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Exercising During COVID-19 Pandemic: You Have Options

Make time for physical activity while sheltering in place

Young woman participates in online exercise class. Staying home due to coronavirus.outbreak.

Make time for physical activity while sheltering in place

With gyms closed and more people than ever working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, engaging in physical fitness activities can be challenging. But finding a way to adapt to these new conditions is vital to maintaining our health.

Why physical activity is important

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting enough physical activity could prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths, yet only half of adults get the physical activity they need to help reduce and prevent chronic diseases. Exercising could also prevent:


  • 1 in 8 cases of breast cancer
  • 1 in 8 cases of colorectal cancer
  • 1 in 12 cases of diabetes
  • 1 in 15 cases of heart disease

How to maintain and improve fitness at home

Dedicate some time at least three days a week to focus on your physical fitness. Here are some ideas to help you stay active while sheltering in place:

Yoga

Yoga can be done just about anywhere. All you need to get started is a mat, comfortable attire and a program to follow. Yoga mats and other equipment can be ordered for home delivery from multiple online outlets. You can find a wealth of tutorials on YouTube or in your app store , including:


Weight/resistance training

Most of us don’t have an in-home gym, but you can still train at home using a few dumbbells or resistance bands purchased online. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can make your own weights using common household items. Get tips from the following:


 Body weight exercises

 You don’t need free weights or resistance bands to strength-train at home. You can use your own bodyweight to hit each muscle group for a full workout.


Walk/jog

Even while sheltering in place, you can get your cardio in by walking or jogging by yourself in your neighborhood.


If you’re in a low-risk group for COVID-19 and not experiencing symptoms, walking or jogging outside follows the same guidelines as other types of social distancing. That means avoid crowds, keep at least six feet between you and anyone you encounter while outside, and don’t touch crosswalk buttons or posts with your hands.



As always, consult your physician before starting any new exercise program.