As we work to uncover the best ways to make these COVID lemons into lemonade, let’s take a look at what some bright minds have been doing when it comes to their fitness & health in 2020 to give them an edge.
The theme we’re running this through is to identify “innovations and shifts” from the norm that the challenges in life (ie COVID) can bring about.
Here are real-life actions Founders, CEOs, and thinkers from the US & around the globe have plugged into their lives, over the past 10 months, to create real-life results. Check these out…
CEO, Julie Wald, wellness expert and author of the Amazon #1 best-selling book Inner Wealth: How Wellness Heals, Nurtures and Optimizes Ultra-Successful People.
Tip: Buy workout apparel that makes you feel good in your skin!
Yes, that’s right, we’re telling people to do a little retail therapy. A survey done by Barbell Apparel of 2,000 regular gym goers found that 9 out of 10 people feel motivated to break a sweat just by putting on their workout gear.
For 79 percent of people, owning “good” gym clothes is a crucial step toward meeting their fitness goals. Thus, what you wear to move your body is proven to have a significant impact on motivation and self-image.
Certified mental performance consultant and executive of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, Angie Fifer affirms this fact, “When we look good, we feel good.”
Founder of Namaste Wellness & Best Selling Author
New York, NY
I think it can be an innate reflex to feel guilty, at times, when we dig our attire but clearly, it can make a difference and be that extra nudge we need to get active! Good stuff, Julie!
Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Movement, proper nutrition, and a quick daily dose of de-stressing/positive
thinking provides your fuel. Every day you must think how am I going to
power up so I can pour out and supply all the tasks and people around me.
Exercise, clean fuel, and a sharp mind then become not just a suggestion
but a requirement to thrive.
1. Spend 2 minutes thinking about all things you are grateful for. One can
not be stressed and grateful at the same time. This sets the tone for the
2. Get 10-20 minutes of high-intensity exercise. The higher the intensity
the more energy the power plant will get.
3. Prepare your mind during exercise by listening to an entrepreneurial
podcast or an audiobook. (Protip: listen on 1.5 or 2x speed to take in more
4. Eat no or a light breakfast. Try just having green juice or a
bulletproof coffee to fuel your body with rocket fuel to start the day.
Go make it a great day, you might as well because you will never get it
Owner and CEO of Dr. Livingood
Cary, North Carolina
What I have found to be helpful for my wellness, performance, and overall well being is carving out time in the morning for myself before jumping into my workday.
I don’t have a strict morning routine, but typically I naturally wake up around 6 or 7 AM. I like to spend the first hour after waking up in my bed. I take time to think and reflect, relax, and drink a cup of coffee.
I typically reach for my phone to check if any emergencies require my instant attention after I have taken the time to myself. If everything is under control, I spend some time reading the news on my phone, followed by analyzing what requires my attention the most within my company.
I like to set my focus on one big task a day, something that is significant enough that will measurably push my business forward within that one day.
Overall, I think the time that I dedicate to thinking and reflecting is what helps to keep me grounded and focused, which leads to more productivity and efficiency.
CEO & Co-Founder of Boundery
During COVID, mindfulness has been an important aspect of my own growth. To truly be able to sit with yourself and learn what your body needs is key to all success. I schedule time in my calendar every day for my health and wellness routines.
Each morning I have time for meditation, journaling, exercise, and my supplement routine. Having time scheduled has been helpful amidst all the chaos of the Pandemic because if it’s not on the schedule, it doesn’t happen. Find a time of day that works for you and make sure to set that time consistently for yourself.
Early mornings are recommended since it helps to set your intention for the day. My best tip is to set a timer for your supplement regimen and wellness routines until it’s second nature.
Co-Founder at ASYSTEM
Los Angeles, California
I switched to home workouts now and started focusing on my mental health too. I stopped checking social media every morning and started journaling instead.
I let myself breathe through writing and noticed I have more control over my emotions since practicing it.
Co-Founder of Happiness Without
The checking social media note caught my eye, Valentina. Never a problem for me of course but good for others. Haha.Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
One of the best ways that I found to stay healthy in 2020 was switching to a vegan diet. I’ve managed to stay fit and with a strong immune system all year long by eating healthier, natural food packed with nutrients and vitamins on a daily basis.
It’s a great hack for staying in shape, since you can totally overeat vegan food without worrying about adding more pounds!
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
My number 1 health hack is to habit stack! So what is one thing in your day that you couldn’t live without?
