When the economy gets turned back on the rush for everyone to return at least the their daily routine will be driven by immense pressure to recoup lost income, start new jobs in a new place, moving, more pressure on workers to do more as the unemployment rate will be high having a job will feel like a luxury to employees and employers.
Thinking about this problem assumes we are all healthy and not afflicted by the disease itself. People recovering from weeks of illness not to mention post ICU syndrome where severe debilitation and months to years of physical therapy to regain even functional level of capacity is the realm that many thousands will have to deal with and their capacity to work, care for their families, will be significantly curtailed.
Those of us who are not afflicted by the illness but doing much less activity while being home is still a significant issue we need to understand and take action to stunt the negative effects of reduced activity level. Being quarantined at home is a significant loss of daily activity level. The average American walks 5,000 to 7,000 steps per day under normal circumstances, already below the common guidepost of 10,000 steps per day. It is easy to imagine many of us are getting far less than average while being forced to remain indoors not to mention gyms and public recreation spaces remain closed.
From the perspective of yearly cycles in activity and fitness, 2020 will be significantly down in terms of overall physical activity. No matter how motivated you tend to be your March, April, and probably May are going to be much less active than spring time of 2019. racing friends and I by this time last year had already completed 25 race days including two stage races of 10 hours of racing spread across 2-3 days. As races are canceled training options are curtailed, the weekly hours and intensity is significantly lower. This lack of peak in the annual wave of fitness highs and lows is going to have repercussions of fitness that will not bounce back the moment society is given the green light to turn back on. Your yearly training cycle is in reference to your lowest point, perhaps an off-season around November December and the peak race fitness in June or October. If we have a gaping hole of daily activity in the place of our year when we are typically most active, this could translate up to scale of performance to having lower peak performance for several seasons and on the injury and function side making us more prone to injury with life’s daily rigors. Peak race fitness is not important to most of the population and we all have to be ready for the rigors of day jobs, yard work, family care etc. having a stunted peak in your year will take months to rebuild to prior level.
Awareness of the degradation of basal activity level can be the starting point to make a plan to build up your daily activity gradually and making training program that slowly builds up your daily activity level. For those commuting to work via public transit or bikes, your normal commute is going to tax you if you are missing that mileage now. Atrophy of strength and endurance occurs after 3 weeks of decreased activity. Thus expecting your normal daily life to have higher perceived exertion or more time to complete tasks will help you not be caught off guard.
There are a number of options for body weight strengthening and conditioning available through our free classes, so make sure you are checking out our Facebook and Instagram for daily updates on our offerings. For guidance our PTs are helping people all day from a few clicks away build routines, find safe exercises, all while working within the circumstances you have available at home.
Preparing safely for your normal routine, leave the house, walk at commute distances to prepare, build and maintain a schedule and stick to it as if you were going to work.
All this is all predicated on adhering to social distances, not working out so hard that your immune system is compromised, sleep and the best nutrition you can adhere to will support you returning to normal work schedule with as little physical tax as possible. If we are prepared we can be ready. We are here to help you!