“Does Worrying Count As Exercise?”

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Yesterday Connecticut’s governor joined with the governors of our adjacent states, New York and New Jersey, in closing all gyms, movie theaters, casinos, restaurants, bars and grills. The only activity that I had been participating in–the gym– was now off limits to me. I actually had already stopped going last week since I am in the high risk category for the virus because of my age.

Worrying, despite how frequently I find myself doing it, apparently is a poor substitute for physical activity. Throughout my life I have held a superstitious belief that worry  prevents disaster. In fact, my husband used to tease me after something I had fretted about didn’t happen by saying “see, your worrying paid off.” But all the old adages are true that worrying produces nothing positive and harms rather than helps my health.

Fortunately the trainer from my gym was able to develop a routine to continue exercising at home. I sent him photos of possible substitutes for equipment we normally use. My kitchen counter is the right height for the pushups I had been doing. The wall is perfect for wall slides and wall sits. A set of bands I have can be anchored in a closed door and allow many upper body strength building movements. The stairs are a perfect substitute for the platforms I work with.

I plan to do this routine three times a week until I am able to return to the gym. If I am home for an extended period(highly likely)he will send a slightly harder routine in six weeks. I worked very hard to gain the muscle mass and strength that I had lost over the years, and I don’t want to lose it.

Of course there is no substitute for the warm welcoming group of friends I know at the gym. I miss them and the staff. I know there are many people facing much more dire circumstances than mine at the moment. Still I wanted to share one way I am coping with being “sheltered in place.”

36 thoughts on ““Does Worrying Count As Exercise?”

  1. I am right on your side, Elizabeth, with rather less rigorous exercise, but exercises I have been doing at my class. But I already miss the banter….

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  2. Wow! This is my life, too, Elizabeth. Exercise has been such a big part of my life for the past three years. I make it to the gym 4-5 days per week, and it is part of my routine now. I’m stronger, shed quite a few unneeded pounds, and I generally feel better. Today I felt kind of worn down and decided not to go. The schools all closed this week, so maybe it’s only a matter of time for the gyms. I already miss human interaction as we’ve been staying more at home.

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  3. I have a home exercise routine first thing each morning involving 2x 5kg dumbells, planks, push ups and stretches. It takes less than 10 minutes but it can be hard to keep motivated. I manage by doing it at the same time and reminding myself that to miss is the start of the slippery slope. Even so, some days I have been known to skimp (“just 3 sit-ups instead of 5”). I also think I keep to it because it built up slowly over several years – I started with the weights and the other exercises were gradually added. I’m no longer trying to build up to anything, just not to get any worse.

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  4. You are doing well to be motivated enough to do that at home. But I can’t help thinking you should get a dog instead, Compulsory long walks in all weathers, and meeting lots of new dog-walking friends. (Waving from a distance at the moment.) 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. If worry counted as exercise I would be fit as a fiddle! Seriously, good for you for maintaining your exercise program. Your post inspired me to get out and walk today – safely at the park where few others were out. 🙂

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  6. Great post, Elizabeth. I am still in a major flux of restructuring school and how to do things online. So, cleaning house, cooking and exercising is waiting. 🙂

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  7. In this time of COVID 19, let’s pray, pray, pray. You’re right to limit yourself in going out. I read somewhere that the strain has mutated, it could live on air for three hours.

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  8. I think it qualifies. If not we can drop back to the “I didn’t sleep well last night, but I did get in several good hours of worrying”.

    Roll with the punches. Just make sure the ground is clean before you roll!

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  9. It’s great to find that you have found a way around to keep exercising. It is better that worrying. I would suggest laughing instead. If I laugh and clap at my loudest continuously for an hour, my neighbours will get me out of here in no time and even if only to cart me away to a Psychologist or a Maulvi (muslim preacher) for treatment. I haven’t reached that level of insanity yet, though my daughter, whom I could not admit to school this year because of virus, is working at it.

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  10. Our Stay Fit class has closed as well. There are several active cases in our community so our whole town is shut down and our governor today just put the whole state of Illinois on “shelter in place” status. So Pete and I are chilling and eating lots of comfort food.

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