Home Fitness Fitness in the Age of COVID: CBS NewsChannel5’s Levi Ismail

Fitness in the Age of COVID: CBS NewsChannel5’s Levi Ismail

by shennece
Fitness in the Age of COVID: CBS NewsChannel5's Levi Ismail


We’ve all had to make adjustments this year with COVID-19 gripping almost every area of our lives. Celebrities and public figures are no different- which is why we asked them how they’ve adapted, what’s inspired them during this difficult time, and how they make time for themselves.

HFR founder Samir Becic adds “It is immensely important that Texans stay physically fit during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

We hope that these positive tips and routines will make our readers feel less alone during these trying times and maybe even find some inspiration in adopting some of these COVID-19 healthy daily habits! You can also read his pre-COVID health and fitness routine too.

How are you staying physically active in the age of COVID-19?

Levi Ismail: I actually live close enough to where I work now, which means at least two times out of the week I walk. The heat makes it brutal, but I take it as just another part of the challenge. From home, I’ve had to be creative in finding workouts I could easily adapt to. There’s plenty of room where I’m at and with a quick YouTube search, I save a ton on a physical trainer. I won’t lie, having a gym to go to would make things so much more convenient, but in the age of COVID, we adapt. This is no different.

What are you eating?

Levi Ismail: I have no excuse these days, but to make meals from home more often. Whereas in months prior, I’d rely on whatever fast food joint I saw on the road. Lately it’s been a lot of lean meats, lots of pasta and rice. I’m not a real picky eater so it helps when I have to repeat meals through the day or week. At least twice a week though, I find a great restaurant and order in something delicious. My treat if you will after a long week.

What are some of the challenges that you’ve successfully adapted to/overcome?

Levi Ismail: Time management is probably one of the toughest things to do when working from home. Everything from your fridge, to your bed, and TV look so tempting when you’ve got even 10 minutes to kill. As soon as I start my day, I know I’m on the clock. One way or another I have to meet deadline. So for that reason, I began planning out my day to have regular lunch breaks as I would have in the field. Only eat at those times and then get back to work. Scripts still have to be written by a certain time and you end work at the same time.

How has your job changed in the past few months?

Levi Ismail: While most of my work is being done from home, we’ve since adopted a hybrid workflow where I still manage to meet with a photographer to shoot much of the story together. Once we’re done, instead of staying together for the rest of the day, we go our separate ways. It’s forced us to communicate more frequently and make clear our intentions for every story. I may spend two hours with a co-worker for the day and the rest I do from wherever (mainly my patio).

How are you managing your stress during this time?

Levi Ismail: My friends have been a big help by calling and sending me messages, knowing I’m in this new state. Of course exercise has been a tremendous help, but you can’t ignore the value behind meditation. I first started learning more about it last year and since then it’s been like the missing piece when things get really tough. You close out everything around you, no distractions, just quiet.

Have you seen an act of kindness or generosity during this difficult time that has moved you or inspired you?

Levi Ismail: I have and I had a chance to tell the story as well. I watched a police officer show genuine kindness for someone having a traumatic breakdown and it truly caught me by surprise. Almost instinctively I started recording with my phone and what I captured was a moment between these two people that the officer says changed her life.

How are you staying in touch with family and friends? Any tips?

Levi Ismail: Not sure we’ll ever go back now, because I’ve had more Zoom happy hours than I ever though possible. Family, friends, they all call just to catch up from the week. I’ve had great from high school get back in touch and now we’re on a weekly call to talk about different social justice issues. It’s great.

What’s one good habit you have developed during this time that you want to keep?

Levi Ismail: Cooking. I know it sounds too simple to be true, but when you’ve eaten as much take out as I have, your wallet will thank you for the home-cooked meal. Now that I’m home more often, I have no excuse. They may be the most thrown together meals you can think of, but it’s a start.

What keeps you positive and motivated as a public figure?

Levi Ismail: What I’ve chosen to do and what I have a passion for doing, actually helps people every day. I don’t how else to put it. Even before I realized journalism was a career, I had a passion for storytelling and helping others understand current events. Now here I am with a chance to do that for thousands of people every day and it’s a responsibility I take incredible pride in.

What do you most look forward to doing again after restrictions are lifted?

Levi Ismail: I absolutely love traveling, even just for the food. Some day soon you’ll see me on the French riviera, enjoying a glass of wine and cheese. You’ll know then, all is right with the world. Maybe just for that moment.

What was the most fun quarantine activity you’ve done?

Levi Ismail: Canoeing on my 30th birthday. Easily one of the most amazing days I can remember. I had no idea what I was doing, but I enjoyed being outdoors, meeting new people and the peace when it was just me and the water.

What were the best and worst parts of working from home?

Levi Ismail: The best part about working from home is doing so in sweats. I realize now, I need more leisure athletic gear I could get away with leaving my house in.

The worst part has to be not having a chance to get to know my new coworkers. I moved to Nashville in the very beginning of the pandemic, so I never had a chance to meet the whole crew.

How do you and other coworkers stay in touch?

Levi Ismail: Right now most of our communication comes from our early editorial meetings every morning. We see each other for maybe 20 minutes and then it’s back to emails and text.

What are 3 tips you would give to all Americans during COVID-19?

Levi Ismail:

-Hydrate, this heat summer heat is no joke. No sense in getting any exercise if you pass out before you even start.

-Stay mindful of the fact that everyone is just trying to do their best. So many people are experiencing a new normal and it’s frightening. Treat everyone as you would want to be treated and I’m sure everyone will appreciate it.

-Remember that it’s okay to not know what to do. This is a learning experience for all of us. We will get through this and it’s up to you to do your part. Listen to the experts, wear a mask and limit your exposure any way you can. We all want to return to some kind of normal. The best way to get close, is by making the sacrifices now.



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