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The novel Coronavirus has swept across the world and shut almost everything down — including our gyms.
Furthermore, most of us are sheltering in place and have been asked to follow social distancing practices by staying away from others and, preferably, staying home and not leaving the house.
But mental and physical health is important, and both are supported by consistent exercise. So, what are we supposed to do while we’re quarantined at home and can’t go to the gym? Here are some alternatives you can try to get you safely through the coronavirus pandemic — without risking your health and that of others.
1. Get those steps in
Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean that you can’t leave your apartment for a walk — unless you’re being ordered to stay inside, of course. Take advantage of the nice weather and go for a walk in your neighborhood. Just make sure you stay six feet away from everyone!
If you’re staying in your building, walk and move around as much as possible. Walk or step in place any time you’re doing something that still allows you to move — brushing your teeth, watching TV, reading, talking on the phone, etc.
It may not seem like it does much, but it can burn a lot of calories over time. Plus, walking improves mental health and keeps your mind sharp by boosting blood flow and getting oxygen to your brain.
2. Virtual workout with friends
If you’re used to working out with a friend, but now you’re stuck at home without them, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue exercising with them. Set up a virtual workout time with your friend (or a group of friends) so you can do what you usually do — just not in the same room.
3. Hit the stairs
If you’ve got stairs, use them to your advantage. Stairs are a great piece of equipment that doesn’t take up any extra space, and there are lots of exercises you can do on them.
Even if you only have two or three stairs to work with, there are still plenty of things you can use them for, like stair hops and stair lunges.
And if you’re in a high-rise building, skip the elevator when you can and get a quick workout by climbing the stairs up to your floor.
4. Hotel workout
If you’re isolated in a small space, you can try doing hotel workouts. These workouts are meant for people who travel a lot and stay in hotels.
Since hotel rooms don’t have a lot of extra room or exercise equipment, these exercises can take place in only a few feet of space and you’ll only use your body — no weights or machines required.
5. Stream fitness classes
There are lots of options for fitness classes online, and since most gyms and fitness centers are shut down for the time being, many of them are offering free online classes, as well.
- Daily Burn is extending a free 60-day trial, so you can access all of their workouts for free until the quarantine period is over
- Core Power Yoga has on-demand routines
- Planet Fitness hosts live classes at 7 p.m. ET every day on its Facebook page
There are many others holding free classes and lots of videos at your fingertips — you just need to look for them! See what else you come across with a simple online search and check out YouTube, where you can find help from independent fitness gurus, old celebrity workout videos and intense bodybuilding routines.
You can even try searching for workouts based on time. Search for a 15-minute workout if you’ve only got a little bit of time, or if you want a more intense routine, search for an hour class. Whatever you’re after, there’s something out there for you!
6. Home workout routines
If you’re not into workout videos, there are lots of routines you can find online. You can find ones that cater to certain muscle groups, like an ab workout, and if you don’t have any equipment at home or a spacious area for exercise, you can try basic strength training moves. There are many resources available that outline exercises you can do at home, no matter if you’re looking to do simple cardio or a diverse circuit routine.
And if none of the routines you come across pique your interest, you can always make up your own! Combine your favorite exercises for a workout that’s specific to your needs. Change it up day-to-day so you don’t get bored.
The most important thing is to keep your body moving if you can’t go to the gym because of the coronavirus. Walking, running, squatting — whatever you do, don’t sit around for too long. Even 15 minutes of walking can make a huge difference both mentally and physically.
Thanks to technology and the easy access we have to the internet, workout possibilities are endless. If you need ideas for exercise activities, there are plenty of them online, including videos to give you a little motivation when you need it. And if you’re really stuck for what to the best advice is just get up and move!