Across the country fitness clubs and gyms have closed in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. For many people this is much more than just missing a workout as fitness routines have been proven to reduce stress as well as being a social outlet.
Trying to exercise at home often isn’t the same.
“Whether it’s getting into the gym, yoga studio, or just out for a run, we all do a little better with the help of a friend,” suggested technology industry analyst Josh Crandall of Netpop Research. “They push us, they propel us and they help us stay on track with working out.”
Fortunately, the need to engage in social distancing doesn’t mean that people need to be completely cut off from one another.
“Nowadays, these friendly encouragements are still coming,” added Crandall. “They just now come through email, text and a telephone call. But, what is one to do? You can’t just go to the gym, it’s closed. Yoga studios, closed.”
For those who are feeling isolated now may be a time to consider taking the exercise regiments to social media.
“Many fitness instructors have become influencers over the last few years,” explained Crandall. “The amount of instructional videos available on YouTube and other online sources is fabulous. If your thing is skiing, there are specialized videos for conditioning. If you are into long cross-training, there are videos available to help you ‘hack’ your home for the tools you’ll need to maintain your edge. Most of the content is free, with ads, but if you tune into somebody who you really like, they may offer remote ‘live’ sessions for a small fee, or have a strict regimen of videos that can provide a structured routine for more than just one session.”
As Crandall noted, there are numerous fitness trainers who are offering online programs on Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms. This includes Australian Emily Skye who is known for her “no nonsense” approach to living a healthy life – one that includes dieting and training. She has long taken the approach that it isn’t important to change everything.
For those who are already facing big changes that could be an important message.
“Small changes everyday are what’s important,” said Skye, who has more than 2.5 million followers on Instagram and dozens of YouTube videos.
Skye has offered tips on how to stay fit while working from home during this health crisis.
“When you look around you there are plenty of ways to stay fit,” she added. “If you want to maintain a workout regime, you can absolute do that from home. Why not do 10 squats before you make lunch, 10 half way through and 10 after you finish.”
Being at home during this health crisis likely doesn’t feel blissful, which is where a short yoga session can be calming. Here too no special fitness equipment is needed.
“As we seek ways to stay in our bodies and keep our minds healthy during this time, my best advice to folks is to remember, a little goes a long way,” said yoga teacher and entrepreneur Adriene Mishler, who has more than 6.2 million subscribers on her Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel and nearly 700,000 Instagram followers.
This can include just taking a few minutes away from the bad news that shows no signs of ending.
“The beauty about the home practice is, it’s yours,” she added. “You get to respond to what you need each day. Yoga practice is the perfect antidote to feeling unbalanced and uneasy because it can provide you the opportunity to tend to all parts of the self in one go and it can do so in a really unique and beneficial way.”
She said it can also have a great ripple effect, which could be extremely helpful in this time of social distancing and quarantine.
“Trying some mindful at-home yoga will set you up to make choices that serve later, whether that is taking a walk, turning to a long run, investing in good communication with your household, or delving into work or a creative project in a positive energetic state,” explained Mishler. “You do not need to be good at yoga to practice yoga. You also do not need any special clothes or even a yoga mat.”
With videos that can be accessed on a smart TV, desktop or laptop PC, tablet or even a phone there is really no excuse today to missing a workout even if the gym is closed.
All that is required is a bit of space.
“This can be as simple as moving a chair out of the corner of a room, or laying out yoga mats by a sun-filled window,” said Netpop Research’s Crandall. “Regardless, it is now a convenient and special workout space. Once you’re there, with your connected device, there’s no excuse for not staying fit.”