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Covid Dad Bod Begone!

Wherever your locale lands on the Covid-19 lockdown spectrum, 2021 presents a unique opportunity to ditch the dad bod and get in shape. Chances are you have some free time on your hands. With most gyms closed, it’s time to find new ways to workout safe from the judging eyes of the protein-shake-pounding juggernauts grunting at their own reflections.

5. Go Jump In a Lake

It’s more than just an old-timey insult that James Cagney might chew and spit out of the corner of his mouth, jumping in a lake (or ice-plunging) has lots of purported benefits. Not the least of which is immediately kicking your normally boringly rhythmic heart into chaotic overdrive.

I recently met someone who does this every week.



Even in winter.

Which it currently is.

I joined her for a plunge and it was…cold. But also, cathartic, communal (from a safe social distance), and incredibly cleansing.

Like, not actually cleansing,  because it was in Lake Ontario, but cleansing in the more modern spiritualist sense.

I walked out of that lake proud of the objectively insane thing I’d just done. January beach-wanderers paused their dog-walks and metal-detecting to become captivated spectators to this strangely ritualistic experience. I was invigorated, not just by the near-freezing temperature of this massive body of water, but also by the stark divide between where I stood (shivering) and where those watching stood (still bundled and cozy). I can’t imagine it’s for everyone but I’m definitely going back. Don’t forget to bring extra socks and snacks.

4. Wander Around In The Woods

Trail-hiking is the sourdough bread-baking of the second lockdown. Everyone is doing it (and posting pictures of it on instagram).

I’ve seen more trees scrolling through Facebook than I think there are in the forest near my house. This one has snow on it! This one doesn’t! This one has a nest! This one fell over! It’s all…kind of boring. But actually being out there is the exact opposite. The stillness of the forest. The quiet joy of leaving the first set of footprints in freshly fallen snow. The time away from traffic, talking, and television. Get some decent boots and get out there while the snow is still fresh.

3. Camera Optional Remote Yoga

I actually really enjoy yoga. I really do not enjoy doing yoga with other people. I’m not in bad shape but it’s a lot of weird bending and weird stances and weird clothes…and I’d rather just do it at home. The thing is, I know I won’t do it if I just look for a yoga video on Youtube and follow along. I need to set a time, with an instructor, in a class, in my living room, to actually get myself from couchbound hog to downward dog. The best part? I don’t have to even have my camera on in class but I still get the motivation of a live class.

Want to get down to the studio for a sweaty group workout? Namaste home.

2. What Happened to MusclePharm Combat Powder?

Okay, I first started working out semi-seriously in November of 2019 and if it weren’t for the absolute miracle that was MusclePharm I would have given up after a week. This stuff was the closest thing to speed you could buy over the counter at your local pharmacy. I was sporting muscles I absolutely in no way earned within a couple of weeks. No joke, this stuff was a cheat code for getting jacked.


All of a sudden.

It was gone.

I couldn’t find it anywhere. I read an article about the owner of the company fighting with Arnold Schwarzenegger or something but that was the closest I came to an answer. Now I have to lift weights at regular speed like a chump. I miss you MusclePharm.

1. Lift Weights at Regular Speed Like a Chump

I was 34 when I got my first real workout bench and I have never looked back. Mostly because my neck hurts, likely from improper lifting techniques. But I persevered and I now boast a comfortingly less abhorrent physique…ladies.

I took to it quickly and it replaced a lot of my vices as an outlet for stress, frustration, covid-related existential dread, and boredom snacking.

Always make sure you have a spotter (not the easiest thing in the covid era) and start off small. Keep at it and you’ll be as shredded as the fistfuls of cheese I used to eat directly out of the bag while standing in front of the fridge in a futile attempt to chase away the crushing covid ennuit.

Good pep talk. Get swole!

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