5 Ways Real Appeal Coaches Stay Active During the Pandemic

Family Hike

Staying active can sometimes be tough, even during normal times. And the pandemic -- and the gym closures and fewer outings that go with it -- has thrown many of our best exercise intentions for a loop. Still, Real Appeal coaches know that with a bit of flexibility and creativity, you can get moving (and enjoy all the physical and mental benefits that exercise brings).

We asked Real Appeal coaches to share their top tips on how to switch up your exercise routine to meet the moment.

Switch Up Your Sport

If you’re someone who loves group exercise classes or organized sports, this year has likely wreaked havoc on your routine. Rather than hang up your sneakers, though, think of now as the perfect time to cross train with a new activity. When local pools shut down, Real Appeal Coach Michelle Steil went from swimming 5,000 meters at a time to not being able to swim at all. “I rose to that challenge by rekindling my love for running and cycling,” she says. “It’s all about being adaptable. And when public pools open later this year, I’ll be ready to fly.”

Think Small

Can’t carve out an hour for a full-on fitness session or a walk outside? No problem. Real Appeal Coach Mary Arguelles squeezes in moments of fitness whenever she gets a few minutes, and says it functions as a great stress reliever, too. “In moments that I feel the stress building up, I stop and do jumping jacks or run up and down the stairs, right then and there,” she says.

Make It a Family Affair

If your kids are at home, finding solo time to exercise can sometimes feel like an exercise in frustration. But why not get the whole family involved? Real Appeal Coach Mara Ruttger, NASM-CPT, embraced outdoor exercise this winter by sledding with her family. “It’s such a fun way to get grounded, breathe in the fresh air and get some activity in,” she says. Family hikes and bike rides are perfect spring sports, and you might find that family exercise sessions are a new habit you keep up long-term.

Carve Out Space

Just like you don’t need a dedicated room to have a home office, you don’t need a massive amount of free space to create a home gym. Some simple gear, like a jump rope, dumbbells or a set of resistance bands, can set you up for dynamic workouts. And some free floor space and a tablet or TV are all you need to follow a workout video. For Real Appeal Coach Billy Ryan, NESTA Certified Personal Trainer, one way to cheat more space is to head outdoors. He turned his garage into a spot for strength training. “I view weightlifting as one of my biggest stress relievers, so this was a must for me,” he says.

Distract Yourself

Sometimes, the appeal of working out isn’t about the movement at all -- it’s meeting up with your sister to talk during your walks or zoning out to great music during your spin class. Find little ways to add those perks back to your routine, whether that means chatting on the phone while you and your sister work out separately or blasting music while you pedal on your stationary bike. For Ryan, hitting his daily step target every day often means doing laps around the house, something that would be downright dull without “throwing on a podcast or audiobook,” he says.

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