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3 Simple Exercise Tips During Social Distancing

by Jennifer AnandSurvivor, Hodgkin’s LymphomaApril 27, 2020View more posts from Jennifer Anand

Think of someone you consider an “exercise buff”. Then think of the exact opposite person.

You have now thought of me.

I see so many articles of power lifters, and gym rats, and marathon runners, and all these gloriously physical people.

And that’s not me.

And I’ve tried to be that person.

Yes, working out is good for me, but my daily energy limit doesn’t always help me do that. But with this new quarantine, I no longer have the daily commute, giving me extra time to sleep and now work-out. It’s still a daily challenge. But I’d like to modify a quote from Frozen Two: “do the next right thing to…do the next active thing.”

COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in so many people’s normal active plans, but here are a few tips I’ve found help me in staying active every day:

Size doesn’t matter
Some days my active looks like a Five-minute PopSugar fitness video on YouTube. Or a few stretches on Duo while my friend is doing jumping jacks. Some days I can do the full 30 minute videos, but I’m accepting that I don’t have to do a long  workout to stay active.

Say yes
My parents came for a social-distant walk. They asked if I wanted to do another loop around the neighborhood. I said yes. A friend asked about a hike in nearby woods. I said yes. We ended up walking all the way down to a river, and climbing dozens of stone steps back up to the top. If I had known the route at the beginning, I wouldn’t have chosen it, but I kept saying yes, and made it. Just say yes to a little bit further than you’re comfortable with, and you may end up surprising yourself!

Think outside the exercise
Saturday was a rare sunny and warm day here in Northeast Ohio. But I was in a lot of pain and didn’t have the strength to be active. So I pulled out a lawn chair and sat in the sunlight as I talked on the phone with my brother. And it was glorious. Just being outside can be so therapeutic on a mental and physical front, even if it is as simple as just sitting on your driveway.

We’re all in different stages of our cancer journeys, but we all can do the next active thing for ourselves.

All of the posts written for Elephants and Tea are contributed by patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones dealing with cancer.  If you have a story or experience you would like to share with the cancer community we would love to hear from you!  Please submit your idea at

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