Exercise is an Essential Activity

By Lisa Arthur

YLD Division Director and avid runner

If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling a lot of things right now. Uncertainty is now the new normal, and lawyers are not the best with uncertainty. So how are you coping with the new normal?

Let me make a suggestion: exercise.

In the midst of a great respiratory pandemic, why not exercise your lungs? I don’t know if there is any science linking exercise to better chances at handling COVID-19, but I can tell you from personal experience that it has helped me to keep my sanity.

As an initial disclaimer, my post is going to be about one of my loves: running. If running isn’t for you, that’s OK. You do you! Just substitute running with an activity of your choice (cycling, walking, jump rope, CrossFit, HIIT, Tabata, yoga, barre, etc.), so these tips can still be applicable to you.

Like many of you, COVID-19 has significantly disrupted my normal schedule in more ways than one. I spend most of my free time working out with a running group in Greensboro called RunnerDude’s Fitness. Founded by Thad McLaurin, this group offers training programs for runners. This group has also offered me an amazing group of friends. So once COVID-19 cancelled my running workouts and social group, I knew I needed to think about how I was going to get through this. Here are some things that I have been doing:

  1. Regularly working out. Exercise allows you to burn off the anxiety you are feeling and the additional stressors that your life is now facing. If Andrew Fauci can run 3.5 miles a day while figuring out how to solve the COVID-19 pandemic, we can too.
  2. Working out with one other person at least twice a week. I miss my running friends! Workout with a close friend—either virtually or physically together (at least 6 feet apart).
  3. Picking a time to work out and sticking to it. Put working out into your daily routine. It will probably feel refreshing to have some routine in your schedule anyway.
  4. Taking advantage of the additional time. Most of us have been given additional time in our days without having to commute or get ready for work. Use it!
  5. Trying a free online program. If you’re nervous about starting a new workout, try an online workout in the comfort of your own home. Try one of the workouts available through SweatNET.
  6. Going outside. If you can, workout outside. If all else fails, you will get a good dose of vitamin D.

Another great way to get motivated is to join our Strava club, the “NCBA YLD COVID-19 Wellness Club.” Let’s support each other through this!