Many gyms and fitness studios are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a person who loves to exercise, this was a BIG adjustment for me. So, I’ve had to change up my routine and find other ways to stay active during the shelter at home quarantine. Here are the 5 ways to stay in shape and maintain your mental and emotional health during this strange time.
- Use Mini Resistance Bands. Mini resistance bands are versatile workout props. Not only do they strengthen your legs and arms but they fold up small so you can store them easily, tote them in your purse, or take them when you travel. My favorite ones are Perform Better Elites and shipping is free when you order them directly. Try the blue and green band for squats, curtsy lunges, and lateral kicks etc. Watch this video for more legwork. Work up to a 60 reps or minute on each leg. Use a lighter band for arms — watch this video. Increase reps, speed, or resistance as needed.
- 10,000 steps or more a day. Walking daily is fantastic exercise. Especially when you set a goal like 10,000 steps/day (~ 5.5 miles). You can track your steps with a Fitbit or phone app. Doing a multi-day challenge (apps do this) is another way to stay motivated and accountable. My friend Mary leaves her house before the sun comes up and walks 2 hours each day. On bad weather days, she dances, twirls, and marches around the house to meet her goals. I like this video on walking.
- High School Stadium. Some schools allow you to utilize the track and bleachers. You can walk or run the track or mix it up with bleacher stairs. Running or walking the stairs is a high-intensity workout that builds speed, power, agility and cardiovascular fitness. Start with 30 flights and work up to 60. Your legs/calves will thank you (just not the next day).
- Fitness Videos/App. There are so many amazing fitness videos on you tube but I waste time trying to find the “perfect video” and end up WATCHING many instead of DOING any. If this sounds like you, I recommend using an app instead. Apps are not free but paying can be motivating (who wants to waste money?). Try Pamela Reif’s You Tube Videos. She is great!!
- Good Ol’ Push Ups and Sit Ups. These might sound “old school” but they are effective. Set a reasonable goal that you can do daily. Grab a partner if you can. Put on your favorite music, add a weight to the sit ups for more of a challenge and do each one slowly to avoid using momentum. My husband and I aim for 30 push ups and 50 sit ups/day.
Personally, I use all these tools to keep myself moving in addition to the occasional run. Exercise is critical for my emotional health and mental well being. Especially now when the air is filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Doing a strong workout each day, keeps me calm and centered.