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Sweat Out a Pandemic

  • Sweat Out a Pandemic

    Sweat Out a Pandemic

    As gyms close their doors, people are buying up dumbbells and other exercise equipment like toilet paper.


    Like so many mundane experiences in a global pandemic, the way many Kenyans work out is about to change. Exercise is that rare private activity that often unfolds out in the open, on the gym floor and in studio classes and on sidewalks, where people can find community while staying comfortably anonymous. Even in these past few days, fitness instructors and studios have been coming up with new ways to stream classes and bring people together, but ultimately exercise is going to be that much more of an individual activity. We’re each going to have to sweat this one out on our own.

    To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.     

    Gene Tunney

    Even more than usual, we have a very good reason to exercise: Working out contributes to good health, which in turn helps us maintain sturdy immune systems. Making moves seems especially beneficial now, as people spend more time at home, far from the friends and family they usually see, and probably glued to the news. Exercise is well known for its mood-boosting abilities, and many of us could use a lift.


    Working out at home


    This setup has its advantages (convenience, relative privacy) and its disadvantages (your roommates or partner will see your weird workout faces). Fitness classes and gyms are popular for a reason—leaving the house to exercise can provide an extra boost of motivation and mental space, without which workouts sometimes just don’t happen. But people are preparing for a home-gym renaissance—as gyms around the country closed, dumbbells and other exercise equipment seem to become the new toilet paper, and Chandarana Foodplus and House Of Leather have started selling out of the equipment.

    If you have the space, work out in a different room than the one you sleep or work in. Setting the mood can help. Without the fear of cancellation fees or the guilt of bailing on a workout buddy, it might be easier to get away with skipping workouts. A recommendation is texting friends to say you’re starting a workout so you’re less likely to back out, or videochatting during exercise.

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