For example, if you get into bed but realize you didn’t brush your teeth would you get out and brush it? Yes! Ok, so then find a new healthy habit and start doing it after or before you brush your teeth.
That way if you want to stretch for 5 minutes, you start doing it after you brush your teeth. You will always build more success when you attach the new habit to what is already more successful.
San Luis Obispo
I love this “habit stack” idea. Find what is already working in your day-to-day life then model it & replicate it. Excellent strategy, Paden!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
My #1 fitness tip is that you don’t necessarily need to go to the gym to stay in shape. Running outside or following a fitness YouTube video can be just as good for your health as a session in the gym.
Personal & wellness blogger
I think the best tip for health and fitness for surviving 2020 is to take action, get started, and be consistent. This has been a really weird year, it doesn’t feel like real life, the entire year has felt almost like a snow day where you’re supposed to just cozy up in the house and do nothing.
I think many people are struggling to stay active, to stay focused on their goals whether those be health, life or career goals. I think the best thing people can do is keep a positive mindset and stay productive.
Digital Marketing Lead
Try Turtle-in-the-Shell, a yoga for your hands technique that promotes a sense of safety security and stillness.
Make soft fists by folding your fingers (the turtle’s shell) over your thumbs, rest your fists on your thighs with the back of your hands facing up. Hold for two minutes or longer if you are comfortable.
M.A., Certified Yoga Therapist
Find ways to exercise–LIVE…With a real human: I started following every NYC gym, lifestyle and fitness brand I could think of on Instagram and while working from home, whenever a free live IG class starts, I’ll pop up and workout for a bit.
Most of these classes are recorded so can be done at a later time but there’s something nice about the energy and knowing you’re in this with someone else in real time… It’s also a nice break from my entrepreneurial grind and I’m getting in a workout throughout the entire day
If working from home, my number one fitness hack is to treat your home like an olympic stadium. Have you put the kettle on? Do some slanted press ups on the kitchen counter until you hear the boil. Need to do the vacuuming? Set yourself a time limit to finish the task to get that heart rate racing. Turn your daily routines into fun exercises.
Senior Employment Advisor, Velvet Jobs
Los Angeles, CA
One of my biggest tips is having a well-stocked pantry/freezer of healthy easy to make foods to minimize your trips to the grocery store. I even wrote a cookbook on this topic during the heart of quarantine called “Let’s Dine IN: Healthy Recipes & Tips To Minimize Your Shopping Trips.” available on my website and Amazon. Another health tip I’ve been touting is to keep your immunity boosted through diet and supplementation, specifically loading up on Zinc plus Vitamins D and C.
Melissa Eboli AKA Chef Via Melissa
Culinary Nutrition Expert (CNE)
New York, NY
With 3 kids & a needy dog;)…Anything that minimizes our running back/forth to the store is a Win in my book!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Whenever you feel like overeating, you can get into the new and consciousness-raising habit of asking yourself this one simple question:
“Is it my body that is hungry – or my soul?”
Then you are suddenly freed to think about what you can do that very moment to feed your genuinely hungry soul.
It might be stepping outside to feel the cool, brisk air on your face, turning on music to stretch and dance, or texting someone who may be feeling lonely. Whatever fills your soul works because you are providing a more lasting pleasure. Try it once, and amazingly, you will discover that the big bag of potato chips stops calling your name so loudly.
Bracha Goetz, MA
Harvard-educated author of 39 books
I like to find a clear space outside (adequately distanced from others), tilt my nose upwards towards the sky, and breathe deep.
Performing 10 minutes of this clears the lungs, improves oxygen exchange, recharges my body, and stretches out my “tech neck” all at the same time!
Dylan Jawahir, L.Ac., L.M.T.
CEO & Founder of Battle Balm
San Diego, California
The easiest way to sneak in exercise is to throw on some ankle weights and do leg lifts under the desk while on Zoom calls.
If you’re on Zoom calls where you don’t need to do much talking, put yourself on mute, strap on some ankle weights under the desk, and do straight leg lifts in sets of 10.
You may not break a sweat, and it doesn’t seem like much, but believe me, your legs and abs will feel it the next day.
CEO, Test Prep Insight
The idea of “finding any way” to get active is a great seed to plant. This crushes the nemesis of getting active…”I don’t have time!”;)Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
When in doubt — dance! In the kitchen, in the garage, around your desk.
Crank up your favorite guilty-pleasure playlist and let loose for one blood-pumping, mood-boosting song. Or dance until you sweat; nobody’s watching.
