What to Do When the Gyms Are Closed

By Ashley Mieses

January 1 is the day everyone decides to start their health and fitness goals for the year. Gyms get packed with people trying to start on their resolutions. Little did anyone know that two months later they would be living through a world pandemic that would put everyone’s life on pause. On March 17, 2020, the gyms and fitness chains closed down due to the Coronavirus. Now, the gym rats wondered how they would continue to work on their goals. Many people began to stock up on equipment from Amazon and Ebay.

Andrew, a physical trainer, described how that week was for him.

“I got so many emails that same week, people asking me if I can do home workout videos with equipment from home since a lot of workout equipment started to sell out”.

Whenever you search for weights, you found everything but, according to the website for Thinknum Alternative Data, which indexes data for product development. They were not available anywhere.

“Not having the option to tell people to order some dumbbells gave me pressure on finding a solution,” said Andrew. “As I walked around my apartment, I saw my laundry detergent and the Downy, I figured hey why not?”

Andrew, and many others began to make home workout videos so others can follow along.

 â€œI even began a zoom conference with my trainees, we’d meet every other night and work on some part of our bodies,” he said. “Dieting during the pandemic has been the harder case. Everyone’s home all day and buying groceries in bulk. Everyone wants to eat everything. One of my trainees told me she began to experiment healthy but fun meals to make during quarantine. So, we got together and made a healthy meal plan that was still giving the comforting feeling.”

We’ve had narrower options during this pandemic. Thanks to the Mayor, Bill De Blasio, 40 miles of streets have been closed to make space for people to have to jog, ride their bikes and just be able to get some type of exercise as the weather got warmer. Biking became a very popular way of keeping fit during this pandemic, according to an article by Newsday.

One Queensborough student, Samuel, bought a bicycle beginning of May and has been riding all around the city.

“Everyone has been trying to keep their sanity, I’m able to release stress while I’m bike riding,” Samuel said. “One night without noticing I rode my bike from my house in Queens to my cousin’s house in Long Island. My advisement for people is to get a bike and see how it goes for them”

Bicycle sales went up in the US in the months of April and May in its biggest spike since the 1970s, oil crisis, according to the article “They’re buying bikes like toilet paper” on the website Marketwatch.

Mental health has been a major concern during these wicked times. The Center for Disease Control website has various hotlines people can reach if they’re feeling any type of stress, feeling suicidal, going through domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault. QCC’s website also has a list of hotlines and apps that can help you deal with these feelings. It’s normal to feel different types of emotions during these times. It’s always best to reach out to someone whenever feelings seem to be falling into a dark place.

 Another thing Samuel noticed besides the improvement in his mental health was a change in his physical appearance.

 â€œI’ve lost 30 pounds in three months riding my bike. I’m starting to feel better about myself. Even my mood has changed. I noticed even before the pandemic, I wasn’t as active and I always found myself tired or just not in the mood. Surprisingly now I’m filled with energy and for the most part in a good mood. It’s crazy what staying active and being productive with your day can do.”

Social media has been key during these times to many young adults, whether it’s helping out with healthy meals, at home workouts, yoga  and meditation, or even just a positive affirmations and words to follow during quarantine. Some pages available as resources for these types of at home workouts on Instagram are @colombianmafiafit, @london_fitness_guy, @lisafiitt.

It is possible to stay healthy and fit during the pandemic. We just need to want to do it, in order to achieve our own fitness and lifestyle goals – and to know it’s ok to ask for support.

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