Managing Your Stress During The Coronavirus Scare

People are very stressed out right now with the Coronovirus pandemic. People are worried about getting sick and/or infecting their older loved ones or those at-risk with a compromised immune system. In addition, you have businesses struggling to figure out how to offset the massive losses in revenues and whether they will survive. You have employees wondering how they are going to pay the bills if they can’t go to work. It is definitely scary during these unchartered times.

But guess what – stress is not good for your immune system. It makes you more vulnerable, so let’s initiate some steps to manage everyone’s anxiety.



Everyone is freaking out. Let’s take a minute to just stop and breathe. Slow, deep breathing is one way to calm your body and mind. Do this before bed, when you wake up and anytime you are feeling overwhelmed.

Take action

We often feel anxious when things are out of our control. Read the CDC guidelines for individuals and take appropriate precautions for you, your loved ones and the community. Wash your hands more, use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash, minimize your close contact with others as much as possible, work from home if you can, don’t leave your house if you’re feeling sick and call your doctor to determine suggested protocol. Question whether you should visit older family members or those at risk to minimize their exposure. If you are an employer, review the guidelines for how to keep your workplace and your employees safe. Do all the things we can without completely crashing our economy which is also not good for anyone’s stress levels and health of our communities.


It’s true that exercise will boost your overall health and immune system so keep up with your workouts. With that said, it’s good to know that sometimes a grueling workout can suppress your immune system. For example, if’s common for runners to get sick after a marathon. It makes sense that if you’ve really taxed your system, you may have a harder time fighting off illness. So at this time, it may be more prudent to opt for moderate to lighter workouts. Here’s some other things to consider:

    • Opt for Outdoors – If you’re worried about working out in a gym or group studio, keep your workouts going but just head outdoors for a run, walk, bike or hike. The fresh air will be good for your body and mind.
    • Take precautions at your gym – Many exercise enthusiasts are continuing to exercise at their fitness clubs, so what can you do to minimize your risk? As soon as you arrive, wash your hands and/or sanitize. Use available disinfectant to wipe down any equipment before and after your usage. Wash your hands again as you are leaving. Avoid any of the typical high fives with your fellow fitness enthusiasts.
    • Workout at home. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do at home using no equipment at all. Squats, lunges, step ups, pushups, tricep dips, planks, etc will all do the trick. You can also do workout videos for free on Netflix and other streaming channels. There’s no reason to put your workouts on hold during all of this.
    • Skype, Facetime or Phone workouts with your Trainer – If you workout with a trainer on a regular basis and are opting to not go to your gym, many trainers can conduct very effective workouts remotely. We do it with many of our clients already who can’t make it in for their session for whatever reason. This can assure you still keep up with your workouts while assuring your trainer’s income doesn’t plummet during these difficult times.
    • Yoga and Meditation – We could all use a little more yoga and meditation right now whether you do it from home or in a class. It will help us all calm our nerves.

Stay strong and healthy!

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Join us for the Couve Clover Run (3, 7 & 10 Miles) March 22nd, 2020!

Join us for the 6th Annual Couve Clover Run and celebrate in your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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