Tips from our Fitness Instructors: How to Take Care of Your Physical Health through COVID-19

May 20, 2020

As you’re spending a lot more time at home, you may find yourself sitting more idly, and focusing less on your physical fitness amid other concerns and responsibilities. Well, we’re here to tell you that although you may have current distractions, your physical fitness is important and can play a huge role in your ability to keep up with and tackle many other tasks. Top benefits include an increase in energy and endurance, improved sleep and mood, and reduction in stress and anxiety.

Fitness is so important to your overall health. But you may not know where to start. In honor of National Physical Fitness Month, we asked our fitness instructors to share their TOP two tips for helping you develop practices for your physical fitness. Please note that it is a best practice to consult with your primary care physician before beginning any new exercise or fitness program; these are general tips that may not align with everyone’s fitness level.

Here is what our instructors suggest.

Kathleen Gracenin, Rx. Move to Music Instructor

Shuchi Buch, Indian Dance Instructor

  • TIP #1: Dance. Dance keeps a person mentally and physically healthy. An Indian dance saying goes, “Where your hand goes, your eyes go; where your eyes go, your mind goes; and where your mind goes, your heart goes.” Dance keeps people happy and physically healthy. Eat well, sleep well, and dance well.
  • TIP #2: Breathe deep. Practicing deep breathing helps calm the body, mind, and spirit.

Normon Greene, Tai Chi Instructor

  • TIP #1: Try Tai Chi movements. Tai Chi unlike qi gong, yoga, or other forms of exercise works heavily in remembering. While you are studying balance, flow, movement, relaxing, and purpose. The tai chi flow and movements all have meaning and your practice teaches you the benefits. At a time like this, staying fit is not only physical but also very much mental. Take time to practice for your “peace and mental health.” Practice. Practice. Practice.
  • TIP #2: Make time for self-care. Taking time for you is beneficial to staying balanced and less stressed.

Bara Vaida, Yoga Instructor

  • TIP #1: Exercise your spine daily. Try doing these spine movements every day by following these steps, or following along with the below video: While sitting, reach your arms overhead, and gently lean to your right. Come to center, with arms overhead. Then lean gently to your left. Next, take your left hand down to your right knee and place your right hand down near your right hip. Twist gently to your right. Unwind. Then take your right hand to your left knee and left hand near to your left hip and twist gently to the left. Unwind. Take your hands to either knee. Lift the top of your head toward the ceiling. From here, lift your chin toward the sky, draw your ribs forward a little, into a soft back bend. Next draw your chin towards your belly and round your spine a little. Draw your belly button in towards your spine. Come back to center. Through these movements, you will gently nourish your spine, a key to remaining physically fit.

 

  • TIP #2: Focus on your breath. If you start to feel stressed about something, take a few seconds and say these words to yourself, three times: “breathe in, breathe out.” You’ll find yourself a little calmer. By focusing on your breath, you are on the path for staying physically fit!

You can practice all of these tips (and get even more guidance for your physical fitness journey) by joining our virtual sessions. We’re glad to offer you free, online Tai Chi, yoga, dance, Zumba, and other fitness and movement classes that you can do from home. Browse our fitness sessions and register here. Have questions about the fitness classes? Contact Lena Frumin at community@iona.org.