How to Stay Active While Social Distancing
Before COVID-19, saying “I miss the gym” could earn you some strange looks from other people. After months of social distancing, it’s kind of an understandable sentiment. If you’ve been stuck inside subsisting on a diet of takeout, you might be longing for an opportunity to move your body. But maybe your gym isn’t open–or maybe it is, but you’re not comfortable going back quite yet.
Whether you’re doing it to stay in shape, get strong, or to alleviate stress, exercising is good for you. And fortunately, it’s not impossible during COVID-19. You may not be able to hit up your usual packed yoga class, but you can still get the same benefits of physical fitness at home. As an added bonus, you won’t have to shell out money for a gym membership.
Here’s how to stay active while social distancing. Incorporate just a few of these easy ideas into your life and you’ll be surprised how good you feel.
Look for apartment-friendly workouts
Stuck in an upstairs unit with very thin walls? Don’t torture your neighbor by doing burpees all day. Look for apartment-friendly workouts. These are designed to keep noise levels low, and they’re also ideal for small spaces. Most don’t require any fancy equipment or even shoes. Fitness maven Cassey Ho has a number of these on her website.
Go for runs in your neighborhood
Running is free, social distancing-friendly, and it’s a great way to stay active while getting fresh air. You just might find that you discover new spots in your neighborhood and gain a deeper appreciation for where you live. Use MapMyRun or a good old fashioned map to plan your route.
Focus on steps
According to Mayo Clinic, the average American walks between 3,000-4,000 steps per day. Using your smartphone or a fitness tracker, aim for 10,000. You can do this by walking around the block or even just walking around your home. Start small by adding a few hundred or a few thousand steps to your current step average and then build up to 10,000.
Look for state parks and national parks near you
In addition to strolling through your local park, look for opportunities to get into nature while staying fit. Check out state parks, national parks, and other natural areas near you. Once you’ve confirmed that a location is open, plan on hitting it up during a non-peak time such as a week day. This will help you avoid crowds while hiking.
Try online workouts
There are a number of both low-cost and no-cost options for online fitness classes. You can find both live options (Peloton fanatics love this) and pre-recorded streaming classes. If you don’t mind spending a little bit of money, Daily Burn is a popular option with a variety of classes. The monthly fee is $19.99, but you can opt for a yoga-only membership for $9.99 if you’re all about the om. Don’t want to spend anything? Free online workouts are practically limitless. Popular choices include Fitness Blender and Popsugar Fitness, though you can always hop on YouTube and type your workout of choice into the search bar to find something you love.
Find an accountability partner
One nice thing about going to a fitness class or a gym in real life is the built-in accountability factor. It’s hard to sit down and scroll Instagram when you’re in the center of an instructor-led cardio class. At home, it’s easy to fall into the trap of skipping a set or even skipping a workout. Before long, you find yourself sitting on the couch eating pizza while you watch the workout video. If you’re guilty of this, find an accountability partner. This could be someone you live with, a friend you agree to check-in with, or even an online community. Your accountability partner can help you set goals, stay on track, and make the whole social distancing thing feel a little less distant.