The pandemic of COVID-19 appears to have affected daily routines and behaviors, leading to a shift in how people approach fitness? This summer’s health crisis in the United States –
when people moved back to work and social affairs and everything went back to how it was pre-pandemic –
Exercised While You Worked Remotely? Here Are Ways To Stay Fit After You Return To Work
seems to have spurred some who had been least physically active to embrace fitness.
Influence of the pandemic on exercise behaviors
Survey respondents were 2,494 people who worked remotely during the pandemic and were asked about their exercise habits before returning to work and afterward. In a survey of 1,049 office workers, so far 59.52 percent of respondents who had previously deemed themselves non-exercisers are currently exercising on average 2.64 times per week.
Exercise frequency was increased by 125.93 percent among people who exercise one to two times each week, and by 38.57 percent among those who exercise three times or more each week. When they went back to traditional work schedules, those who exercised the most – four or more times per week – did so at a reduction of 14.16 percent.
As RunRepeat’s fitness research chief, Nick Rizzo told Healthline that he had not expected to see such an increasing rise in exercise frequency among those who had not been active before the flu pandemic.
According to him, the return of normalcy at work provided a sense of self-relevance and helped people adopt healthy habits. He suggested that this could have deterred people from having a regular fitness routine, but that this current pandemic phase, while still uncertain, could give the exercise-averse some sense of direction.
It is possible that for the most active individuals exercising four times a week or more dropping off in their exercise frequency might have something to do with having a more traditional work schedule, making it harder to maintain that high level of activity frequency.
Over the past year, the heavy workload that characterized the pandemic’s height made it easy for these individuals to attend four or more exercise sessions each week. With an increase in rigid work schedules, including in-person meetings and commutes back to the office, it can be more difficult to achieve a better work-life balance.
Maintaining a new exercise routine
Fitness physiologist Kaitlyn Baird, MA, told Healthline that as gyms and fitness studios reopen, more and more people are getting up on the treadmill or going outdoors to exercise.
As far as those who weren’t as active before the pandemic goes, Baird says that anecdotal evidence seems to support the survey data. Virtual fitness programs for people who are indoors have provided a door for people to engage in physical activity they may not have previously considered.
It might be challenging for new exercise adopters to adhere to their new behaviors during this period. As hard as it is to maintain a new behavior when you return to the grind of work, how easy or difficult is it to start a new routine? Rizzo said people find it difficult to adopt and maintain new behaviors as a regular part of their lives.
To maintain a new lifestyle they might be adopting now that they’re heading back to the workplace, Baird said they have to adapt their fitness strategy a little. Ava Baird suggested that people must “like” what they do to keep them consistent. You can adopt new activities or incorporate them into your life and sustain your behavior. It does not have to be an effort.
It is fair to say that we can all agree that it has been a very emotionally taxing experience as a result of this pandemic. She emphasized that exercising can improve one’s mood, cognitive function, sense of well-being, and energy.
The first step should be to do less strenuous exercises and to progress slowly, according to Baird. In addition, incorporate movement into your daily routine. You should walk rather than drive to a store or see a friend if you can do so safely. Workout buddies can also be a good way to motivate yourself to do something new every day.
For motivation, she says you can use a fitness app to keep track of your activity levels. Most apps reward you as you go, with gold stars at the end of the week. Who wouldn’t want a gold star at the end of the week? she said. Taking a new activity now can be a great opportunity to try something new because most classes are outside or smaller, she added.
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