The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has turned our society upside down in the United States and around the world. Yet, we adapt. Recently, we’ve published several articles about living your best life while sheltering in place, including one on how to stay social during this period.
No one is sure how long this will last, and chances are things will never get back to the old normal. Even once we have a vaccine for COVID-19, we will all have learned new habits, businesses will have learned new strategies, and we’ll have learned new ways to communicate and share with each other.
One aspect of life many are having a tough time adapting to is life becoming more sedentary. Yes, you can go out for walks or runs as long as you maintain social distance from people. But what if walking isn’t your preferred form of exercise? What if you’re used to going to the gym a few days a week?
Let’s look at some ways to get that workout in while staying at home.
Read through your Twitter or Facebook feed and there’s a good chance you’ll see a meme or two about people gaining weight during the quarantine. Life has become more sedentary, and even if you’re eating no more than you were before, you’re likely not burning as many calories, either. Even if you didn’t specifically work out before, chances are you walked around the office, went shopping more and walked around stores, visited places and, yes, got some good walking in.
We all need to get some exercise while at home to stay healthy.
If you already worked out regularly, you know what your body can handle. You know how long you need to do cardiovascular exercises and strength training. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to do about 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, three times per week. On top of that, do 20 or more minutes of strength training three times a week.
One simple strength workout includes pushups, squats, plank taps, jumping jacks, and situps. Those will get the major muscle groups. You can find a plethora of exercise videos on YouTube as well. Push yourself, but not so hard that you want to give up. You can also lift weights or use various exercise machines if you have them.
A few of you may have an extra room that you can use during this time, such as a guest room or storage room. If you use it for storage, you can put your belongings into a self storage unit for the time being. Then, you have space for a workout room.
The advantage here is that you’ll have a dedicated space to exercise. When you go into that room three days a week, you’ll know that it’s time to work out. Put a television in there, or speakers to connect to your smartphone, and watch a show or listen to music while you work out. Music is especially helpful. When you get into the rhythm, you’ll be having fun and feel inspired.
No room for a gym? That’s all right. Most of us don’t have an extra room. Move things around in your living room or bedroom to make space for those exercises. For your cardio workout, you can run in place. You can also get an exercise bike that doesn’t take a lot of space and ride that while watching your favorite shows. Do your various strength exercises, lift some weights, put everything back in place, then take a leisurely shower. You’ll feel clean and healthy afterward.
We’ve mentioned listening to music and watching TV as ways to keep your mind occupied while exercising. You can also watch workout videos. Aerobics classes were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and for good reason. They provide a great cardio workout that also focuses on certain muscle groups. You can find various aerobics videos on YouTube, but there are other workout videos that help, too. Do a search and see what you like.
In a strange way, sheltering in place is bringing people together. More of us are scheduling online video meetings. You may be communicating with your coworkers this way, doing a weekly book club over Zoom, or just video chatting with your dear friends.
Consider looking for, or even organizing, an online exercise group. This can work especially well for those of you who typically work out with your friends at the gym or elsewhere. Get online, aim your computer camera at the room, and do exercises in tandem. You’ll get a good workout and some important social time.
Hang in there, everyone! Keep sheltering in place and observing social distancing rules when you have to go out. We’ll all get through this, apart, but together.