The Capital District YMCA has you covered with practical tips to improve your health and wellness! We connected with some of Albany County's health and wellness experts to provide tips on how to overcome "Zoom Fatigue", how to start the year in a positive mindset, how to remain motivated and more! Keep reading for tips from the Capital District YMCA


Do you have any tips for overcoming "Zoom Fatigue" or any other wellness-related challenges that come with working from home?

  1. 1. Avoid Multi-tasking. Researchers at the University at Michigan found that switching between tasks can cost you as much as 40 percent of your productive time. Having to turn certain parts of your brain off and on for different types of work leads to loss of performance, trouble remembering things, and just plain tiredness.
  2. 2. Build in breaks. Set a timer or once that Zoom call ends immediately get up and perform two sets of squats and jumping jacks. You could even convert your treadmill into a walking desk if needed. The act of moving intentionally will help increase your energy levels, decrease stress, and promote better productivity when you go sit back down to do more work.
  3. 3. Reduce eye strain. Looking at a computer screen that is two feet away from you can strain your eyes and make you tired. Try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  4. 4. Switch to phone calls or email. Check your calendar to see if there are any one-on-one conversations you can have via phone or email instead. Let the other party know you are "Zoomed out".  This will give you both some much needed rest.


Do you have any tips or words of encouragement to help people stay motivated in 2021?

Nobody is one hundred percent motivated all the time. We love to provide motivation. Here are the top tips that keep us motivated and help us motivate others.

  1. 1. Create clear cut and honest goals. Think of a ladder in which the rungs are close in distance vs. a ladder in which the rungs are spread far apart. The ladder leads to success and those rungs should be small attainable goals.
  2. 2. Remember your why. Make this a goal toward something instead of away from something. If your "away-from" motivation is stronger than your "towards", it may be taking you further away from where you want to end up.
  3. 3. Think of Health & Fitness as a Lifestyle.  Perspective is everything. Health and Wellness is about more than the way you look, the food you eat, or the weight you lift. It’s about the way you feel, your quality of life, the focus you have at work, your ability to move and your psychological state, to name a few.
  4. 4. Be accountable, hold accountable. Find an accountability partner or partners. Establish guidelines and even consequences that will encourage you and your partner(s) to never miss another workout. Designate days as your training days. Take a look at your week and find days and times when you're free to workout. Aim to keep a regular schedule. Remember, this is a lifestyle.
  5. 5. MAKE IT FUN. This cannot be understated. We are more likely to stay consistent with some form of activity if we enjoy it.


What are some of the most common challenges you see people facing and how do you recommend they overcome this?

Physical activity, nutrition and socialization are some of the biggest challenges we face. COVID-19 has clearly exploited unhealthy lifestyles. Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, was quoted as saying “If there is any deficiency in food and exercise the body will fall sick”. Consult with an expert in the field of exercise and nutrition. We go to a mechanic for help keeping our cars in shape so why not go to a personal trainer or nutritional consultant when it comes to keeping our body in shape? Our mental and emotional health is crucial during times of turmoil. Physically distancing ourselves for the sake of stopping the spread of the virus doesn’t mean socially distancing ourselves. Keep in touch more often with loved ones. Call instead of texting for a richer social experience.


What is your best advice for Preventative Care? 

Preventative care begins with exercise.  Exercise begins with activity.  Physical inactivity has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.  The WHO, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and American College of Sports Medicine all recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week.  What does this look like?  Walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week? YES; that’s it! Physical activity doesn’t have to include weights or running, but it does have to feel moderately challenging and slightly increase your heart rate. Physical activity is the silver bullet for staying healthy. Physical activity can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic disease as well as help lower cholesterol, anxiety, depression, and osteoporosis. For some, physical activity may take the form of playing outside with pets and family, for others it may involve hiking through the snow, or skiing on a mountain. The mode of physical activity does not matter as long as you’re doing something. Remember these three words: Just Keep Moving.


How has the health and wellness community adapted during the pandemic?

The health and wellness community has gone virtual to help better serve people during the pandemic. There are many people spending more time at home than ever before and they’re not as physically active. Being virtual gives you access to your preferred gym, studio, or fitness center all in the comfort of your home. At the Y, we wanted variety in our virtual offerings, so we offer live virtual classes, a pre-recorded library, virtual personal training and virtual progression programs. All are offered in addition to  all the offerings in our facilities at a masked and safe physical distance. We offer something for everyone, regardless of how you want to stay active. We’re doing everything we can to help our communities stay physically and mentally fit.