With all gyms and fitness centers on COVID-19 lockdown, getting in your usual workout routine might seem daunting. It’s easy to make excuses at a time like this but being dedicated to social distance doesn’t mean you should sit around on your couch or in front of a screen day after day. In fact, regular exercise has many more benefits besides helping you avoid gaining the “quarantine 15.”
“It’s so important to get moving during this time,” says Jonathan Harris, health and wellness director for the Blocker Norfolk Family YMCA. “It’s not only essential for physical well-being but mental as well. One way to combat COVID-19 is to strengthen your immune system, and exercise is a great way to do this.”
So, what’s the best way to sweat out your stress and build your strength at home? We compiled some great places for virtual workouts and suggestions to keep you both isolated and motivated.
VIRTUAL SWEAT SESSIONS
Many fitness clubs have created instructor-led, streaming live classes. Simply log on and follow along on your laptop or iPad. If you can’t join the live session, most offer the option to take the class on demand when it’s most convenient for you.
Onelife Fitness is featuring live classes available to anyone on their Facebook page as well as on-demand classes from LesMills, TRX and TrainHeroic for members.
YMCA of South Hampton Roads has put together a website full of various free workouts from Rise & Shine Chair Workout to Barre Booty Fusion.
Check out Orangetheory Fitness online or download their app for approachable workouts available to both members and non-members.
Burn Bootcamp enthusiasts and potential new members are welcome to try challenging exercise routines using HIIT and body weight moves that are easy to complete at home and change daily so you never get bored.
Pure Barre, known for tightening and toning using small yet intense ballet moves, has put together passes for $25 per week that allow access to twice-daily, live-streaming classes and 30-minute intensives dedicated to abs or arms.
Inlet Fitness owner Rick Reed says he believes, “It is extremely important to keep the body moving in times of stress and anxiety. Movement not only keeps the organs in tune, but it keeps the brain in check as well.” To help out, the trainers at his gym are posting regular free virtual workouts on their Facebook page.
If you would prefer to spin away your problems, members can join virtual cycling classes with CycleBar. But even if you don’t have a bike, follow their stories on Instagram to become a part of daily fitness challenges—tag your friends and have fun with it.
OM FROM HOME
In times of stress, it’s also important to just keep breathing. Virtual yoga can help you find balance on the mat says Katy Henderson, owner of Studio South in Williamsburg. “When things become stressful in day-to-day life, we are able to find that space and clarity. It doesn’t mean stressful things don’t happen. Trust me, I’m not sitting over here on my yoga mat in some blissed-out, unaware state of reality. The truth is yoga gives us tools to navigate the stress.”
Henderson now offers several daily virtual classes. Students create an account online and log in using the Zoom app.
Be Your Own Trainer
If virtual exercise just isn’t your thing, don’t fret. “Just because you can’t go to the gym,” says Harris of the YMCA, “it doesn’t mean you are doomed to lose your fitness. Be creative, and have fun.”
Harris recommends body weight exercises when you have no equipment at home. Try burpees, push-ups, mountain climbers, step-ups on a stair case, air squats, crunches, lunges, etc.
It’s also a great time to set new goals, such as that running program you have been meaning to start. To push yourself further, begin training for a made-up race. Set your own date for the event, create a plan, and run around your neighborhood on race day. You can even convince your family to wait for you with a cold beer at the at-home finish line.
Remember that one of the best parts about home workouts is that no one can see you. This is your chance to lighten up, get the family involved and lunge it up in your leopard pajamas if you wish. The only thing that matters is keeping your energy and spirits high.