Health & Wellness

How To Stay Active When You Can't Go To The Gym

By Kandy Cantwell on April, 21 2020
3 minute read

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Working out is an important part of many people’s lives. The class before work that prepares them for the day ahead, or the evening run that relaxes them before dinner. With the uncertainty around COVID-19 many are unsure when they’ll be able to return to the gym or resume playing their favourite sport. 


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This disruption to our routines causes feelings of lost progress and decreased motivation, but it does not mean the end of exercise. We’ve put together suggestions for several social distancing appropriate workouts

 

Home Workouts

Now is a great time to mix up your style of training. If you’re used to lifting heavy in the gym, try high volume bodyweight exercises. If you typically run on the treadmill for an hour, do some pushups. Exposing your body to new forms of stimulus improves your overall fitness.

Home exercises are an effective way to stay fit. YouTube and mobile fitness apps are rife with routines that can be done with little to no equipment. 

 

Exercises You Can Do At Home

There are a plethora of bodyweight exercises that can be done at home. Since they don’t require much space, people can lay a yoga mat in the corner of the room and get a good workout in. Some simple bodyweight exercises include:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push Ups 
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Sit Ups
  • Wall Sits 
  • Floor Dips
  • Planks

Other space friendly ideas are resistance bands or kettlebells.  

Resistance bands allow intermediate and advanced athletes to perform bodyweight exercises at heavier weights. They also simulate the movement of barbell and machine exercises such as deadlifts, flyes, and good mornings. 

Kettlebells, popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline, are commonly used for full body exercises. The two primary movements are the kettlebell swing and turkish get-up. Even a light kettlebell (between 18-35lbs) is enough to get a good workout in. Kettlebell routines tend to focus more on a high number of repetitions than a large amount of weight. 

Both types of equipment can be purchased online.

If weight training doesn’t interest you, try an online yoga class or dance lesson. Down dog is currently hosting free online classes until May 1.

 

Get Blood Flowing by Moving Around

Track Your Steps

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Get a fitness app or gadget to track your steps. You may be surprised at how many steps you take while doing the laundry, vacuuming the house, or weeding the garden. To increase intensity, try walking up and down the stairs within your home or your apartment building throughout the day. 

 

Go Outdoors

hikinhAt-home workouts can keep you active during times of isolation but not everyone has access to a good space or have accommodating roommates that encourage exercise indoors. 

If possible, go for a walk outside whether solo or with a furry companion. Track how far you go, increasing the distance a little each day. And vary your route. New scenery is good for your mental health.

Running outside is a touch-free activity that has great benefits to both our physical and emotional health. The one question that may be on people's mind is, is it safe to walk or run outdoors at the moment? The answer is yes, if the right precautions are taken. As long as you are not  in a crowded place then you will be fine. Running with a friend can also be done if you are not a fan of running solo but remember to make sure you are keeping at least a six-foot distance from the next person.

 

Cycling

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Another possible alternative right now is cycling. It naturally helps individuals keep their distance while exercising. Cycling allows you to enjoy the outdoors and explore further afield  than walking or running as you can cover more distance. New scenery can help fight boredom. To help adhere to social distancing protocols, ride solo or try to ride when you know your route will be less crowded. And as an extra precaution, make sure to wipe your bike with antiviral cleaning agents before and after your cycle especially if your bike is stored in a common area.

 

Key Takeaways

You don't need to feel like you have to put off exercising because of the restrictions associated with COVID-19. There are still a wide variety of ways to exercise.  Just remember, no matter where you go, what you do, be aware that any surface potentially could contain viruses Take extra precautions. Wash your hands, disinfect surfaces, lay a towel or large piece of cloth on the ground, and don’t touch your hands to your face. Stay safe and happy exercising!

Covid-19 Resources

We understand the critical importance of being informed at a time like this. With the situation changing daily, we wanted to provide you with a single source for helpful updates related to Covid-19. 

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