Fitness in the Age of COVID: Fox 26’s Natalie Hee

Natalie has picked up rollerblading as her favorite COVID friendly workout!

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 Natalie Hee’s fitness interview pre-COVID.

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

Natalie Hee: I canceled my gym membership when everything shut down and haven’t looked back since. I invested in a new pair of rollerblades, started golfing more regularly, and frequently take long, leisurely walks outside now. Sometimes I power-walk or run if I feel compelled. My living room also occasionally serves as a makeshift workout studio now, where I’ll tune into a virtual barre or boot camp class. 
Eating wise, I’ve been cooking and baking a lot more now that I’m spending more time at home. It’s been a blast trying out some new homemade recipes. I’ve also been trying to order takeout every few days to help support local restaurants. 

Being the voice of information and news during a pandemic creates new and unforeseen obstacles- what are some of the challenges that you’ve successfully adapted to/overcome? 

Natalie Hee: ​I think adapting to the work-from-home or broadcast-from-home concept was really neat. Never in a million years did I ever think it would be possible for reporters to work from home. Seeing all of our talent transition from being out in the field reporting on location every day, running from story to story, to suddenly broadcasting from their living rooms or kitchens was certainly strange at first. But I think we’ve all adapted to the new technology and software we’ve been introduced to over the last few months. 
Additionally, I think journalists/the media have faced a lot of unfair backlash recently, often targeted on social media and blamed for a variety of issues like the virus itself, spreading fear, inciting racial tensions, or simply for not being fair. We’ve heard it all. For the most part, it’s easy to look the other way, but when they pile up, it can get exhausting and hurtful. We’re still learning how to manage ways to cope with those stresses, compounded with our own stresses of adapting to life in the pandemic and keeping our families healthy. 

How has your job changed in the past few months? 

Natalie Hee: I work from home most days now. All of our staff meetings are conducted via Zoom, as are most of our interviews. In addition to serving as my makeshift workout studio, my living room also serves as my backdrop from my home studio. That’s where I’ll broadcast most of my TV live shots for the 5, 9, and 10 PM newscasts. The majority of stories we cover now are related to Covid-19 or George Floyd, so our coverage has also shifted quite a bit. 

Natalie Hee has been broadcasting from her living room in the past few months

How are you managing your stress during this time? 

Natalie Hee: I was glued to the news cycle and watched every news conference from the federal, state, and local levels when the pandemic first began. I was glued to all the cable news networks and would flip between them during the day to catch all the stories that were airing. While I still always leave the news on in the background as I work nowadays, I’ll mute the channel to focus and make every attempt to switch it off when I’m done for the day, and certainly when I’m off on the weekends. Ironically, what seems to help the most is when I tune all the news out. (A few scrolls through my Twitter feed and news push alerts don’t count 😋
I also try to prioritize eating healthy and exercising regularly to help me de-stress. I find that spending time catching up with friends via FaceTime helps as well. 

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

Natalie Hee: I remember running into a group of good samaritans that spent a Saturday afternoon cleaning up anti-police graffiti plastered across a church downtown. There were 3 of them and they had apparently spent all day just going around town on their own accord, helping to clean up the streets and buildings. It really touched me and their intentions were so pure. I’ve also been really impressed with how innovative some businesses, entrepreneurs, and scientists have become during this time. 

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

Natalie Hee: I’m fortunate that all my immediate family live in Houston so I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with them over the last few months. We’ll just go over to each other houses to cook or grill and just enjoy each other’s company. As for friends, we are mostly staying in touch through texting, social media, FaceTimes, group Zoom dates to celebrate someone’s birthday — anything virtual. My advice for staying more connected is to keep the Zoom dates and parties consistent. Most of the scheduling software can be placed on an automatic recurring pattern, which makes it easier to plan for a bi-weekly virtual meetup, etc.

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

Natalie Hee: Getting back into rollerblading and golfing and spending more time outdoors. 

We all have some tough days, what keeps you positive and motivated as a public figure? 

Natalie Hee: Exercising consistently and focusing on de-stressing methods when I start to feel a little anxious play a big role in keeping me positive. Developing the self-awareness to recognize when you need to check yourself is equally as important. I often try to ignore the ultra negative factors and focus on what’s important to me, which is the health and safety of my family and friends. I’m motivated to work even harder at my job when I hear compelling and inspirational stories from those in the community, particularly from first responders and healthcare workers who are truly the heroes of this pandemic. 

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

Natalie Hee: TRAVEL! I’m not sure if or how soon life will return to any sort of “normalcy” or to life as we knew it before the pandemic. I miss running around crowded baseball stadiums interviewing screaming fans for live sporting events and not having to worry. I also miss being able to walk into a crowded bar or restaurant to meet up with my friends for a drink. I have a lot of weddings scheduled for next year, so I’m definitely looking forward to celebrating a number of my close friends and dancing with everyone. It’ll be an awesome reunion! 

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

Natalie Hee: Might have to refer back to my rollerblading or golfing answer! Settlers of Catan board game also gets my competitive juices flowing. 

What were the best and worst parts of working from home, especially when filming a newscast? How did you and other coworkers stay in touch? 

Natalie Hee: Best: I can actually get stuff done around the house now! And wear athletic shorts or PJ bottoms the entire day and not get judged LOL. I’ve fully embraced the Anchorman attire through this process. 
Worst: It can be so isolating. I miss my coworkers. We keep in touch via phone or Zoom. I miss running around like a madwoman some nights and the adrenaline that comes with it. Although, I do have an AppleWatch now which helps reminds me to stand up and move around a little when I’ve been sitting idle for too long.

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

Natalie Hee:

1) Have patience and accept the situation of this pandemic as a new reality. Adapt and discover new, profound happiness in the little things. Spend time with those you value most and use this time as an opportunity to discover a new hobby. 
2) Be kind to others and show compassion. You never know what the other person may be going through. 
3) Wear a mask. 

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