Updated: Aug 27, 2020
I think a lot of people can agree that this wasn't the 2020 we all envisioned. (Yes that was a nod to all of our New Years Eve insta posts captioned - "I have 2020 Vision") Don't get me wrong - spending the morning baking banana bread before my scheduled 1:00pm wine & painting via YouTube was a VIBE. But aside from the camp-like programming, quarantine took a toll on me and a lot of different areas of my life. Maybe you can relate.
One of the biggest changes I noticed in myself during and post isolation, was how low my energy had gotten. I found myself trying to keep a positive and productive mindset, but the longer quarantine went on, the lower my energy levels got. I know myself well enough to know that my mood and productivity stem mostly from being active and moving my body. But that was very difficult to do in a 900 square foot apartment in Downtown Toronto with no balcony.
I tried the whole at home workout thing, I tried to go for walks, and I tried to eat healthy. But when my attitude and mentality shifted to "this year is a write off" it resulted in very little motivation to physically take care of myself.
Before shut down, I was going to Toronto's Sweat and Tonic classes at least 4 times a week. It had become a normal routine for me to start my day with a 7:30am 3D HIIT Boxing class, grab a latte from their in house cafe nutbar, and then head upstairs with my laptop to their comfortable working area. And as much as I loved how I was spending my days - I was finding it way harder to jump back in since taking so much time off. Finally, I decided to get myself out of that funk and back to moving my body!
If you're feeling the urge to get back to it and are needing a little extra push to get started, then let's talk about how to get you encouraged. Below are some tips that I have found helpful in the process:
Having people in your life to hold you accountable and push you to get active is so important. Whether that be a friend, roommate, partner or maybe it's your workout class instructor, it is always easier to follow through when someone else is relying on you. Find a gym buddy to motivate each other consistently.
Group Classes in the Park
Group classes are a huge motivator for me because they place me in a positive environment, forcing me to watch others work hard. Classes also offer a variety of exercises targeting different muscles that I may not have thought of on my own.
I eased back in, starting with Sweat in the Park. Social distant HIIT workouts and yoga classes were being offered with limited capacity all across parks in Toronto. The first class was HARD. I could barely walk the next day as my body was reminded of the intensity these workouts offer, and that motivated me even more!
In Studio Classes
I'm not going to lie - I was super nervous to get back to the gym. Both due to the safety sweating around others, and embarrassment of feeling weaker than I'm used to. One of my favourite classes is 3D HIIT which is a combination of boxing, weights, and treadmill. Anxious to get back to hitting a bag, I began to reconsider in studio classes. When I stopped by S&T to see how they were keeping their members safe, I felt so comfortable that I was immediately convinced to get back in studio. Here are their safety protocols put in place:
temperature check before entry - right at the door before you fully enter the building
touch-less check in for your class
plexiglass dividers between every station (treadmill, bike, yoga mats etc.)
individual hand sanitizers at every station
all classes at 40% capacity - lots of room between everyone
fresh air ventilators and hospital grade filters in each studio
face masks provided and mandatory in common areas
new training for staff and instructors
all surfaces disinfected between EVERY use!
Sweat and Tonic is like a family, and it really made me feel comfortable knowing how much they care about their community.
Experiment with different ways to workout:
I CRAVE variety in most areas of my life, but mostly with exercising! I get bored with the exact same workout over and over so finding a way to get variety in your workouts is key for consistency. At Sweat and Tonic they offer highly personalized yoga, HIIT and ride classes. Spin, Booty HIIT, Slow Burn, Pilates-styled workouts, Core focused, Weight specific classes, meditation and so much more are provided. They are really known for their diversity.
Forward is still Forward:
Baby steps are better than no steps at all. Remember to go easy on yourself and not get discouraged if you're not feeling as strong as before. We went through (and are still going through) a pandemic. That takes a huge toll on a persons physical, mental and emotional self. So remember to be kind to yourself and listen to your body when getting back to the best version of you!
And if you’re not ready to head in studio quite yet - that’s ok! Finding workouts online is easy, and lots are available outdoors! S&T is still offering Sweat in the Park, Sweat Live and Sweat on Demand to help bridge the gap from little movement to back to the gym!
I hope these small tips helped if you've been feeling discouraged or directionless. To find out more about Sweat and Tonic and everything they offer, click here and come sweat with me! DM me or comment below if you try out a class and let me know how you like it. Maybe I'll see you there ;)