‘Fitness Over 40’ Series Offers Tips for Staying Active at Home

With many gyms and fitness centers closed, COVID-19 has limited the options for staying active. While the pandemic has made getting in a good workout a challenge, there are many creative ways to stay in shape while staying safe.

A new Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan video series, Fitness over 40, features mini workouts people can incorporate into their daily lives, even at home.

In three minutes, these videos pack in tips and inspiring stories of real people getting fit — while taking health and safety precautions into considerationdue to COVID-19.

Host, Ann Marie Wakula, 40, a certified trainer and mother of three who has been running a well-attended and successful outdoor bootcamp in the Metro Detroit community of Bloomer Park has lots of tips and helpful insights.

“Before the pandemic, we had no idea how easy it actually was to stay fit. We would walk into a gym and work out. At all hours, you had access to anything you needed to get into shape,” Wakula said.

Try something new

That was the case for Nicole O’Donnell, 46, who was feeling the physical and mental benefits of hitting the gym regularly before COVID-19.

“Then the pandemic hit and my routine completely went away. I wasn’t able to go to the gym. I wasn’t able to go out. We started ordering food at home. It almost ruined what I built up,” O’Donnell said.

She quickly realized that she needed to cut back on takeout and took up running.

“Each day, I would run a little longer. Two months in, I realized I actually like running. I’m doing it consistently, and I look forward to it,” O’Donnell said.

Get creative

Wakula says there’s a lot people can do at home using easily accessible household items:

  • Hold a 5-pound bag of flour to add extra intensity to squat sets
  • Run up and down your stairs
  • Use your coffee table for incline push ups
  • Do walking lunges down the hallway
  • Take short jogs outside

Another option is contacting your local gym to see if they are offering online classes. Or ask a personal trainer to put together a program for you, tailored to the type of equipment you have at home.

“Working out and staying active is important to keep you healthy and boost your immune system,” said Wakula. “So if you have never done anything at all, I would say choose a goal, make it a small goal. Look at your week ahead, plan it out and say, ‘I’m going to dedicate this one hour to myself.’ Set a timer on your phone or a calendar alert so you hold yourself responsible. It’s an appointment with yourself. It’s an appointment for yourself because you are important.”

Look for future Fitness over 40 videos at AHealthierMichigan.org

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Photo credit: Getty

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