Like many of you, I’ve dedicated a lot of hours to staying healthy over the past few years. I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat (but not TOO many tears) into workouts and trying to eat healthily.
How do we maintain the health and physical gains we have worked so hard for during a time when many of us find extra time on our hands and the temptation to eat poorly is upon us? In my last segment, I spoke to local gym owners on how we can stay fit when we can’t go to the gym. This time around, we will be exploring using the outdoors and maintaining healthy eating habits.
Jeremy Kitts, former Scioto County resident now living in Chillicothe, says that Mother Nature is his gym. Kitts, Who has been actively competing in combat sports since 2004 including boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, and turned pro in MMA in 2010, is a Functional Integrated Training instructor where he helps people improve their physical and mental health through exercises in which the benefits translate very well into everyday life.
Kitts states, “I think one of the more important factors of staying fit during this shut down is to establish a new routine. Our schedules have changed and in many cases are offering a lot of downtime, which in my eyes has become a fork in the road. At this fork, you must decide if you’re going to give up or give it your all. With this new schedule, it can be easy to just sit around and shove food into your face all day out of boredom. Although both are crucially important, in my eyes and for this situation, most people will need to establish a proper nutrition plan more so than a fitness plan.”
He also added, “If you find yourself frequently wandering to the kitchen, you must first ask yourself if you’ve earned this snack and if you don’t think you have, then bust out some squats, push-ups, or jumping jacks or anything to get your heart rate up to ensure that you’ve burned off the previous snack before consuming another.”
Michael Longmire, founder of CrossFit Dreamland in Portsmouth, also stressed the importance of good nutrition at this time when we may not be getting our usual fitness regimens. Longmire explained, “Boredom is going to be an overall enemy, so don’t eat out of boredom. That’s usually when bad choices are made. A great goal would be to try to consume 800 grams of fruit and vegetables every day.
Like Kitts, Longmire emphasized the importance of routine. “Stay with a routine – if at all possible workout at the same time every day. Set your phone timer,” Longmire said.
Also acknowledging that times are different in fitness, Andrew Cline of the Life Center’s CrossFit Alpha Pack, says that we still need a routine. The Alpha Pack’s leader since 2013 and USAW Weightlifting /ISSA Nutritionist and Personal Trainer stated, “The best advice I could give at the moment would be to not let this set you back. If you’re lacking equipment you can make up for it with bodyweight exercises.”
Cline supports interval training as well. “Add tempo and pauses to those movements to spice up them up.” Interval training has been touted by Mayo Clinic as being highly effective in building cardio strength, especially in individuals over 55. (That would be the guy writing this article). Cline stresses, “This would be a great time to work on cardio as well. Set small goals daily and try to keep a routine as much as possible.”
I also spoke with Dale King, of PSKC, the area’s oldest CrossFit affiliate. PSKC has held one of the Tri-State’s largest outdoor fitness competitions for the past ten years. King told me, “The one place that is still open is the OUTDOORS! The best way to beat the” ‘Rona blues” is to get some fresh air coupled with some exercise. Fortunately, we live in an area surrounded by natural beauty and these areas are prime spots for fitness as well.”
King, along with Jeremy Kitts, Michael Longmire, and Andrew Cline, also believes nutrition is a key to getting by during this time. “Eat as many whole foods as you can and drink lots of water.”
So a common theme that we see from these gentlemen is that we need to eat healthily and get outside as often as you can- from a safe social distance.