Fitness in the Age of COVID: KHOU’s Chris Costa

Source: @chriscostatv Instagram

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!

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

Chris Costa: My gym is closed, and as a father of an infant, I don’t really want to risk bringing the virus into our home, so I’ve been taking my workouts outside. It’s a great way to get some fresh air, sunshine, and a good sweat!

I don’t have much for equipment, but I have a weight vest, a jump rope, an agility ladder, and plenty of open space, so I’ve been trying to get creative. It’s a fun challenge!

I’ve been eating predominantly plant-based, with some flexibility when I feel like it.

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?

Chris Costa: Firstly, health and safety are key. Pre-pandemic, you’d likely meet up with your interview subject somewhere, have them show you something, and get to know their world. Now, you set up interviews either via Zoom or at a safe distance using a mic stand. In some cases, you don’t go inside buildings, and you just have to get extra creative with how you shoot your video and tell the story.

How has your job changed in the past few months?

Chris Costa: One of the hardest parts was transitioning to Zoom interviews instead of in-person ones. There’s no opportunity to shake hands, and get to establish more of a human connection that just gets lost through technology.

I haven’t seen my coworkers in person either, except on rare occasions.

How are you managing your stress during this time?

Chris Costa: Exercise is a great stress reliever for me, but now I take our dog for more walks. Fresh air and some movement always seem to help me.

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

Chris Costa: Yes! A 13-year-old named Izzy started the “Maskers of Disaster” and sewed thousands of masks for charity. It’s inspiring to see that even younger people understand that everyone needs a little help sometimes.

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

Chris Costa: I’ve never been big on video chatting, until now. With our new baby girl, I video chat my parents a lot (they live in Boston) so they can see her and hear her. I text friends more than usual, too. It helps me to keep relatively consistent with check-ins (ex. call my parents, a friend, etc. once a week).

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

Chris Costa: I’ve been extra diligent about keeping the apartment clean. It may not always look like it, but I’ve been trying to not leave clean-up for the last minute. Somehow, the days seem to whiz by, even though I’m in my home all day.

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

Chris Costa: Knowing that people are looking for and relying on accurate information with context from reliable sources during such an uncertain time when information about the virus is changing a lot. Not to sound self-righteous, but this feels like really important work. I want people to be able to make informed decisions.

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

Chris Costa: Getting a beer with friends at my favorite Houston breweries! Traveling back home to share our baby girl with friends and family in person.

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

Chris Costa: My wife and I have really gotten into playing board games. It’s nice to do something together that doesn’t involve a screen.

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?

Chris Costa: Personally, getting to see my daughter for so many more hours of the day is such a blessing. During “normal” times, I’d be out of the house for at least 9 hours a day. Watching her grow is something I don’t take for granted.

Professionally, the best part of working from home is having constant access to strong Wifi, and the snacks in the pantry – which you don’t always get out in the field.

I don’t know if I’d call it the “worst” part, but trying to find ways to do Zoom interviews while keeping my dog and my infant quiet can be a challenge. Having all my gear (camera, tripod, lights, etc.) stored in my apartment can get a little frustrating.

But, I try to find interesting places near my house to shoot stand-ups.

I stay in touch with co-workers through text, phone, e-mail, and Zoom, and often a combination of all four.

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

Chris Costa:

1. Get outside every day, even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes. Feel the sun, breathe the fresh air. It helps me reset when I’m feeling stressed.

2. Seize the “unknown.” We don’t know when this will all be over and when restrictions will get lifted. Get creative now, whether with workouts, trying a new recipe, etc. Don’t wait for things to return to normal to keep enjoying life.

3. Actively connect. Send that text. Make that phone call. You won’t regret it.

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