E is for Exercise (#AtoZChallenge)

E2020

A big part of my voyage of discovery (how’s that for pretentious?) this month is figuring out how to thrive in quarantine. I realize the point of all this social distancing is survival, but I’m not one to settle for surviving. I want to enjoy my life. I want to thrive.

And so I’m building my How to be Happy Without Leaving the House toolbox, and I’m discovering that one of the key elements for me is exercise. Now, mind you, I was the kid who was always picked last in PE and the adult whose life motto was, “If you see me running, please kill whatever’s chasing me.” But just because I sucked at team sports and hated running doesn’t mean I didn’t like to be active. I walked, hiked, roller skated, and swam as a kid. I walk, hike, and lift weights as an adult. And (shhh… don’t tell anybody, because it will ruin my reputation as a couch potato) I even run sometimes. Even when nothing is chasing me. But I still hate it.

Building movement into my day has been a challenge since the Microbe That Must Not Be Named put me on lockdown. No gym means no weights and no treadmill, and the weather is rarely conducive to outdoor activity this time of year. Hubs and I have managed a few walks in the woods near our home (way distant from any other humans), but for the last week, we’ve had 30+ mph winds all day, just about every day. So… how to get exercise?

So far, I have:

  • Walked in circles in my house like a mentally-damaged zoo animal–which, come to think of it, is an apt simile. I really need some enrichment activities. How about a chew toy stuffed with chocolate syrup?
  • Run in place while on webinars. Note: I would have done this in my office before quarantine if I hadn’t been worried about looking ridiculous. One of the best things about working from home is that no one cares if you look ridiculous.
  • Attempted an aerobic workout video from Fitbit Premium (currently free for 90 days). Note: That video included various forms of torture, including jumping jacks. I actually attempted a jumping jack. And then I considered calling my pulmonologist.
  • Walked and hiked and shoveled wood chips onto pathways in my vegetable garden on the rare days when I could get outside, . Yesterday I found the first grasshopper of the season. Tomorrow I will be ordering a military-grade flamethrower. I have issues with grasshoppers.

So, fellow quarantinos, how are you exercising while on lockdown? Any suggestions for a middle-aged librarian/writer for whom a jumping jack nearly proved fatal?