Wellness Dept.

Beat the shut-in blues with your running shoes

Whether it’s a brisk walk or fast-paced run, now’s the time to hit the street, the sidewalk or the trail with your own personal moving meditation. We’re in the sweet spot before spring becomes summer. The humidity is still relatively low, and the tulips and azaleas are in full bloom. Make a conscious effort to get outside and get moving.

Don’t let shelter-at-home restrictions keep you inside, even if you’re just ambulating up and down the driveway like your elderly neighbors. If you can go farther and still maintain a safe six-foot distance from other folks, expand your horizons beyond your driveway and around your neighborhood.

Now that you’ve got the work-from-home thing down, it’s important to leave the office behind every once and awhile. We all know the perils of all work and no play, right? People who exercise regularly sleep better, have sharper memories and a greater sense of well-being, not to mention firmer abs and tighter quads. During these unprecedented times, it’s critical to take care of our mental health as well as our physical health.

That’s why we’ve come up with a few tips to help you find the motivation to lace up your sneakers and sweat.

Are you new to this and not sure where to start?

That’s okay! We all have to start somewhere. Begin with shorter distances to avoid injury and build up endurance. Ease into it, and as you progress, you can change up your route by increasing speed or distance. Maybe bring the dog along to break up the monotony.

Are you motivated by setting goals?

Having some healthy competition and a purpose to working out is a fun way to stick with it. Set a walking or running challenge with your friends and family. Make it part of your virtual check-ins via Zoom, Slack and FaceTime or your favorite social media platform. There are plenty of smartphone apps that can do the monitoring for you. Simply open one up, hit go and let your phone keep track of your distance and time. Then chart your progress and compare your results.

Would you describe yourself as outgoing and social?

Running and walking are always more fun with friends. However, social distancing has sidelined group workouts except for online. No worries. Just pop in your earbuds and speed dial a buddy for a hands-free chat while you’re pounding the pavement. Talking while you sweat adds another element of challenge.

Some of the unforeseen benefits of this global quarantine have been a reduced carbon footprint, cleaner air and less traffic. Not to mention chalk drawings and painted rocks to brighten your way. So, what’re you waiting for?