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Working Out During COVID Provides Its Own Challenges

Working Out During COVID Provides Its Own Challenges

The state of Connecticut has been on a full lockdown since mid-March, and many local gyms have remained closed to slow the spread. 

That’s about to change next week, when local fitness centers will be allowed to reopen during phase-two of the state’s plan to restart the economy. However, some may not feel comfortable going to back to the gym just yet, or are still looking for ways to get a workout in at home

The dreaded “quarantine 15” has been a phrase used to describe the potential weight gain people are experiencing during the statewide lockdown, and many are trying to find ways to stay active.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t really see the benefit of staying in shape and I was never involved in anything athletic in high school,” said crossfit trainer and nutrition coach Stephanie Zucker. “Once I made the mind shift to ‘wanting to get strong’, things fell into place for me.”

Zucker, a Cheshire High School graduate, has been training with crossfit since her senior year at CHS, and has now shifted into a more teaching role, allowing her to share her workout and nutrition tips and tricks with her clients.

At only 20 years old, Zucker was one of the youngest female coaches to complete the CrossFit training program, and began coaching at CrossFit Cheshire while she was in college. Since graduating, Zucker, now 24, has been hired to a permanent position at CrossFit Plainville where she serves double duty as trainer and nutrition coach. 

“I really want people to know that exercise is for everyone. Anyone can do CrossFit; most of my clients are much older than me, some with kids but, if they can do it, you can as well,” Zucker explained. 

During the COVID-19 crisis, Zucker’s work has shifted dramatically from facilitating strength training classes in the gym to now coaching her clients over Zoom. 

“It has certainly been a learning curve switching our classes online. Usually when I am training, I have a 360 view of what they are doing, over Zoom I can only see so much,” Zucker added. 

Zucker understands that this is a difficult time for many, but she has some tips she thinks could help those who are looking for a workout at home. 

“Luckily, you don’t have to be a member of a gym to get a good workout these days,” she began. “You can find a class on YouTube, and some gyms are even releasing workout videos for free. I like to tell my clients that they should focus the most on creating healthy habits, and don’t restrict anything.”

Zucker’s particular CrossFit gym also rents out equipment for their clients to use at home, something she recommends looking into for those who are lacking appropriate gym equipment. 

“If you don’t have weights that’s OK. You can use soup cans, bags of flour, whatever is around the house,” she added.

Zucker also advocates for variety in the workout itself, and to make sure people are keeping track of their progress regularly.

“Set alarms on your phone or watch to make sure you are getting those workouts in each day,” she continued. “And make sure you aren’t just doing, like, 20 burpees a day, every day. That is not only bad for your joints, but it gets boring and repetitive fast.”

Zucker also has a few solutions to intermittent snacking, which can become excessive when stuck indoors.

“I like to tell people that if they want to have a snack, they can, but they must eat it at the kitchen table,” she said. “Most of the time, people are eating because they are bored or want something mindless to do while they’re in front of the TV. If you make the conscious decision to sit at the kitchen table, you’ll likely eat less and be less inclined to binge.”

The most important thing, according to Zucker, is that whatever you do, you get up and move. 

“Even if you are stuck inside, you can do a lap around your living room or set an alarm and take breaks in your work day to do a few jumping jacks,” she advised.

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