Updated: Nov 4, 2021
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Article by Jenny Miller
Has the pandemic made it harder for you to keep up with a regular exercise routine? You aren’t the only one. It appears that regional restrictions mean limitations on activity as well as lack of access to gyms and other fitness venues for everyone. Luckily, there are many ways you can keep exercising even if your usual fitness routines are temporarily on hold.
Starting with walking or hiking, the Thermal Belt Trail is a great place to begin. You get the associated cardio benefits of a hike or walk, in addition to a healthy dose of nature. Not to mention that this is a safe activity when it comes to social distancing.
When the weather becomes uncooperative, or if you want to have an arsenal of options in your fitness routine, exercise at home is the next best option. To help you along the way, we’ve put together the following tips.
Get creative with what you have.
If you have a staircase in your house, see how many times you can run or walk up and down, in one session. Practice taking stairs two or even three at a time. Use your furniture as a makeshift gym by doing full-body chair workouts, or get the whole family involved in trying Parkour—but, make sure you practice safety, especially when jumping over furniture or combining a jump with a roll. See how you can incorporate exercise into your usual routine, so that just going from one room to the next, or sweeping the floor, becomes more fun as well as a fitness practice.
Try a new low-maintenance exercise routine.
The gym makes it easy to exercise, with so much high-tech equipment to help you with different kinds of workouts or to target muscle groups. If you’re used to relying on the gym for a complete regimen, it can sometimes be hard to figure out where to start or how to create a routine. But just a few simple inexpensive items are all you need to create your own mini-gym at home. With a pair of dumbbells, resistance bands, and a yoga mat, you can try out an array of exercises such as bicep curls, bent-over row, and chest press. Look online for fun workout routines or even instructional videos.
Use tech to keep you on track.
Not only can you use your device to access fitness videos; try out some of the fun and helpful exercise apps that are available to upload. Whatever your fitness goal, these apps can help you stay motivated as well as help you do moves and poses correctly, and to get the most out of your training. You can also use your device to lean on your virtual support network. Reach out to friends who might want to create a remote workout club, meet virtually for dance parties or yoga sessions, or simply hold one another accountable. Try some of the video messaging apps to meet up online for your scheduled fitness routines. If your device is slowing down, freezing, or getting overloaded, you might want to upgrade to a newer version that offers 5G service. If you invest in something new, be sure to get a case that protects your device from sweat and heavy activity, and spend the extra money for a tempered glass screen protector.
Get outside whenever you can.
With winter still several months away, take advantage of the warmer months and switch things up by taking your exercise routine to the backyard, or at a park. Now might be a good opportunity to take up running or, if you are concerned about joint health, power walking. Look for fun walking or jogging routes in your area to switch things up. Cycling is another great outdoor activity that's fun and boosts your heart rate. Remember to follow pandemic safety precautions if you opt to take your routine outdoors.
While it may require a little extra effort and creativity to maintain a fitness routine during the pandemic, it’s not impossible, and it can make an enormous difference for your overall physical and mental health. Keeping active can be incredibly helpful in staving off depression and anxiety. Maintaining fitness is important for your immune system, too, so even if you can’t pursue your regular regimen, try to mix some exercise in, on a daily basis, if possible. Your body will thank you for it!