As the world adjusts to new safety measures put in place to counteract the spread of the novel coronavirus, many are struggling to find normalcy in their daily lives.
“Without a normal daily routine and the accountability of gyms, classes, and friends, it can be easy to let our health and fitness practices slip through the cracks,” says Sara Poidevin, Canadian pro cyclist on Rally Cycling. That’s why she worked with her team to create the #HealthyHabitsWithPoido challenge.
The concept is simple. Make one small daily change per week, and develop healthy habits that hopefully stick. “Creating new habits takes some time and conscious effort before it becomes automatic behaviour,” says Poidevin, “so creating ‘challenges’ is a way to encourage each other to take a bit of time each day to focus on our health.”
With a reduced number of activities accessible to the public, many people have turned to exercise as an outlet to fill their free time. “I think people are more aware of their health right now,” says Poidevin. “Athletes can be a source of encouragement and inspiration to show how daily actions practiced consistently lead to big results.”
Week 1, core
For the first week of the challenge, Poidevin encouraged participants to do one minute of core every day. “My hope was that it would be accessible to a wide range of ability levels,” she says, “either by creating a response along the lines of ‘that wasn’t so bad, it made me feel good, and I could do that again. Maybe I’ll even do a couple more minutes next time’ or ‘maybe I can add a minute of something new and challenging to my routine’”
Next week will be the “Make Meals Healthier” challenge, followed by “Stay in Touch” April 3-9 and “Move Your Body” April 10-16.
Keeping people connected
To encourage participants to stay connected and accountable they are encouraged to use the #HealthyHabitsWithPoido hashtag. Many other pro cyclists have been participating in the first week of challenge and posting videos on social media.
Fellow Canadian Leah Kirchmann has been posting her 1 minute every day.
— Leah Kirchmann (@L_Kirch) March 25, 2020
Teammate Chloe Hosking has also been participating, and included a special guest in her video.
— Chloe Hosking (@chloe_hosking) March 25, 2020
“I understand that everyone is affected differently by all the changes happening right now,” says Poidevin, “but hopefully athletes can help encourage others to take a minute each day to do something in support of their own physical and mental well-being.”