How To Stay Active While Self-Isolated

By Chelsie Evans on March 20 2020 in How to

Even if you have limited space and equipment, there are still ways you can keep active.
Even if you have limited space and equipment, there are still ways you can keep active.
  • Shadow boxing is a great low-impact cardio exercise that won't disturb your downstairs neighbour.
  • You don't need any equipment to stay active.
  • You can hire a virtual trainer to keep you active, motivated, and accountable

Gyms are shut down, yoga studios are shuttered, your weekly soccer game has been canceled, and you can’t swim laps at the pool; how can you stay active when you’re stuck inside?  Firstly, if you are voluntarily self-isolating or practicing social distancing without COVID-19 symptoms or reason to believe you may have symptoms, then there is no harm in going out for a run, walk, or bike ride, as long as you keep your distance from people you encounter along the way. However, if you are under strict quarantine, the situation is not so easy and the days will feel long and drawn out while you languidly float around your home, browsing through Netflix for something to entertain your brain, eating all the snacks out of boredom, pacing to a fro endlessly and anxiously. You’ll need to make a concerted effort to stay active during this period of isolation to keep not only your body healthy but also your mind. Many people are reportedly feeling increased rates of anxiety and for those predisposed to depression, being socially isolated for weeks on end can be rather dangerous. Exercise will release happy endorphins and help boost your mood, which is the single best thing you can do for yourself while you’re waiting out this stressful time.

YouTube Is A Treasure Trove Of Fitness Videos

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If you’re the type to hit up a fitness class or yoga class a few times a week, then you can easily turn to the internet for pre-recorded videos on YouTube to get in your daily workout. POPSUGAR is a great resource for fitness videos hosted on YouTube. Having trouble browsing through YouTube? Head over to Fitness to select the exact type of workout you’re looking for, the length of time you want to workout and even select the muscles that you want to target.  

Fitness Apps

There is a multitude of free and subscription fitness apps that you can download to your device that will help you customize your at-home workouts. MyFitnessPal, is an app that not only keeps you accountable and helps you track your exercise habits but you can also track your daily nutrition which is particularly helpful if you are having trouble staying out of the snack cupboard.  

Gym Membership  

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If you have a membership to a gym or yoga studio they may be offering live classes via Instagram or Facebook page that you can follow along to at home. Some gyms are asking their trainers to record their home workouts for their clientele which is a more personalized approach to YouTube videos since you may know the trainer and workout with them regularly.  

Hire A Virtual Trainer

Many people need the accountability of keeping a schedule and having to answer to their personal trainer, so if you think you’ll continue to need your trainer’s motivation, ask them if they can train you remotely via Skype, or set you up with weekly workouts and regular check-ins. Personal Trainers are all out of work at the moment so it might be a great way to help them out while keeping you active.  

Social Media Fitspo

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A quick search through Instagram will yield countless personal trainer profiles who are offering free daily workout tips during the COVID-19 isolation, so follow a trainer you like and perhaps while you’re mindlessly perusing Instagram, you’ll happen across a daily tip and get motivated to put on your activewear and do a few pushups. 

Make A Schedule

If the endless unstructured hours make you feel lazier than motivated, make yourself a daily schedule of things you want to accomplish. For example, self-isolation is a great time to do odd jobs around the house and get a jumpstart on your spring cleaning. You may have been meaning to start a personal project for a long time but just never had the time, well now you do, so to make the best use of your time, set up blocks of time throughout the day when you are most likely to accomplish different types of tasks.

Skype With A Workout Buddy

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If you are accustomed to going to the gym with a friend you can always train together virtually via video chat or if that feels too awkward then you can choose a workout to do at the same time and then talk about it together later, this will help keep you motivated and accountable. Many people like to go for long walks and talks with their friends or partner, you can video chat with your friend while walking in place or do the same with your partner at home.

Lacking Equipment?

Many people don’t have any equipment at home or very minimal equipment, if you feel it is safe, you can order some basic equipment online and thoroughly disinfect it when it arrives at your door. A set of dumbbells, a resistance band, a mat, and a jump rope would help you get in some decent cardio and basic weight training. But in reality, there are so many ways to exercise without gym equipment. For example; you can use a chair to do tricep dips, you can shadow box for cardio, you can do yoga on the floor or a towel, you can use heavy bottles of vinegar or laundry soap for weights. The possibilities are endless and since bodyweight exercises top the list of most effective workouts, all you really need is to clear a little floor space and get off the couch. 

Tiny Living Space/Downstairs Neighbors?

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You may not have a lot of space to exercise, but since you have all the time in the world, clear yourself a little space, about the length of your body where you can move around without knocking things over. Yoga and Pilates take up very little space.

If you live above someone and the floor is not very soundproof, you may not want to disturb them by doing jumping jacks and skipping rope, but hopefully, your neighbor will understand the need for a little daily cardio activity. You can do low impact cardio like boxing (even shadow boxing is effective) as well as mountain climbers, curtsy lunges, the bear crawl, lunge to front kick, and tiny jump squats; these exercises won’t drive your downstairs neighbor crazy and will still be effective at increasing your heart rate.  

Keeping Your Family Active 

If you’re in isolation with your family, you can make a small circuit or obstacle course (if your space allows) so the activity feels more like a game for the kids and the whole family can exercise together. The key to most activities with children is to make it a game and they will usually love it even when they try not to!

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