Why And How I Moved My Workouts To My Living Room
Living Without Gyms Even After Many Opened
First and foremost, to be clear and honest, I am not exactly the quintessential yoga type guy. I am not one to dismiss its benefits and have used some modified stretching in pre and post workouts that could be likened to yoga by those who have never actually taken a class, anyone actually familiar with yoga would call bullshit on my "poses" and form in a moment. However, in March of this year, I went from spending 5 days a week in the gym, workouts ranging from 30 minutes to over 2 hours each, to having the gym no longer an option to me. My gym was in my office and my office is still not open to this day (work from home is my reality at least until Corona virus cases are dropping nationally instead of rising).
I have not had a true 6 pack since high school, but I felt strong, was toned, had a relatively trim amount of body fat in mid-March and was in pretty decent shape aerobically. I was running some version of a circuit on a rowing machine, an elliptical, treadmill, and free weights for over an hour at a time without any rest period of more than a minute at least 2 times a week, with one much longer workout most weeks. I was on a trajectory that I thought meant I was going to be in the best shape of my life by the start of summer, then came Corona Virus, and like so many other routines this spring, it was broken by a few words from my Governor's lips. Without a doubt, I support the recommendations of healthcare professionals surrounding measures to "slow the spread", it was just a bit of a blow to my workout plans, a blow I needed to overcome.
Learning To Embrace A Mat
Seemingly out of the blue in mid-February, my daughter had requested that I get her a yoga mat. When picking up a mat for her, I got one (quite a bit thicker and more padded than her mat) for myself for stretching at home, especially before and after cold winter runs. At the top of this article, is a picture of that mat, the one that I have been using in place of a gym for over 4 months now, just not starting to show some wear. Had my daughter not wanted a yoga mat in February, I would not have had it in my house, so coincidences for the win. It was not my choice and it was not my preference to make yoga (or something that roughly resembles it) a big part of my work out routine, but the mat was calling for it. So... after I did a little research and some experimentation, I developed a routine which has involved 20 minutes of slow, long hold, strenuous stretching (some might call it yoga), followed by alternating sets of pushups, swats, crunches, leg lifts, and planks.
Working from home, with no commute, I am able to get in more than half an hour work out each day, though I feel my current work outs are much less strenuous than they used to be. I have not ended up with a 6 pack this summer, which was the trajectory I thought I was on with the gym, but I put on a lot less weight during "Corona Quarantine" than I would have had I not learned to embrace a yoga mat. I am finally more comfortable getting outside, dodged people whenever I see them on trails or public spaces, but I am keeping the home routine for the foreseeable future, continuing to use the mat, and continuing to practicing something resembling yoga.