Now that your gym is closed and you’re staying home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it doesn’t mean you need to skip exercising.
“The best example of aerobic exercise is sustained walking,” said Dr. Darren Tishler, director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford HealthCare. “Biking (both stationary and outdoor), running, dancing and hiking are just a few other examples.”
You may be tempted to dive into another Netflix series from the couch, but he said an hour of aerobic or “cardio” exercise a day, coupled with core strength training like pilates or yoga, is the better choice.
There are many alternatives to your standard gym workout to choose from and most don’t require equipment, fees or even a lot of space.
- Heading outside. As long as you keep your distance from others, you can go for a run, walk or hike. “Nothing breaks up the boredom and the cycle of a sedentary lifestyle better than getting outdoors,” Dr. Tishler said.
- Checking your gym or studio for streaming classes. Many are turning to online services to help you stay on track with your yoga, barre or other workouts.
- Downloading a free smartphone app. Most offer tracking mechanisms and suggestions for interesting ways to stretch and tone while at home. Choices include: FitOn, which gives access to different disciplines or focus areas; Fitbod, with its tailored workouts; Yoga Studio: Mind & Body for yoga and meditation sessions at all skill levels; Nike+ Training Club, which has more than 180 workouts from trainers and pro athletes; JEFIT for help sticking with your weight training routine at home; and Freeletics, which has everything from workouts to nutrition information.
- Tapping into YouTube video classes. If you’re choosy about your instructors, check their qualifications if possible. Certification by organizations like the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), for example, indicates the instructor knows how to create an effective, and safe, program. Certified YouTube fitness pros include: Jessica Smith, who offers abs cardio, high-intensity interval training, kickboxing and ballet body sculpts; Cassey Ho, who can fill your pilates needs on her channel Blogilates; Amy Kiser Schempe’s channel BodyFit by Amy which features kettlebells and no-equipment sessions that are easy to do at home; and Adriene Mishler, who brings yoga in various session lengths.
- Another exercise benefit is the boost in endorphins – the body’s “feel good” hormones – to counteract the anxiety of the times.
“These endorphins continue to circulate in the body long after the exercise is finished. Enjoy that good feeling!” Dr. Tishler said.
Hartford HealthCare’s drive-through COVID-19 testing sites will open later this week in Bridgeport, Meriden, Norwich, and Torrington. For more information, click here.
Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.
Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor.
Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.
Get text alerts by texting 31996 with COVID19 in the message field.