Realtor & Founder, Kindred SF Homes
San Francisco, CA
My health tip is to run! Here’s why running was the exercise of 2020. It’s relatively inexpensive (at least for beginners), it helps with weight management and it helps to maintain mental health.
My tip is to get into your running gear before your workday is over, or immediately after you’ve powered off the laptop. You’ll be more inclined to head out if you’re already dressed to run.
Writer for Condo Control
Stretch in the morning and stretch in the right places! Wake your muscles up with a simple stretch to get the blood flowing. This truly improves my mood every morning – aside from my coffee of course
Senior Career Advisor
I’ve started using Periogen to help guard against possible gum disease. Tartar buildup results in periodontal disease that is a chronic attack on our bodies and this can suppress our immune system thus allowing pathogens to take hold.
The bottom line: if you have red, sore, or bleeding gums you are more likely to get the flu or a respiratory illness so true health comes from solid oral care.
Publicist, Orca Communications
Los Angeles, CA
Tap into the power of your subconscious mind which runs 95% of the way you think, feel, and act.
Right before falling asleep, imagine for 3-5 minutes who you want to become.
Imagine in detail activating all 5 senses, pair it with an elevated emotion, and believe it is happening now.
Dr. Jay Cavanaugh
Founder and Creator, The VIBE Mindset
We become what and who we think we are. I love this 3-5 minute hack!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Tip for COVID: Like you dress in layers to fight cold weather, I layer up protection so I can work out with piece of mind.
I wear a good mask. I socially distance. I wash hands. I use nose spray. Nose sprays of all sort reduce viral load in the nose, which is how almost everyone gets COVID.
Less virus, less chance of getting sick. I use Xlear, new studies show it kills and blocks COVID-19, which is on top of the simply washing effect.
Partner, Book Hill Partners
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Just Do It
All you need for exercise is physical activity that exerts the body with movement and increases your heart rate. There are entire programs you can put together that require nothing but you and a desire to do them. If you think you can’t exercise because you don’t have the newest gear, you’re just making an excuse.
Content Marketer at Payment Depot
Between lockdown, working-from-home and living on a small island that I haven’t left since March 2020, COVID has turned this year into a string of monotonous days filled with the same series of repetitive activities.
To counteract the Groundhog Day effect, I have implemented a self-mandate to get outside for at least 15 minutes each day.
Whether walking, running, biking or skipping (really – give skipping a try – I dare you not to smile!), observing nature is equal parts a reminder of our inherent resilience as well as our innate ability to adapt and change with the seasons.
Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher
Oak Harbor, Washington
Outdoor Run/Jog/Walk! Going out is no risk as long as you follow the guidelines, maintain the distance, and keep your hands clean.
I started a routine walk outdoors early in the morning and got addicted to that feeling of fresh air.
The walk later turned to slow jogging and running and became a regular part of my weekly routine ever since. Running is very good for your health, as it helps maintain weight, strengthen your muscles, and improve your blood flow.
Marketing Manager at Tooleto
Run, Jog, Walk! I love this premise because anyone can choose 1 of those 3, right? Just choose 1 and see what it leads to. Good stuff, Werner!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
The number 1 fitness tip for the pandemic is to schedule exercise or physical activity as a regular appointment. With people working from home and no regular office hours or commute, things became free flow.
To ensure people get in some activity to be fit, they should schedule it and keep the appointment as if it were an important Zoom meeting. It helped keep me grounded and healthy and everything else revolved around it.
Attorney, wellness expert, and World Champion powerlifter
Larchmont, New York
That looks heavy, Robert. Well done!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Honestly, the best health or fitness tip I’ve added since COVID is planning out my daily tasks the night before and reading 15 minutes in the morning to help myself relax.
I feel refreshed and energized since I have a strategic plan in place to accelerate my energy for the day.
Founder of ElementIQ
Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
This eliminates 1 stress from a morning routine & strengthens a schedule at the same time. Great tip, Samuel!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Invest in a couple of dumbbells. Consider giving up your gym membership as a silver lining of COVID-19.
A set of light and heavy dumbbells is all you need for a full-body workout.
There are countless free physical trainers to try on YouTube, but I recommend Marino Katsouris (just check you can understand his British accent).
He has some great equipment-free alternatives to your classic gym workouts.
Financial Advisor, Managing Editor
Raleigh, North Carolina
Small 5-7 minute breaks to move your body throughout the day can make a world of difference. It all adds up! The human being was not meant to sit for 13+ hours a day, and it’s the 4th biggest preventable cause of death.
