220 in 2020 · covid19 · fitness · habits

Are you working out more or less often in pandemic times? Sam is on Team More

Woohoo! I hit 220 workouts in the year 2020 yesterday. That was my goal for the year. And here we are just past the halfway mark for the year. Weird times. Cate also made it to 220 this month and Tracy was there exactly a month earlier. Wow.

What was my 220th workout? A lunchtime TRX all body circuit.

TRX exercises, https://exercisewalls.blogspot.com/2006/07/trx-exercises-gif.html

It hasn’t always been this easy.

In 2017 I was worried I’d make it to 217. I even invoked the Mighty Penguin of Determination.

In 2018 I made it to 218 workouts with a week to spare.

In 2019, I counted my 219th workout in September!

Bitmoji Sam, Go Me!

And now in 2020, I’m way ahead of my goal. So clearly I’m working out more consistently. Like Cate, I find moving is a pretty central habit now. I don’t much think about it. I just do it.

What am I doing?

Here at home I walk Cheddar the dog in the morning before my knee gets sore. At lunch I do resistance training with bands, or I use the TRX or the kettlebell. At night I’m riding my bike on Zwift or doing Yoga With Adriene. On the weekends, I’m riding outside some.

But the thing is, I don’t think it’s just that over the years of counting workouts, I’ve succeeded in making it a habit. That’s true. I’m not discounting that. It’s not the only thing though. There are also pandemic related reasons I’m working out so much.

It gives me a mental break from doomscrolling (my fave new word/phrase). By the way, here are some tips to help stop that habit. It helps me sleep. Exercise helps my moods. It’s a thing I can do when I feel like I can’t do much else. And more than all of that, exercise now structures my time and bookends my day. I’ve never worked at home before and it’s all a big blur of work and leisure but workouts mark the beginning and end and midpoints of my pandemic days.

In the article Here’s Why Many of Us are Exercising A Whole Lot More Right Now one of the reasons cited is exactly my reason, that it gives structure to our days. But they also go over some others.

Cyclists and runners are all running more, especially casual runners.

People who already ran one, two or three times a week before the pandemic all said they were running more now. The biggest increase was among those who previously ran only once a week, who now report running just over three times a week, on average.” (From Will Pandemic-Induced Jogging Create A New Generation of Runners?)

Interestingly, serious runners are running less. People who in the past ran four or five times a week are running less. Why? The main reason that people give is that there are no big events, no races, no marathons to train for.

We’re all everyday exercisers now. Casual athletes are working out more and serious athletes are working out less.

See you at the path along the river! I’ll be the one walking the happy golden dog.

7 thoughts on “Are you working out more or less often in pandemic times? Sam is on Team More

  1. I wish I was on Team More! However, I’m not teaching right now which is usually a good 6-8 hours of training I get in a week. And my mileage dropped off with the 5 weeks of bronchitis I had back in February/March, my 1/2 marathon being canceled, and not real prospects for what to train for. What I am doing is being more mindful and intentional about my exercise.

    1. HI there– the teaching drop-off has got to be a major change, and not for the better. Sorry to hear it. When mindfulness is what we can do, that’s a good thing!

  2. Way less.
    I had 2 weeks with 4 hours of yoga a day. I loved them
    I keep trying to get a regular routine going and fail miserably. I can’t quite figure out why…it just never feels the right time.

    I return to my office in 2 weeks. I’m hoping I can starts routine for right when I get home.


    1. HI Anne– I’m sorry you’re struggling with movement and inertia. So am I (my followup post talks about it). You know all about hardship and the need to be gentle when times are tough (I love your writing about this). It will pass for all of us, and I’m always hopeful about potential for new routines and patterns. Take care– catherine

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