Fitness in the Age of COVID: City of Houston Councilmember Tiffany D. Thomas

Source: @tiffanyforalief Twitter

We’ve all had to make adjustments over the past year with COVID-19 gripping almost every area of our lives. Public figures and Politicians 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.”

Samir interviewed Houston Councilmember for District F Tiffany D. Thomas about how she’s staying fit and how she hopes Houstonians stay healthy and safe during this time too.

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!

Samir Becic: How are you staying physically active during COVID? 

Tiffany Thomas: Prior to COVID-19, you could find me at Hot Power Fitness on Westheimer Rd/ Kirkwood participating in Hot Inferno Pilates with Fatima Benge and Traci Silverman. COVID-19 not only disrupted how our world engaged, but it also disrupted my fitness schedule and options. The first couple of weeks I stayed home and stress ate like most Americans and then with the encouragement of my friends started participating in virtual sessions with Fatima and Traci with Teneshia Hudspeth, Tracy Savoy, Johnia Henderson, and Kim Sturgis. I realized that I needed to do a little bit more in order to relieve stress and stay disciplined so I signed up for group weight training sessions at Kinitro Fitness a gym located in District F.

Samir Becic: Leading during a pandemic creates new and unforeseen obstacles- what are some of the challenges that you’ve successfully adapted to/overcome? 

Tiffany Thomas: I think my ability to embrace flexibility and fast-paced environments has worked in my favor and in the favor of those I represent. We were immediately able to coordinate several mass PPE distribution sites, provide resources to homebound and transit limited residents and we reorganized the district newsletter to provide up-to-date information as protocols and directives were constantly changing. My previous work interfacing with community and community-based organizations prepared me for this moment and others since the pandemic.

Samir Becic: As a leader, you are probably working overtime on a daily basis- what do you do to relax and gather your thoughts? 

Tiffany Thomas: I am not sure I believe in balance, but I do try to create harmony in my life but choosing to do one thing for me – and only me. I am a mass communicator and extrovert and the older I become I value quiet and alone time. I have integrated a few techniques to create boundaries for myself such as turning my phone off at 10 PM and responding to text messages after 10 AM. This gives me time to collect my thoughts and build up to the high-intensity days and obligations ahead of me.

Samir Becic: A bit of positivity: have you seen an act of kindness or generosity during this difficult time that has moved you or inspired you? 

Tiffany Thomas: Absolutely, there are countless examples of acts of kindness that I have witnessed. This reminds me that goodness still exists – in spite of our challenges.

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

Tiffany Thomas: REST. I have embraced going to bed by 10 PM and eating dinner no later than 7 PM. As the world transitions to more public-facing interactions, I will be more intentional about eating healthy, having snacks, and drinking enough water. I also take more hot baths to rest and relax.

Samir Becic: We all have some tough days, what keeps you positive and motivated as a leader? 

Tiffany Thomas: My faith. I believe that all things happen for a reason and in this moment I am supposed to be here and the very best I can with the information and resources I have at this time. My family and close friends also serve as a support system – life has been hard the last year and when we forget who we are and what we are doing it is good to have those around to remind us.

Samir Becic: What was the most fun quarantine activity you did? 

Tiffany Thomas: I started roller skating and enjoying quarantine concerts such as #Verzuz.

Samir Becic: Have you had to alter your hobbies during COVID-19? If so, what have you replaced them with? 

Tiffany Thomas: I think I have created new hobbies since I have more time at home with myself. I have organized closets, updated my office, and started cooking meals and trying new recipes for my family to enjoy.  I have also had the chance to enjoy my neighbors. We talk more and it has made a true difference.

Samir Becic: What is a tip you would give to all Houstonians during COVID-19? 

Tiffany Thomas: Breath.

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