University of Mississippi

Take Care Tuesdays

Balance your Fitness for Success!

Whether you consider yourself active and fit, or are looking to be more active and fit than you were before we all were sent home, balancing your fitness activities is what will keep you successful now, and into the future with your move goals! This “Take Care Tuesday” aims to give you tips to either stay as active as you were before the stay home order, or keep you motivated to reach new fitness goals!

Staying Active

If you are used to your fitness routine consisting of going to the gym or to your favorite outdoor space, the stay at home order has most likely changed what your new “normal” may be. To keep yourself motivated to continue with your daily strength or cardiovascular routines, embrace some of the ideas below to continually challenge yourself with new movement modalities! This is the perfect time to shake up your traditional fitness routine to continue to reach those fitness/activity goals you have for yourself!

  • Set up a space for your workouts: Garage, Spare Bedroom, Patio or Yard. This will help you have the routine of “going” to the gym!
  • Find some items to utilize as weight: Canned Goods, Water bottles, Drink or Milk Cartons. Get creative! What items do you have around the house to lift: kids, pets, furniture or decor items?
  • Incorporate body weight movements: Squats, Lunges, Push-ups, Pull-ups, Core work variations, etc. Challenge yourself by increasing or decreasing the range of motion or the added weight used with these exercises. Check out the Campus Recreation At Home Workouts on Tuesday and Thursdays for some ideas for your fitness routine!
  • Combine your strength and cardio workouts: control the intensity to have more high intensity interval training (HIIT) techniques, or slow the circuit down with more strength based movements set back to back, or with rest time in between.
  • Give yourself a goal to work toward4/25/20 Virtual 5k: Apart Together
  • Find a community: virtual workouts with some of your favorite people or trying new virtual classes! Check this link out for some companies offering free access during COVID-19.
  • Seek out a new space to train in: local trails or parks near your home, or close enough for a fun day trip, can change your training perspective, all while keeping you safe with proper social distancing!
  • Try a new fitness modality: walking or jogging routine, incorporating strength exercises into your workout, or even slowing your mind and body down with a daily yoga or meditation practice!
  • Add non-traditional fitness activities: household projects, gardening, cleaning out cluttered areas in and around your living space, washing your car and so much more to get you moving and using new muscle groups you may not use everyday!

Staying Balanced

Starting any new routine can be challenging, especially beginning and sticking to a fitness routine. In order to keep yourself motivated and safe, be sure you balance your movements and activities! Don’t jump into a routine too fast, causing you to become sidelined by injury prior to reaching a goal or establishing your successful routine! Check out ways to ensure you have a balanced and safe routine:

  • Effective warmup: before beginning a physically demanding activity, ensure you start slow, increasing your heart rate gradually, and incorporate dynamic stretches and warm up movements utilizing the same muscle groups or exercises you will do during your workout.
  • Start slowly and increase gradually: whether discussing establishing a cardio or strength routine, it is important to gradually start your routine and increase time, distance, reps and weight slowly. Allow your body to gradually adjust to the routine. This also can assist in reducing soreness and risk for injury.
  • Balanced routines: be sure you are exercising all major muscle groups and the opposing muscles of each group. For example, if you are training your biceps, also ensure you train your triceps.
  • Try to include all components of training: Strength, Cardio, Stretching and Flexibility, and Rest and Recovery! Ensure you allow your muscles time to rest and recover, giving yourself days off and days of lower intensity activities and stretching.
  • Effective cool down: after completing your activity or fitness routine, ensure you have properly cooled down with slower movements or a walk. Once your heart rate is  closer to resting rate, ensure you are stretching all used muscle groups with a static hold stretch for 30 to 90 seconds. This should assist with reducing muscle soreness and stiffness during the following days after activity.

While we all are staying home, ensure you are staying active. If you have chosen to begin more activity, ensure you are staying balanced in order to keep up with your new active and fit lifestyle. Stay positive! Now that our days have slowed down, challenge your regular fitness routine with new modalities and new methods for training! Remember to give yourself a break, and rest when you need to. We are in this together and try to keep the old tale of the Tortoise and the Hare in mind. In a world which was driven by the Hare’s mindset, let’s embrace our inner Tortoise for success during this pandemic! Slow and steady will win the race!

Looking for more ways for yourself or your family to stay active and connected, check out some COVID-19 virtual resources from the Department of Campus Recreation here!

Carey Greenwood

Assistant Director – Fitness