CLEVELAND — The pandemic has resulted in a number of changes to our lives and the way we stay healthy – particularly the gyms we use to exercise in. All of those changes may have resulted in some unintended consequences according to Exercise Physiologist Katie Lawton of the Cleveland Clinic.
"A lot of weight gain has impacted a lot of people within that 10-15 pound range. Eating has changed a little bit. Exercise has declined," Lawton said.
Lawton believes the struggle all comes down to motivation and access.
"The gyms have been closed and people trying to get the motivation to workout at home on their own has been a little bit of a struggle," she said.
The changes have inspired many to bring their workouts home. In fact, sales of at-home gym equipment are still soaring, and if you’re looking to get your rear in gear, Lawton has a a few simple steps to get you started.
"Don’t plan your exercise around your day," she said. "You need to also have a timeframe to say that 8 o'clock in the morning, I'm going to do some form of exercise."
If you’re thinking of investing in pricey equipment, Lawton says first evaluate what type of exercise you’re comfortable with.
"You have to figure out what your goals are to determine what type of space you’re going to need," she explained.
And she says, you don't have to shell out too much cash to start.
"You can still do bands and some light weights and whatever you’re comfortable with."
That's because, not all workouts require those expensive bikes or workout equipment either. Sometimes just doing full body workouts without equipment can be just as effective for weight loss.
And - now that the weather is starting to get nicer- don’t forget about what mother nature has given us for free!
"There’s great MetroParks around here they we can go for a hike or doing some sightseeing," Lawton suggested.
And - because COVID-19 has cancelled or postponed many of the big races- you may want to consider doing a virtual one.
"You sign up for a race and they kind of give you a deadline of a timeframe and you basically time yourself," Lawton said. "You’re left to the race on your own. So you’re picking a distance and you’re going and they’re giving you a date that they want you to complete the distance by."
But the bottom line? Know your limit. And Lawton says whatever you do, get active sooner than later. Either way, you’re never too old to get started.
You can find additional tips from Katie and the Cleveland Clinic here.
*Editor's Note: The video in the player above originally aired on February 1, 2021.