holistic therapies for stress and pain treatment.

Here are a few tips which he recommends for maintaining and improving your mental and physical health during this period.

1) 'Feed your mind':

During this period it is imperative that you 'feed your mind' with positive information that will keep it engaged. Now would be the time to enroll in an online course (they are being heavily discounted!) or read a book. Remember, your mind is like a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it becomes.

2) Spend time in nature:

There is something so calming about the outdoors it can momentarily make us forget we're in lockdown. I recommend doing anything in the sun for at least twenty minutes such as a long walk or time at the beach. Sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D which is needed to maintain strong bones among a myriad of other benefits.

3) Organize your daily routine:

Having a routine can keep you from slipping into extreme boredom or even worse, depression. Having a daily routine gives your days structure and will enable you to accomplish work activities or personal goals. The realization that you are progressing towards your goals can help you remain confident throughout this period.

4) Exercise regularly:

Increasing your physical activity has always been important. I would opt for high-frequency workouts with shorter times (20-30mins) to avoid burnout or self-injury. You can utilize any equipment you have available or find a myriad of bodyweight training routines online. Some gyms and trainers (like myself) have moved their programs online to cater to their clients who still want that extra push.

5) Increase your cardio:

Because we're in 'lockdown,' I'd suggest increasing your cardio for a few reasons:
1) We are not as active so we're burning fewer calories than normal.
2) Our workout intensities and length might be limited without the gym.
3) Increased consumption of junk food/snacks can lead to weight gain-- your trips to the fridge have more to do with boredom than with actual hunger.

6) Self-control:

You must control your urges to eat when you are bored or stressed. Here are a few ways you can control these impulses and make it out of quarantine without gaining weight.
1)  Don't buy the foods that you know will tempt you, this will eliminate the problem altogether.
2) Cook large enough quantities of food that will last you for a few servings.
3) Consider meal prepping and planning so meals may last throughout the day.


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