Meyer isn’t the only gym rat who’s taken his fitness routine outside since COVID struck. Across the pond, Katy Jane Woodroffe
, a 32-year-old dive instructor from Britain, said she used to hit her local gym five days a week. She’d combine heavy compound lifting with tabata and gym classes. However, once lockdown went into effect, she found it difficult to stay disciplined.
“I struggled to maintain consistency from home,” the Birmingham resident said. “It's important for me as a scuba diver to keep a good level of fitness. I tried bodyweight sessions from home but ultimately, I started getting out in nature and walking.”
Similarly to Meyer, she found that she liked hiking more than she ever would have thought. Soon, what began as simple strolls in nature became a broader passion for the outdoors.
“I've always loved being out in nature but I didn't realize how little I was making an effort to visit amazing outdoor spots,” she said. “My perspective has changed. Since coming out of lockdown, I have visited mountain peaks, wild swimming locations, and walked 25 miles in less than 12 hours at three mountain peaks."
“This is now my main form of exercise. Although I revisit the gym from time to time, it's no longer the same with the stringent measures and face masks.”
The gym no longer holds the same appeal, she said, with such strict social distancing measures in place. Working out in masks is no fun and there are long waits for the machines. Instead of returning to the gym, Woodroffe has developed a four-point workout plan for the coming year that integrates hiking, running, scuba diving, and cold-water swimming.
“The lockdown really altered my mindset and I now think of the gym in a different capacity,” she said. “Why stay in a building to exercise?”
“Not having a gym to go to has made me remember there are other ways to get a workout that don’t involve being cooped up inside,” he said.