Being active is a key approach to combat stress, and finding creative ways to stay on top of fitness goals is more important than ever. West Point Grey residents Jeff Boyd, a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer, and his partner Sydney Schnell, a physiotherapist, both frequented West Point Grey Community Centre before the COVID-19 outbreak. These days, they’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle at home and in their neighbourhood. Jeff shares their experience and some tips on staying active while physical distancing measures are in place.
1. How has your fitness routine changed?
These times have certainly shifted a lot of our patterns, but we are doing our best to make sure we stay active. We have taken an approach of doing 30-minute workouts so that we are able to do a little of something every day – whether that is a walk or jog in the forests and the beach near our house, or a workout session in our living room. Thirty minutes are over before you know it!
2. Have you transferred some of your West Point Grey CC routines to your home?
One of the things that I really enjoy about West Point Grey CC is that it is not as large and impersonal as the chain gyms nearby. However, that means that when there are lots of people taking advantage of the Fitness Centre, I get to practice my improvisation skills. For example, if someone is using the rowing or cable machines, as an alternative I’ll take my exercise bands and attach them to a machine not being used. That way I get my workout in! Now that gyms are closed, we have to make do with what we have.
3. What other innovative fitness approaches are you exploring?
We know that moving is an important part of resolving the body’s stress cycles, and a key to physical and mental wellbeing. So it’s time to get creative with what we have on hand.
- Move while listening to a podcast or your favourite music, or while talking on the phone with a friend.
- Repurpose what you have in your home. For example, water bottles can double as hand weights.
- For similar resistance to what you would get using a leg press machine, put a bunch of soup cans in a backpack and do some squats.
- To make sure you don’t get too lost binge watching your new favourite show, set a 30 minute timer to notify you when to get up and stretch, move, etc. for a few minutes.
- Take deep breaths; it’s good preventative medicine.
- Take advantage of the flood of online resources out there, including teachers and trainers that have moved their services online.
- Get some fresh air, whether going for a stroll, jog or bike ride.
4. What online platforms and resources do you tap into?
I have been taking advantage of Instagram a lot lately. Many teachers and trainers are posting workouts, whether as live streams or workout descriptions. There is lots out there: from Tai Chi to pilates, dance, yoga and strength training. I personally run free 30-minute body weight workouts on Instagram, and several students have told me that they are taking my classes with friends using the group calls feature on Zoom.
5. What online classes are you currently offering?
I make available free Instagram Live strength workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting at 9:30 a.m., and a Hatha Yoga class on Thursdays starting at 10:30 a.m. These classes are meant to be accessible to all levels and people of differing abilities. I give lots of options to make the workouts easier or harder. All you need is a place in your home to move. I’ve also been doing meetings on Zoom with my personal training clients to help them figure out home-based routines. People can reach out to me through my website, jeffboydyoga.com.