You have to move your body, small breaks will increase blood flow and help you feel more productive, increase energy and prevent stiffness.
It’s why I created moveatworkchallenge.com, and with so many people working from home these days jobs people are sitting more than ever.
Those trips to the printer, the water cooler, or going to chat with a colleague are not happening in person these days, we are doing everything online. We need little breaks. Humans are meant to move
Saara Haapanen, BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate
Personal Trainer and Performance Consultant
I have dramatically altered my productivity approach since the beginning of the pandemic by learning the importance of how to SLOW DOWN, focus on quality and structure in everything I do.
Throughout this year I’ve made a few little mistakes which have caused large problems. I have learned the importance of slowing down, making decisions wisely and thinking about the long-term. Fitness has been a huge help in resetting my productivity and improving not only my physical but mental health.
It’s hard to have an unproductive day after a workout. Additionally, I have implemented saying no to opportunities that aren’t serving me or taking away from my immediate focus and began time blocking my schedule to stay structured and organized.
CEO of Gleamin
Los Angeles, California
“It’s hard to have an unproductive day after a workout.” So true, Jordan!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Go to the gym before 8am. There is little to no one at the gym before 8am (you can see visitor the trends on google).
This allows me to workout before work. It’s not crowded with others relieving opportunities to catch COVID and I have any machine that I want to use at my disposal
Founder of We Buy Houses in Louisville KY
#1 Tip for health during COVID is to do the following 3 stretches every day! Do a rotation, a squat and a chest stretch to open your body up.
Doing these 3 simple movements will balance your body out and prevent you from getting back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain long term.
Bonus points, do it every hour to get up from your desk and you will get the full benefits of the stretches over time!
Head Fitness Coach, Made Possible Personal Training
St. Petersburg, Florida
Let your electric toothbrush run it’s entire cycle both morning and night. If you can’t take two minutes, twice a day for your personal self-care – then you’re too busy.
Take time for yourself so you can best show up for your family, friends, & employees.
Owner of Archie Cares
Strengthen your immune system. Start by taking a probiotic, especially one containing the strain Bifidobacterium.
My colleagues and I believe we have discovered why children are protected from more severe Covid related infections. Children have a much higher concentration than adults of this gut microorganism.
Bifidobacterium works on regulating the same immune pathway that COVID affects, including the one that initiates the deadly Cytokine Storm leading to more severe illness in vulnerable individuals.
Christine Bishara, MD
Physician and founder of From Within Medical
New York, NY
I think it’s one of my best decisions, as there are so many amazing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and compounds in vegetables that have so many health benefits.
But most people severely lack their vegetable intake. I think adding vegetables to most meals daily would also help people appreciate all the fresh flavours we have available.
Simon Dwight Keller
Founder & CEO – SDK Marketing
San Francisco, CA
Consistently eating vegetables is a tricky one for me. Good reminder, Simon!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
I’ve simply begun to take more move breaks.
That might mean getting outside for a proper walk or simply a micro-break by standing up out of my chair. Getting those necessary breaks away from the screen and simply not sitting can make a huge difference in how you feel at the end of the day.
Jordan W. Peagler, Esq.
MKP Law Group
Los Angeles, CA
So easy to get caught up in routine where weeks can go by and you’re glued to your desk. This is a great reminder to get up and move!Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
The one health thing I started doing since this pandemic is “Soaking up the sun”.
I am someone who never thought that this simple habit of mine will bring so much change to my health and mood.
When I say “soak up” I do not mean 2 hours sitting in the sun. I usually wake up early in the morning and after my breakfast, sit in the sun for 15-20 mins. While doing this I just close my eyes and try to relax.
This helps me stay awake, improves my brain functionality, and overall gives me happiness.
Marketing Consultant, Physicians Thrive
Carbonated soft drinks are full of sugar. Sugar is the main cause of diabetes and overweight bodies.
Ever since I stopped the excessive intake of sugar, I feel it’s a lot easier to maintain your weight and your diet than I ever did before. Carbonated drinks are addicting, and they can be difficult to quit but resisting them after a few weeks becomes a norm.
CEO, LLC Formations
Sugar is a killer. Tastes so good, in just about every form, but 0 benefit, whatsoever. You just reminded me how well I do, in all areas, when I cut pop off as an option. Pops a gateway food for me.Brian Ouellette, Founder of AskMyAdvisor.co
Have any of your own suggestions that have helped you? We’d love to hear from you. Post them below in the comments.