Fitness in the Age of COVID: iHeartRadio’s Michael Garfield


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.”

If it beeps or buzzes, goes fast or goes down smooth, Michael Garfield has an opinion and a broad audience who depend on him for his expert knowledge and insight.

Now celebrating two decades of success, Michael is the go-to resource for many media outlets, providing easy-to-understand commentary, answers, and recommendations for technology and consumer products.  Based in Houston, he began his career on NBC-TV and continues today with daily radio programs, TV appearances and contributes to print publications across the country.

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!

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

Michael Garfield: Running, running, and running.  I am a longtime runner (10 marathons) and haven’t changed that part of my exercise routine in over 30 years.  I also go to a gym a few times a week to lift weights but that changed in March when gyms were ordered closed due to COVID.  So I increased my mileage for those first few months as that was the only form of exercise I could safely do. 

I also changed my eating habits, probably for the better, since I could not attend business lunches and nighttime events.  I have always enjoyed cooking and grilling at home so I stepped up my recipe game with healthier foods and more vegetables.  No doubt I have been eating better and it saves money, too.

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?

Michael Garfield: One of the key things I have always covered is the constant paradigm shift that technology brings to business processes and lifestyles. I have worked remotely for decades but since the pandemic hit I have shifted even more of my projects to be fully produced from home like shooting and editing my TV segments.  It caused me to learn new skills and work with my contacts on tighter deadlines.

How has your job changed in the past few months?

Michael Garfield: I am busier than I have been in years.  Mostly because the TV and radio outlets I contribute to have leaned on me more for on-air appearances with tips on how to use technology for easier and better work-from-home experiences.  I regularly explain how to maximize your home WiFi signal, which laptops are best for work and school, the proper way to use light and audio for better Zoom calls, etc…

How are you managing your stress during this time?

Michael Garfield: Again I will go back to running.  Running and exercising helps reduce some of the stress and anxiety I initially had at the outbreak of the pandemic.  Drinking more water and less alcohol have helped, too.

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

Michael Garfield: So many people have lost jobs and incomes and are in need of assistance.  I continue to clean out my closet of old clothes to donate to families who can use some help during these difficult times. 

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

Michael Garfield: It seems everyone uses videoconferencing tools to keep in touch now. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, FaceTime, and so many more.  But now we have “Zoom fatigue” where we are almost sick of the video calls.  I do use them for special occasions like family birthdays but I use the good, old-fashioned telephone and email to keep in touch with friends and loved ones.

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

Michael Garfield: I have been reaching out to friends who I haven’t spoken or communicated with in a while.  It has been fulfilling to hear how they are doing and what they have been to, including staying healthy and safe.  I think we all should regularly talk with people we care about.

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

Michael Garfield: The world needs motivating right now because of so many divisive issues and sometimes we need a break.  I try not to focus on or bring up topics like politics, hurricanes, wildfires, etc… If my shows can bring a little smile, humor, and a bit of normalcy back to people then I have accomplished my mission.

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

Michael Garfield: Traveling more.  I miss getting on planes and the excitement of visiting new places, seeing family and friends, and enjoying life.  I certainly can’t wait until events can be held as that is a part of my business as an emcee and speaker.  And sporting events!  It’s killing me not being able to go to football games (Hook ‘em Horns!).

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

Michael Garfield: I can’t say that binge-watching new TV shows is very fun but it does provide some nice escapism.  I have enjoyed learning new skills by watching YouTube and other resources.  I have become an excellent oyster shucker!

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?

Michael Garfield: I’m not going to lie…walking downstairs and turning on my computer and camera certainly beats commuting to studios.  The toughest part of what I do actually involves technology.  I always have my fingers crossed that my internet connection is as fast as possible plus it is tough to deal with the audio and video delays.

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

Michael Garfield:

1. Keep in touch with family and friends and make sure they are fine – mentally, physically, and financially. 

2. Do regular mental “check ins” with yourself. Talk to someone – a friend or a professional – if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. 

3. Look forward. Make lists of where you will go and who you will visit when we get the green light. The world continues to turn despite the issues we face and will one day soon open up to a life we are used to.

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