Online workouts for physical and mental fitness
By Drs. Marie Claire Bourque and Darby Ewashina
Roughly three days into lockdown the conversation went something like this:
“So…..Darbs…..I filmed my workout today….it looks okay!” – MC
“MC….I filmed my workout today too… I miss teaching!” – Darby
“So…..should we start filming them for people? And maybe distribute them somehow?” – MC
“I don’t know – the quality isn’t great; my phone was held up between a textbook and a hammer.” –Darby
“Haha, my sound was off, but still, it’s something. Are they good enough? ” – MC
“I don’t know. But I needed this today. So, if I needed it…” – Darby
“Maybe others need it too.” – MC
Initially, our workout videos weren’t very good, but they were free, so people started doing them. The voice to music ratio was all wrong, the angles were all wrong, and the sound quality was less than ideal. After many hours spent watching tutorials on lighting and sound and angles and editing, we learned how to produce “good enough” at home workouts.
Since COVID-19 and the lockdown, we had both taken to re-integrating Limbus Movement Workouts into our lives. It was, after all, a workout that we had selfishly designed for ourselves. You might ask, “Why would psychiatrists build a workout?” It was partly because of our past lives as athletes, but mostly because we were two female physicians who were often overworked, stressed and on the brink of burnout. We wanted to stay fit, burn calories, build endurance, move, enhance flexibility, practice mindfulness, and meditate – all in 60-minutes or less.
Creating connections through wellness
It’s not your typical workout. We call it Physical Fitness meets Mental Fitness. We start by getting grounded and becoming mindful of the here and now. We connect to our body and our experience – fully. We move to the cardiovascular portion, where the self-limiting cognitive patterns start to show up. We use play to let go of control and perfection, and we move into muscle endurance and mental growth by tuning into our values and how we want to live. We use fantastic music, our whole bodies, and repetitive movement to move us from thinking into being. Do not be fooled – you will sweat – but we offer progressions to accommodate different fitness levels.
To date, we have 20+ on-demand workouts posted to our YouTube Channel and over 6,000 views. We’ve also live-streamed workouts so often that we could easily add “Live Stream Technician” to our CVs. The response has been incredibly motivating, and we are amazed at the responses we are receiving from colleagues, the general public and strangers as far as Dubai.
Our workouts have shown us that connection, challenge, play and growth is possible, even in the middle of a pandemic, from the comfort of your living room.
Marie Claire Bourque, MD, FRCPC, is a Mental Health & Peak Performance psychiatrist with the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. She is also a psychiatrist with the Integrated Day Treatment program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
Darby Ewashina, MD, is an emergency psychiatrist with Alberta Health Services in Calgary. She is also a consultant psychiatrist for the Bariatric Surgery Program at Island Health and a virtual consultant psychiatrist with Revive Lifestyle Medicine.
Share your story: We invite Fellows and residents to share their first-person experiences or reflections in our Perspectives series. Please email your 300-400 word submission to email@example.com.