How I Exercised in this Cold Pandemic Wasteland

Temperatures are finally leaning in the direction of spring here in the Chicago area, but the combination of weather and the pandemic made for a rough winter. For exercise, I mainly just run. Since it is the only form of exercise I truly enjoy, I try to do it year round - outside if there is no snow or ice on the ground, and indoors if it is too cold. Indoors wasn’t an option this year, so I had to find some alternatives to stay active.

(Could I have bought a treadmill? Funny story - we have one, but the ceiling in my basement is low enough that if I ran on it, I’d hit my head.)

I ended up cycling through a few digital options. I’m not saying this is a very successful plan - at best I’ve maintained where I was at pre-pandemic. Regardless, having a variety of options for some amount of daily activity was helpful as we wait for the world to open back up.

  • 7 Minute Workout App - short interval training workouts you can do with just body weight. I’ve had this app forever and it is just enough to make me feel like I was active.

  • Apple Fitness + - I’ve really enjoyed Apple Fitness +. The trainers are bearable, and the variety in workouts made a big difference while I was stuck in my basement. I mostly did strength training and interval workouts, with core workouts on occasion. I also enjoyed the mindful cooldowns that were suggested after completing a workout. They also had the side effect of getting me back into meditation a bit.

  • Calm - I don’t need guided meditation as much as I used to, but I use Calm when I do. I’m hoping I can keep up with meditation when I get back to outdoor running, but my track record on that isn’t great.

  • Ring Fit Adventure - The workouts you get from this crazy Nintendo gadget are typically pretty light, but this also falls into the ‘at least I did something active’ category. The game itself is surprisingly fun and deep, and the ring device itself works really well.

Now that I can run outside again I still want to stick with Apple Fitness - at least the strength training (I. Am. Weak.) So maybe we can add that just after ‘puzzles’ on the list of good things I picked up during the pandemic.