Fitness regimens help reduce Covid pandemic stress

The stress caused by the pandemic has had different effects on everyone, but it can be particularly debilitating for Brian Harris. He suffers from Crohn’s disease. This is an inflammatory bowel disease that can burn under stress. The movement was the lifeline of Mr. Harris, 48 ​​years old. Husband Paul Villaflor intervened when the gym was temporarily closed in March and could not meet the personal trainer.

36-year-old Villaflor has a background in personal training, and in the early days of the pandemic, training was designed for couples to work together. “I had to be creative,” he says. “There was no weight, but there was a rowing machine and I was reluctant to work on my upper body.” Harris advises him to take time to exercise when he feels overwhelmed. Is called.

Harris is involved in the business development, mergers and acquisitions of San Antonio’s financial services company, and Villaflor has been instrumental in managing her husband’s stress for many years. “I’ve been working on average 70 to 80 hours since I was 28,” says Harris. “And if you need to get transactions across the finish line, 18-20 hours a day is standard.”

For years, he has moved his life at the pace of his work. “I wasn’t focused on eating and exercising well, and I suffered from results,” he says. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 17, Harris had three to four major episodes a year. As an adult, he was admitted to the hospital at least once a year. “I knew I had to change something,” he says.

Immediately after meeting Villa Flor in 2015, he consulted with a doctor who urged Harris to renew his diet. Villaflor, who worked in the retail business, quit her job to stay home full-time and worked with Harris’s Chief of Staff from food preparation to confirm that there were healthy options for lunch at work. Did. “At first I felt I needed a village to keep him healthy,” Villaflor jokes. “His diet was pretty strict, with no spices, no heavy dairy products, no roughage.”

Harris also hired a fitness regimen that included a 4:30 am training session at the gym five days a week. Dedication has paid off: he hasn’t rekindled since 2015, he says. An annual physical examination showed that he was gaining muscle mass. He was able to maintain his health throughout the pandemic. This year, doctors told him that his body age is 28, which is a measure of your age based on your level of health and fitness.

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Harris has been working from home since March, but continues to get up early. His alarm sounds at 3:30 am. By 4:15 am, he is on the yoga mat according to the various routines of the app DownDog. He then does an hour of strength training and spends a few days on each of the major muscle groups such as legs and chest. The couple bought a Peloton bike in July, and Harris is a 20-minute ab-class fan of the company.

He pays attention to stretching. He usually skipped when he was rushing out the door to commute. “Yoga and stretching have made a big difference in how I feel about my body,” he says. “I thought the big knot was normal, but now I realize that recovery is just as important as training.”

Harris on the left and his husband Paul Villaflor started playing tennis during the pandemic.

When Harris couldn’t see the trainer, Villaflor used the handle of the rowing machine to create a workout, shoulder lift, shoulder press, triceps extension, biceps curl, isolated. I created a resistor while doing a backpull. He uses the seats to exercise in a variety of ways, including Bulgarian split squats, knee tacks and pike. The two men put their hands on the seat and did push-ups, engaging the cores to prevent the seat from slipping. In late May, Harris and Villa Flor resumed a session with a personal trainer.

The couple started playing tennis during a pandemic and now instead of cycling for a couple of hours on weekends, they play tennis for up to six hours on a friend’s court. “This is another type of aerobic exercise,” says Harris. Cycling moves back and forth, but the lateral movement required for tennis is more functional, he says.

Men’s competitiveness helps each to remain responsible during the pandemic. “When I ride Peloton for 15 minutes and see him run for 20 minutes, I’ll be there for 20 minutes tomorrow,” says Villaflor. “And the harder he hits in tennis, the harder I hit. We are always trying to catch up with each other.”

After training in the San Antonio body gym, Harris and Villa Flor of the center will stretch.


Champion’s breakfast: Thomas’ plain bagel thin with egg white and turkey bacon.

Shopping routine: Villa Flor hasn’t been to a grocery store since March. He shop online and has curbside pickups at butchers and seafood stores. “I’m proud to procure the best ingredients,” he says.

snack: All-natural fig bar and homemade oatmeal balls.

Dinner ritual: “6 ounces of protein and sautéed or grilled vegetable side.”

can not touch: Fast food or processed food.

Splurge: Chocolate and lean meat. “If I eat lean meat more than once a week, my stomach gets sick and Paul gives me a look I know,” Harris says.

Harris had to review his diet and cut out the processed spicy food. Villa Flor is in charge of preparing meals.

Essential gear

Statistics tracking: “I can’t live without my Apple Watch. I record all my food in the MyFitnessPal app so that nutritionists can report foods that could cause problems for me,” Harris says.

Pandemic Outbreak: Peloton bike

clothes: Vuori and Lululemon

sneakers: on

playlist: Britney Spears

Harris acknowledges tennis for improving lateral movement on and off the court.

Prosper in a crisis

Zoom meetings, telecommuting orders, and homeschooling attempts for children working from home are just some of the stresses people are fighting caused by pandemics.

Cori Evans, Wellness Program Manager at the University of California, Berkeley, says mindfulness exercises help create space between you and your emotions. “If you find yourself overwhelmed, anxious, or obsessed with negative thoughts, try deep breathing, careful stretching, or progressive muscle relaxation,” she says. ..

According to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, building quality connections with others, even with the simple gesture of writing a letter, creates positive emotions and makes us prosper in times of crisis. It helps to do that, says Evans. She says it’s important to stay outdoors, even when the temperature drops. “Whether you’re in the backyard, on the balcony or on the patio, you don’t have to go far to connect with nature,” she says.

If you’re unmotivated, hire an accountable companion so you can keep going, she says. As the holidays approach, it’s a great opportunity to explore your creative side through crafts and cooking. “Research shows that creative activities help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and lead a more balanced life,” says Evans.

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Fitness regimens help reduce Covid pandemic stress

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