Putting her feet up was simply not an option.
Back in March, when fitness guru Lindsey Harrod first learned the COVID-19 pandemic meant every studio she taught in would be temporarily shuttered, she wasn't about to shut down shop. "I went into panic mode, not because I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm not going to be able to work', but I was like 'I love fitness so much and I know how I feel when I am not able to have that be a part of my daily life, how much it impacts me,'" the Lindsey Lives Like founder explains to E! News, "and the thought of so many people feeling that way made me feel so sad."
So she shoved her worry aside and got to work.
The closure announcement came that Sunday in March and by Monday morning she was popping on Instagram to let her 156,000 followers know she was devising a plan B: "Literally that next morning I created a schedule of live workouts and I posted it."
Reflecting back, she can admit she had some worries about shifting to a new platform.
"That was definitely a huge adjustment at first because I'm not necessarily used to doing the entire workout when I'm teaching the class," explains the pro, currently putting together plans for her own streaming service and fitness app. But hearing from the thousands of fans who'd sign on for her classes pushed her through: "The overwhelming positive response that I got—people saying how much they appreciate it and how much it was saving them during this time—it just felt good to know that I was moving the needle at all, like doing my part to bring some type of joy and happiness and healthiness and sanity to people's lives during this time."
And while there's no shortage of workout from home options now that we're all four months deep into quarantimes—"It was so amazing to see the entire fitness community step up and start doing that for everyone," she marvels of the wealth of exercise possibilities—her practice is sort of a fitness buffet, offering a little bit of anything you might be into. On her most recent schedule: a mix of sculpting dumbbell workouts, high intensity interval training and Pilates.
That last one is her first love, her early gig as a Pilates instructor both transforming her body and helping her find her passion for fitness, "and then it was kind of just a snowball effect from there and I was like I want to teach all different types of methods," she recalls. "So now I teach Pilates, I teach strength training classes, bootcamps, rowing, I mean I kind of do a little bit of everything."
And that variety is the spice of life approach shows up in her sessions as well. "I try to make it feel Pilates-inspired, I still make it feel like strength training and HIIT, so you are getting your cardio in," she says. "Really just trying to do my best to infuse a little bit of everything to each workout."
Her chief goal, however, is to keep the exercise approachable. "I really try to make fitness something that people enjoy and look forward to and not something that they dread," she explains of her upbeat, energetic style. "I try to incorporate moves that are challenging but still make you feel accomplished, not to where you are feeling defeated like 'Oh my gosh I can't do this.'"
As a result, she's constantly hearing from the formerly gym-adverse who have discovered her sessions while at home. "I've actually had so many people reaching out saying, 'This is the first time in my life that I'm ever experiencing being consistent with working out'" she shares.
For those interested in joining their ranks, she suggests investing in a pair of light dumbbells (5-pounds will do) and to "just commit to being consistent." One good place to start is the half-hour full-body burn she created for E! News in the video above (details below) before joining the 500 devotees who sweat with Harrod on IG each day. She also recommends checking into what streaming options your favorite studio might be offering, and, to keep the exercise interesting "try taking your workouts outside or scheduling them with a friend so it feels like you're in the classroom doing it together."
No matter what you choose, that consistency is key, says Harrod, who motivates herself by jotting down how she feels both after her workouts and when she decides to blow off a planned training. "I always come back to that and try to remind myself when I can see it visually in words the effect of how my body has on my mood, my brain, how I view myself," she explains.
It's an outlook that swings both ways, the pro having seen first hand what can happen when someone truly buys into daily movement. "I don't think people realize not only does it affect them, obviously, physically but it affects them mentally and builds their confidence up every single time they show up for themselves and keep that promise that they make with themselves," she says. "It can be medicine for your mind and make you feel so good."
Do each move for one minute; complete two to three circuits for a 20-30 minute workout
Inchworm to push-up
Lateral walk to calf raise
Side plank rainbow kick to kickback with right leg
Side plank rainbow kick to kickback with left leg
Plank jack to side plank reach
Alternating reverse lunge to curtsy lunge
Kneeling squat to jump squat
Alternating single leg hip thrust
Leg extension to crisscross
Alternating jumping jacks and high knees