The unprecedented COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic of the last several months has resulted in millions of people throughout the world changing the way they do everyday things, including working, socializing and exercising. In order to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately prevent overwhelming our hospitals, the places we normally spend time outside of our houses — including gyms and studios — have closed, and staying home is now the standard.
But that doesn’t mean you should abandon your fitness goals. In fact, exercise is more important now than ever due to the many mental and physical health benefits it provides. Here are some great ways to stay fit at home between your self-quarantine naps and Netflix binges.
Exercise Outside — Even in areas where there is a shelter-in-place order, you are still allowed to run and walk outside. However, isolation is still important, so practice social distancing and hit the less-popular spots as much as possible. Always check the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health officials before heading outside. Be sure to bring a phone armband along to avoid touching your phone directly in public and wash your hands as soon as you get home. Many of our running bands have pockets big enough for a few individually wrapped sanitizing wipes.
Go for a run. Do your best to avoid the busier paths in your community and don’t stop to make conversation or pet any dogs (the toughest part, we know). It’s obvious, but we must say it: do not spit in public or share water bottles.
Hit the hiking trails. If you live in an area with lots of outdoor recreation, spend time on the trails. Just make sure to avoid human contact and, where possible, avoid using park facilities, including bathrooms.
Go for a bike ride. The same rules apply here. Solitude is key for safe exercise at a time like this! The combination of fresh air and calories burned will serve you well, though.
- Try a Temporarily Free Service — Many of the web-based fitness programs have offered free services during the coronavirus outbreak. Looking for a seriously challenging home workout for men and women? Try some high-intensity training videos from Fitness Blender or hop on Peloton’s free 90-day subscription (no bike required). A number of apps are also offering free access to yoga, dance and cardio classes.
- Follow a Fitness Live Stream — Have you noticed a lot more companies and individuals going live on Instagram and Facebook as of late? Flood your feed with gyms, fitness studios and personal trainers offering free livestreamed sessions. Peloton, Crunch, Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym have all offered free workouts live.
- Make Use of Simple Home Gym Equipment — Now is not a bad time to work on setting up your home gym, and that doesn’t have to mean investing in fancy, smart fitness equipment that costs thousands. A set of free weights, a resistance band, a yoga mat and a jump rope are enough to provide a seriously challenging workout.
As we struggle to get this pandemic under control, we’re all experiencing heightened levels of stress, worry, panic and uncertainty. But exercise is one of the best cures for all of those things, so now is not the time to pause your workout (unless you feel sick, of course). Let’s keep sweating until this passes!