Exercising is tough enough in a regular winter, when we’re inclined to hibernate. In a pandemic, when many of us are avoiding gyms and group classes, it’s a double struggle. But for some people, staying active is more than just a personal health necessity — it’s a professional requirement.
Even though Green is a professional athlete whose job demands that he stay in top physical shape, he experienced months of quarantine last year when a portion of DCFC’s season was cancelled.
“We had just gone through a full preseason, physically and mentally preparing ourselves. We played one game and went straight into lockdown,” Green said. “The team stayed connected through Zoom, but staying focused and fit was tough.”
For the first time in his athletic career, Green had to develop his own regimen. He’s always had a gym membership or access to trainers and coaches. “I never really had to come up with a workout routine at home before,” he said. “It was a new thing for me.”
Fortunately, there’s more ways to workout from home than ever before. Here are some of Green’s most important tips for staying healthy during the pandemic.
1. Keep it simple
As you’d expect, Green works out more than most. But he only recently started going back to the gym and working out intensely.
Before that he had some weights and a Peloton at home. But unless you really want to bulk up or do some intense training, those aren’t necessary. “You don’t need any equipment to stay in shape,” Green said.
You might want to consider buying good shoes and a mat. If you plan on running outside, you’ll want a thin thermal layer. But that’s it.
When he’s not weightlifting or running, Green’s favorite kind of workout is high intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves a short burst of exercise followed by a slightly shorter break.
Green recommends 40 seconds of activity followed by 20 seconds of rest. He’ll often do these six exercises: mountain climbers, lunge jumps, side shuffles, burpee broad jumps, lateral side steps and running in place. Take a one minute break. Then do the whole set three more times. In total, the whole workout takes just under 30 minutes.
“These exercises are a full-body workout,” Green said. “But you could definitely do a different workout in the same format.”
HIITs are convenient because you can mix and match exercises and time lengths based on your level of fitness, how much time you have and whether you want to target certain muscle groups.
2. Everything you need is online
If you’re looking for information or inspiration, there are countless resources online right now. Roddy really likes the Instagram account of Nike trainer Jamie Reynolds for both.
Or if you want a guided workout, you can find tons of routines on YouTube, whether you have 10 minutes or an hour. Or, design your own HIIT workout with an interval timer app.
3. Have fun
Motivation is also an important consideration for exercise. Working out — especially if you’re on your own or just starting out — is difficult. Your body strains during it and often hurts afterwards.
Green has a couple of suggestions on getting started. “Having a routine every single day is essential,” he said.
It can take a while for a habit to form. But once it does, it can be harder to break the habit than not do the activity, even if it means putting your body through the physical stress of a workout. After a while, you’ll probably even begin enjoying your workouts — a lot.
“Afterwards you’ll feel so good about yourself,” Green said. “It’s a great way to improve your mental health.”
He also adds that even if you have a goal of getting in great shape, it takes time, and not to get discouraged. “My biggest advice for people is to not worry so much about results right away,” he said. “Lots of people want to lose weight or gain muscle right away. But they just need to be patient and enjoy it as much as they can.”