Stay home. Stay fit.
Life changed overnight for millions of people across the globe in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which shuttered businesses and forced many people to follow stay-at-home measures issued by their local governments. These measures not only affected the overall health of those infected with the virus, but also those who experienced no symptoms and even tested negative for COVID-19.
In recognition of the mental toll that social distancing and stay-at-home measures can take, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people to exercise regularly. But opportunities to exercise seemingly dried up when stay-at-home guidelines were issued and gyms were shuttered. Individuals without exercise equipment at home suddenly found themselves wondering how they could stay fit and keep their bodies in the best possible condition to fight a virus that has claimed thousands of lives. Thankfully, there are ways to stay fit and keep immune systems strong without violating stay-at-home measures.
• Access online exercise programs. Many gyms that were forced to close to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus began offering exercise tutorials and classes via social media or websites such as YouTube. These videos can be invaluable resources, teaching all of us how to stay fit at home even if they don’t have weights or other equipment on hand. In addition to gym-sponsored exercise tutorials, YouTube is loaded with free exercise videos and advice that can help anyone without access to a gym get fit or maintain their fitness routines.
• Go back to the basics. Get physically fit without using dumbbells or advanced exercise machines. If you have a jump rope or hula hoop in your garage, remember they’re not just for kids. You can do push-ups, sit-ups and lunges inside or out depending on the weather. To avoid injury, access an online tutorial so you can be certain your form is correct.
• Do some yard work. It might not feel as high-intensity as a spinning class or a Pilates session, but yard work can be a great workout. Dust off the push mower the next time the grass needs to be cut and get to work on pulling weeds in garden beds. The added benefit to yard work is it provides a great opportunity to get some fresh air without violating social distancing guidelines.
• Go for a walk or jog. Perhaps the simplest way to exercise during the pandemic is to go for a brisk walk or jog. If you have a dog at home, they’re the perfect exercise companion. According to the Mayo Clinic, aerobic exercise repeatedly moves large muscles in the arms, legs and hips while engaging the immune system and helping it to ward off minor viral illnesses. That makes an early morning walk/jog an especially valuable, not to mention easily accessible, way to exercise during the pandemic.
Exercise can help people maintain their immune systems in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and there are many simple ways to fit in a little physical activity even while social distancing.
YouTube channels to search; all with free workout options