Get Back in Shape: 24 Ways to Build Your Post-Pandemic Body


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1. Right now—this very moment!—is your chance to design, then create, the body you want.

Even if you didn’t get COVID, the pandemic probably changed your body, whether you found yourself locked out of the gym or you wrecked your posture working from home or you simply weren’t able to sleep. But now we have a rare opportunity, because the pandemic also scrambled everything else about life. As we rebuild how we work, socialize, and travel, we can completely reimagine our relationship with our bodies.

Which is where I come in. I’ve trained a long list of clients with a wide range of goals. Some wanted to get through a 5K—others were about to walk down a runway in Paris. No matter where you’re at, I believe there is a universal baseline that every person’s body should be primed for: to feel great moving through the world and to be resilient in the face of whatever life throws our way.

This isn’t a workout program. Yes, it incorporates physical movement, but it’s also about your emotional well-being and all the ways, big and small, that you nourish yourself. The plan is built around consistency, helping you make lasting changes to live just a little healthier, eat a bit better, and move your body regularly. That’s far more powerful than any single tough workout. It’s not easy, but it is simple, and if you buy in, you will see results.


2. A better body starts with a better mindset.

You have to get your head right first. And what’s wonderful is how this can create a positive feedback loop: A healthy mindset leads to the consistent physical activity that quite literally makes you happier and smarter—and ready to make even more good decisions for your body.


3. Rethink what counts as a workout.

We’re building a body equipped to deal with life, and I want you to think of a workout as anything that will improve your resilience. Good sleep improves your ability to bounce back from stress. Meditation sharpens your mind. Maybe today you plan a week of healthy eating and then go to the store. Congrats—you just worked out.


4. Your first goal is to make better goals.

A well-designed body needs well-designed goals, and that means goals that are concrete enough to measure, so you can hold yourself accountable. “I want to run more” is not a good goal. Try for something more like “I want to run my first half-marathon in November.” Then work backward, breaking your big goal into the smaller goals—like a Russian nesting doll.

Illustration by Simon Abranowicz

5. Think medium-term.

The idea is to create a mental framework that allows you to pile up small wins and bounce back quickly from minor losses. Take that half-marathon: Getting in shape to drop the hammer for 13.1 miles is a big, long-term project—thinking about it in its entirety can be overwhelming. And in the day-to-day grind (short term), you may not feel like you’re making much progress. But at the end of each week (medium term), you’ll see that you got your miles in—and those weeks add up. Thinking medium-term will also help you constructively rebound from setbacks: If you miss your run one day, don’t beat yourself up—you have six more to get back on track.


6. Be realistic with (and kind to) yourself.

Maybe you’ve got some insecurity about your body—how it looks or how it functions. First, understand that you can probably achieve much more than you think you can—but it will take time. Second, accept that no matter how hard you work, you probably can’t transform yourself into LeBron or The Rock. But if you aim toward maximizing your potential—without comparing yourself with anybody else—I promise you’re going to like the results.


7. Remember this three-question plan to overcome self-doubt.

At some point you might think, I can’t do this. That’s only a problem if you stop there—and most people do. But the next time your inner critic chimes in, ask yourself three follow-up questions.



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