Social distancing has been hard on all of us, as there’s no one size fits all solution to help us stay distracted and sane. While we all deal with stress differently, one thing we can all do is incorporate some form of physical activity into our everyday routine to maintain and improve both our physical and mental health. This does not mean you have to immediately jump into a strict workout regimen—it means finding a way to move for at least 30 minutes a day that works for you and your fitness level. For some, this means regularly completing a high-intensity workout, while for others it can mean 30 minutes of yoga or stretching. Regardless, making a commitment to get active will be a great way to pass time and stay healthy!
What if I don’t have any equipment?
Believe it or not, you can get in a great workout without any equipment and using only your body weight. All you need is a big enough space that will allow you to move freely and some sort of surface that won’t hurt your hands, elbows or back when doing floor work—like a yoga mat. Here’s a list of some bodyweight exercises you can do at home to create your own workouts. If you prefer a guided workout, there are hundreds of free videos on YouTube and fitness apps offering free or discounted services right now that will definitely make you break a sweat with little to no equipment required!
However, if you’re the type of person that prefers to incorporate equipment in your workouts, look no further than your pantry or laundry room! There are plenty of items around your house that work just as well as dumbbells or resistance bands. Find a few good substitutions here. You’ll see suggestions including laundry detergent, a gallon of milk and soup cans. Now is the time to get creative!
Then of course, there’s the option to invest in equipment that you can always use. What you’re able to purchase will depend on the amount of space you have and your budget, but having a good set of dumbbells, a yoga mat and a set of resistance bands is a good start! If you want a full machine, there are plenty of options for treadmills, stationary bikes and rowing machines.
What if I’m really missing my fitness studio?
If you have a certain type of fitness class that you attended regularly pre-pandemic, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a little lost without it right now. But fear not, dozens of fitness studios now offer live workouts with their regular instructors via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. Be sure to follow your favorite studios and instructors on social media to check if they’re offering this feature, and if they’re not, it’s certainly worth a shot to reach out and see if it’s a possibility.
What if I prefer to have a workout buddy?
Just because we’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean we have to exercise alone! If you’re living with roommates, family, or a significant other, pick a workout and hold each other accountable to get moving every day.
If this does not work out or is not an option, find a virtual workout buddy! Schedule daily workouts over a video chat platform of your choice. You can either tune in to one of the live workouts mentioned above together or pre-select a workout video ahead of time. Having a workout buddy is a great way to stay motivated and have fun with your workout of the day!
What if I prefer to be outside?
If you have a backyard or outdoor area that allows you to keep a safe distance from others while completing your workout, then go for it! Nothing like setting up a workout area outdoors to get some fresh air. If you live in a more remote area and can go on a walk or run without coming into contact with others, that’s definitely an option as well.
However, if you live in a densely populated area where it’s hard to be outdoors without running into someone (literally), then proceed with caution when exercising outside. Whether you’re going for a run, a walk or a hike in a public park, try to do so in off hours when not a lot of people will be around to reduce the risk of catching or spreading germs. This article gives a solid breakdown of do’s and don’ts when exercising outside.
This pandemic has thrown us all out of our normal routines, so it’s important to be easy on yourself as you start creating a new one in our current circumstances. While physical activity is so important for the mind and body, especially during this time, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or unable to meet your weekly goal. Do your best to stay active when you can and do what feels right for you! For more information, be sure to check the CDC’s latest guidelines.