2020 is canceled. Or at least it feels that way with the global pandemic COVID-19 sweeping the United States, forcing the suspension of major events and the nationwide closures of many businesses, including restaurants, movie theaters and gyms. In many cases, people are being asked to stay home from work or even self-quarantine to reduce the spread of the virus.
If you are stuck at home, why not make the most of it by getting active? The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. And while that might have been tough to cram in before, a silver lining is that new circumstances are making it easier to hit that target.
Putting focus on fitness will not only help you side-step boredom, it helps reduce anxiety in these rapidly changing and uncertain times. These home workouts are tools to combat stress, while providing motivation and inspiration to keep physically and mentally fit.
Gyms are closed until further notice. Luckily, there are a boatload of at-home fitness programs that put a whole scope of workout routines at your fingertips. Fitness apps like Daily Burn offer a variety of workouts by expert and energetic trainers. Daily Burn has more than 20 programs for every fitness level, ranging from calming yoga and mobility routines to high intensity interval training, weight lifting and kickboxing. If you have been asked to stay home, the app is giving away 60 days of at-home workouts for free.
Fitness Blender is another great online resource. It is good low impact workouts, plus many of the routines require no equipment. The Nike Training Club App also offers a wide range of bodyweight workouts in addition to full-equipment workouts for everyone at all fitness levels. This app even comes with in-depth nutrition and wellness guidance from Nike Master Trainers.
Big name fitness centers are adapting to the new normal by offering virtual classes. Planet Fitness is hosting “Home Work-Ins,” a series of free fitness classes for everyone, not just Planet Fitness members. The workouts are streamed live on Planet Fitness’ Facebook page daily at 7 p.m. What’s cool about this program is that the classes are being led by Planet Fitness certified trainers, as well as special guests like The Biggest Loser coach and fitness trainer Erica Lugo, among others. The virtual classes are 20 minutes (or less) and don’t require any equipment. For anyone who can’t participate live, each workout is also available on the Planet Fitness Facebook and YouTube channels after the broadcast is over.
Other popular brick and mortar fitness centers are also streaming online. Blink Fitness, Orangetheory, Gold’s Gym and Crunch Fitness are also offering free virtual classes via their social media accounts and apps. It is not just the big gyms either, many local yoga studios and workout centers are also sharing virtual workouts on their social media pages.
Fresh air is a natural remedy for cabin fever. Exercising outside should be safe, as long as social distancing methods are followed. If you go for a walk or a run, doctors recommend keeping a six-foot distance between yourself and others. Parents should not take their kids to the playground and let them play ball or tag with their friends. But that doesn’t mean children should be stuck indoors. Keeping in mind the same six-foot distance rule adults are following, individual outdoor activities where sports equipment isn’t involved, are a great idea for kids. For example, biking or hiking.
Staying mentally fit in a time of crisis is just as important as being physically fit. Fear can be overwhelming at times. Mindfulness apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided meditations that have been shown to improve sleep and lower stress and anxiety. In addition to meditation, the Centers For Disease Control also recommends taking deep breaths and stretching as means to reduce stress. CDC also suggests making time to unwind and for other activities you enjoy. Might we suggest a workout?