The COVID-19 crisis has upended most parts of our lives, including our fitness routines. Many of us enjoy hitting the gym to kickstart or wind down the day. With the closure of public spaces such as gyms, fitness centers, and sports facilities until further notice, it may seem impossible to maintain the same level of physical activity that we practiced.
While it’s true that the coronavirus is preventing us from using public spaces where many people congregate, that does not mean we can’t continue to stay in shape. In fact, maintaining physical and mental wellness at this time should be a top priority for all. To help you continue to meet your wellness goals, we’ve put together a few tips to help you live your healthiest life possible while you continue to social distance.
Let’s Get Physical
As social distancing may be necessary for some time to come, creating an at-home workout routine is a necessity. From building your own at-home gym to basic chair stretching, you have control over what type of physical fitness routine you’d like to practice. If you currently belong to a gym, you may be able to access online workouts directly from your gym’s app. If you do not, we’ve listed a few suggestions below. Remember, you’ll want to follow the advice of your Intermountain Health provider and assess your fitness level before beginning any new exercise program.
In our Stay Home for Nevada: 26 Tips to Try blog, we provide several apps for at-home physical and mental health. Here are a few more:
Cardio and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Perfect for those who are short on time but want to sweat it out.
- J&J Official 7-Minute Workout – A free app with a range of 7-minute workouts from Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.
- Popsugar Fitness – They have a range of introductory videos on their YouTube channel. Here’s a beginner low-impact cardio workout and an advanced cardio/HIIT workout that requires no equipment.
- HASfit – A team of personal trainers put together numerous free workout videos for all levels on their YouTube channel. Check out this Beginner Strength Training workout with standard and modified versions for a variety of levels.
Yoga and Chair Stretching:
- SilverSneakers Go app – Free for everyone, with limited access to features for non-members of the SilverSneakers program.
- Down Dog app – Free app with a large amount of features; monthly subscription for a pro membership. Until May 1st, the pro membership is free for all users.
- Energizing Chair Yoga video – This YouTube video is a chair yoga class from Yoga Vista Studio created specifically for seniors and those with limited mobility.
The Great Outdoors
If you’re interested in getting outside for exercise, make certain to do so while practicing social distancing from others. Here are few ideas for how to incorporate daily exercise while getting some fresh air and sunshine.
- Walking, jogging, hiking, and cycling are easy ways to get cardio exercise into your day. If you have a fitness tracker or pedometer, you can set daily goals via steps or miles.
- If you have access to a pool at home, swimming on a daily basis can provide both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. You can incorporate foam weights and aqua aerobics or zumba exercise to increase the effort. Livestrong has an introduction to basic water Zumba steps you can incorporate into your daily pool workout.
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced at home for stress relief and better sleep. There are many meditation apps and videos available online. Both Calm and Ten Percent Happier apps are offering free trials at this time.
When routines are upended due to a crisis, it’s easy for people to pick up unhealthy eating habits. If you have found yourself stress eating, it may be helpful to create a meal plan and schedule that allows you to document the food you are eating. There are many apps online that can provide caloric intake info, but you can also use your own journal to document what and how much you’re eating throughout the day. Make certain to get a healthy range of nutrients through a variety of food, including vegetables, fruits, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Follow specific dietary needs as advised by your provider.
These are just a few recommendations for how to stay fit and healthy while social distancing. Just because you have to stay home doesn’t mean you have to give up on your wellness goals.