I’m so grateful to be a Spring Energy athlete and part of this adventure and endurance community. Spring Energy has been there for me across the board--providing everything from a happy GI system to a community support system. Given everything going on, I find myself relying on the networks of the Spring Energy community now more than ever.
I sat down with Spring Energy to answer some questions about COVID-19 exercise recommendations and ways in which we can support each other during this time. In addition to working as an athlete, I am a medical doctor and epidemiology researcher. I hope this Q&A can be useful and provide a touch of inspiration in a stressful time.
What are the benefits of staying active during this time?
Physical activity is a great way to boost the immune system and improve mood. If possible in your local area, getting outdoors to exercise can be an added benefit. The main key right now is avoiding overtraining or overreaching, which can compromise the immune system. Keeping an eye on training volume and intensity through a training log or heart rate monitor can help athletes monitor training load.
What should I think about when exercising outdoors?
It’s important to think about physical distancing (greater than 6 feet distance) from others on trails or roads. Physical distancing is not just about protecting yourself but is also about doing our best to protect our community. Individuals with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, which means that taking precautions is important. For the time being, it is wise to train only with those in your household and to limit group exercise activities with friends or outside contacts. When training outdoors, also make sure to avoid putting yourself in risky adventure situations that could require medical support. We want to make sure we avoid diverting medical attention away from the COVID-19 relief.
What are some creative indoor exercises?
Some people may be more restricted in their ability to exercise outdoors depending on local area restrictions or other life circumstances. Getting creative with exercise may be the only option, but can still be fun. Many companies are offering streaming services for yoga, HIIT, and strength training programs so that you can exercise at home. Even activities like going up and down stairs or indoor tag with kids can be a great form of movement.
With races canceled, how can I think about structuring training?
Having an uninterrupted period of training is unique and this can be a time to focus on harnessing that time to safely establish a stronger foundation of strength, mobility, and aerobic fitness. In addition, taking the time to work on the mental side of training/racing can be helpful. Crafting your athletic “why,” establishing meditation tools, and designing mantras are all practices that can allow you to race stronger in the future.
How can we collaborate as an athletic community during this time?
Right now is a great time to come together as an athletic community to support each other and to support the larger COVID-19 relief. In my mind, every little action adds up. We can help each other keep training motivation rolling by staying connected on social media, reaching out for help, and sharing creative workout routines. Small businesses are being impacted and supporting our favorite small businesses (like Spring Energy!) through online orders, testimonials, or social media shoutouts can make a big difference.
Thank you so much to Spring Energy for providing community support and for making training/racing significantly more fun and delicious! Please reach out if you have any questions and please help support Spring Energy during this time however you can. I’m immensely grateful for their role in our community.