Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Working Out the Stress

Posted 05/15/2020 by Madelyn Staples

Competitive gymnast Madysen Bradley taking her daily workout to a new level. photo courtesy of Madysen Bradley

During this troubling and unsettling time, several people have taken this extended break to begin or continue their fitness journey.

Thousands of athletes have had their seasons, games, and training cancelled this spring. These athletes and many others are experimenting with at home workouts. Of course, the workouts are not the same as in person, but workout experts are lending a hand to beginners who are using this time to work on themselves. Many have taken up running or jogging because it is simple and always a great workout. There are so many workouts that bodies of all shapes and sizes can do. 

This time has been especially hard on athletes, and they have had to adapt to their resources in order to keep in shape. Junior Madysen Bradley is a level 10 gymnast and usually works out for 30 hours a week. Bradley has of course had a difficult time trying to mimic her normal workouts, but is continuing to be positive and try new things. “One of the newer things that I am doing is CrossFit. This is something that I am so grateful for because it has given me a way to push myself in new ways. This type of activity with heavy weights and new movements has worked and shaped my muscles in a different way than ever before and I can feel a difference in my strength.” Bradley, like many other athletes, encourages everyone to use this time to their advantage and work on themselves. Working out can be a lot more than just a way to lose fat or gain muscle. For many, working out is a hobby and is a fantastic way to relieve stress. 

 The beginning of working out is always considered the most challenging part; however, trainers across the country are leading creative virtual workouts to make this beginning easier. Workout pros like TJ’s own senior Grace Alexander stressed, “First set a SMALL goal; not like ‘I’m gonna lose 20 pounds,’ Maybe start with ‘I’m gonna lose 5 pounds,’ and make sure you mentally are in a good place to workout…You should want to workout. That is key.” Alexander also encourages beginners to start off with simpler exercises like yoga and jogging, which will ease the body into more difficult exercises. Junior Avery Shunneson, who is a tri-athlete, suggests this workout for people of all sizes: three sets of “20 pushups with your hands close together, 10 pull-ups, 25 sit-ups, 20 body weight squats, 12 each leg lunges, 20 pushups with your hands far apart.” 

Working out is also supposed to be something one can find pleasure in, not something that causes stress.. Making sure that you are in the right mindset for exercising is very important. In order to make working out more enjoyable, try listening to some music or try watching something when working out to distract yourself. Many also choose workouts like Zumba, which is a type of dance exercise like modern jazzercise. Zumba takes all of the cardio benefits from dancing, and the teachers create dances that match upbeat songs. Zumba is great for everyone, especially for those who do not find pleasure in the textbook version of working out. There are several workouts for everyone that like Zumba, take key aspects from average workouts and turn them into something a lot more amusing. There are so many trainers now who are offering a wide variety of workouts on YouTube. Favorites include 10 minute workouts, Zumba, yoga, and many others that everyone is sure to enjoy. 

Staying active during this time should be a priority for everyone.. The majority of society is pretty stressed out at the moment, and working out with fun exercises can boost confidence and most importantly, act as a distraction for all that is going on. Make sure to find something that is unique and personal to make exercising more enjoyable. Most importantly, have fun while we all have an abundance of time. Stay positive and stay active.