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Exercise & The COVID-19 Outbreak

Exercise & The COVID-19 Outbreak
Michelle T. Thompson, Esq., CFP®, CTFA, CDFA®
May 11, 2020

As most everyone can attest, things are different right now!  Dining out hasn’t been an option until recently, seeing a movie in a theater seems risky, and going to the gym seems wrought with potential coronavirus exposure.  For those of us who enjoy exercising, we’ve had to change our routines to adhere to “stay at home” orders and social/physical distancing.  We’ve needed unique ways to maintain our exercise regimen. Thankfully, there are great alternatives to a public gym and I’d like to share a few of those options with you.

The first exercise alternative is an “old-school” option that is tried and true!  Make a space in your home to stash some dumbbells or resistance bands and voila’ – you have an at-home gym.  My at-home gym was converted from an unfinished room in our basement (we sheet-rocked, painted, and installed gym flooring, which we ordered from Amazon).  We then went to Play-It-Again sports and loaded up on weight equipment for a fraction of the price, including dumbbells, a squat rack and weight racks to keep things organized.  But weights are not a requirement to get a good workout at home.  There are always jumping-jacks, squats, planks, push-ups, and other body weight exercises to get your blood flowing.  No equipment required!  All that’s needed is a willingness to get started.

For those interested in the fitness technology options, I’ve got a couple to share.  First is my absolute favorite piece of equipment: my Peloton bike.  I was an “early adopter” of Peloton as my bike was delivered in the spring of 2013.  Back in those days, it was simply an on-line spin class.  Today, the content is vast and only requires the Peloton digital membership (a $12.99/month subscription fee) to access – no bike needed.  As a digital member, the Peloton app grants access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, including walking, running, yoga, stretching, body weight strength classes, meditation, and cardio classes.  Peloton has, in the last couple of years, released a treadmill that is top-notch and includes guided walking and running classes, boot camps, virtual tours of amazing sites in far-flung destinations like New Zealand, Italy, and Africa (for those of you with unquenched wanderlust due to the global pandemic).  Not only is the equipment and content superior to most, there is a real sense of community among Peloton members.  Many friends and neighbors are members and we’re able to connect, encourage, and congratulate each other on our hard work and milestone achievements.  I’ve also had the opportunity to “work out with” pro athletes such as the PGA’s Rory McIlroy, the NFL’s Patrick Mahomes, and the ATP’s Roger Federer – all amazing and inspirational athletes.  So, I highly recommend Peloton – whether you get the bike, treadmill, or just the app – the experience is amazing!

The second piece of fitness tech I wanted to share is called Tonal.  Weird name, but a cool piece of equipment.  My neighbor has a Tonal and, pre-coronavirus outbreak, invited me over to check out how it works.  First off, it’s very sleek and compact in nature.  Tonal is approximately 2’ wide and 4’ high, it’s anchored to a wall, and resembles a mirror until it’s turned on.  Tonal is a weight training system that uses electro-magnetic to derive over 200 lbs. of weight resistance.  This compact machine replaces the need for weights and bulky gym equipment, while providing hundreds of different strength training moves.  Tonal is akin to having dozens of pieces of equipment AND a trainer – all in one.  It provides personalized training instruction based on your fitness level and goals, tracks workout and strength progression, and can “sense” the best weight/resistance level based on recorded metrics.  Tonal calls this technology “Coach A.I.”  Coach A.I. detects when you’re struggling through a set and will adjust the resistance level accordingly.  Us old-school gym rats call that “a spot.”  Tonal also offers advanced weight training modes like burnout (automatically reducing weight during a high-rep set) and eccentric (focusing on the resistance on the lengthening portion of a rep) to further your level of fitness and strength.

With these in-home exercise options, why risk a trip to the gym?  And, when things “get back to normal,” think of all the time you’ll save by not having to pack your gym bag and sit in traffic.  And, if you’re like me, there’s nothing more frustrating than getting to the gym only to discover I’ve forgotten my sneakers or headphones.  Everything I need to stay fit is right here at home!  If you have any favorite equipment tips you’d like to share or questions about Peloton or Tonal, please reach out – I’d be delighted to talk workout (or wealth management) ideas with you.  My email is [email protected] and direct line is 678-282-0296. Stay well!


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