FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Starting a weight-loss journey can be a daunting task, a steep climb where it is hard to see the end-result from where one is standing.
For those that have set a new year’s resolution of losing weight or improving their fitness level, that task is even more complicated by the ongoing pandemic.
Gyms, usually an outlet for people to work towards that resolution, are considered high-risk areas for spreading COVID-19.
There are ways to reduce that risk, however.
Scott Charland, manager of human performance at Parkview Sports Medicine, recommends wearing a mask if you go to a gym. Masks are not required under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s mask mandate as long as you are able to socially distance. When wearing a mask at the gym, Charland recommends wearing one made from cotton material.
Wearing a mask while working out may not be the most comfortable for some people, especially if they in the early stages of a weight-loss journey. Charland understands there is an adjustment period and urges patience.
“Just like any exercise program that you’re going to be starting around the new year, start slow, work your way into it,” Charland said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So take your time and let your body get acclimated to wearing that mask.”
There are alternatives for those that are not comfortable with going to a gym at this time. A simple web search can yield several results for workouts that can be completed from home.
When working out from home, Charland recommends mixing in cardiovascular, strength and flexibility activities. Cardiovascular – any activity that pushes one’s heart rate – activities could include going on a walk or doing stair steps. Strength activities may include push-ups, sit-ups or air squats.
Group workouts that are hosted in gyms have also gone virtual. This is an option for people who need a trainer or coach to keep them accountable when exercising.
Regardless of one’s comfort level, anything is better than nothing. Charland points out that the health benefits of exercising do not come overnight. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, there are small ways for people to improve their physical fitness and work towards that new year’s resolution of losing weight.
“You’re really investing in your health when you participate in an exercise program.”