Getting Enough Exercise Now That the Gym Is Closed
Getting the recommended amount of exercise is a challenge for most people in the best of times, much less when the gym is closed due to shelter in place orders and social distancing guidelines. The fact is, exercise is worth it! Exercising helps you to release stress, boosts your metabolism, and improve your immune system. So how can you get your exercise in during the COVID-19 crisis while the gym is closed? (By the way many of these tips also apply to this summer when we have severe weather that can keep us inside for days on end).
Get Outside (Not During Severe Weather!)
Social distancing and stay at home orders may keep you out of the gym, they likely do not limit you from getting outside for some fresh air. While you should avoid meeting up with your regular running or walking buddy, a solo jaunt around the block does not increase your exposure. Take a walk, go for a run, or take your bike for a spin. If you have a little yard space, take advantage of it. Take your yoga or body weight workout routine (pushups, sit-ups, squats etc.) to the lawn. Even some vigorous gardening can get the heart going and blood circulating.
Use Your Resources
Many gyms are making efforts to keep their members active during closures. Check your gym’s social media and website for any resources they have shared. Personal trainers are offering digital sessions and workout plans as well. If your gym doesn’t have resources available, utilize those who have made their content public on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. This could be a great time to try something new. See if you might even enjoy dance aerobics from the privacy of your own home, embarrassment free!
There are tons of smart phone apps with guided workout plans in a variety of exercise styles and instruction methods. Several options have free trials available for the first month, and some are extending free trials to help throughout the coronavirus crisis. Just be sure you are working within the bounds of your abilities. It’s easy to overdo it in the first few workouts and sideline yourself for a while.
Unconventional Weight Training
If you prefer weight training, it might seem a bit trickier to replicate at home. Get creative with your weights. You can fill a backpack with books or whatever heavy supplies you have around the house. Look around the house and make it work. Resistance bands can also be an effective way to accomplish a strength-training workout without weights. Body weight workouts are very effective too. Incorporate pushups, wall sits, and planks and find even more exercise tips online. Think back to the simple elements of exercise.
Without the community aspect of the gym, you may struggle to stay accountable. Text a buddy to be your accountability partner or link up with friends on your smart watch, health app or Fitbit. Challenge your friends and family to stay active with you and amp up that competitive spirit. You can also get to know your neighbors and enjoy a workout together from a safe distance in your own yards. A daily socially distanced workout party could keep you active and connected and have the added benefit of keeping spirits high.
Ultimately, no gym is no excuse to not be active. With so much disruption to our daily routines and stress building with the COVID-19 crisis, getting physically active can help us to find some internal balance, dislodge some of that negative energy and put it to work for positive results.