Love to work out, but wary of going to the gym in the face of the pandemic? You’re not alone.
Exercise is Medicine, a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine, offers this explanation for such reluctance: “Based on what we know about how the virus moves from one person to another, it is recommended to avoid public gatherings and keep a social distance of 6 feet (1.83 meter) or more. That, along with advice related to personal care (hand washing, not touching your face) has created concern about exercising in gyms, where hundreds of people are in and out every day.”
So what are some alternative strategies for staying fit while staying at home? Here are suggestions from a variety of healthcare sources:
* The ACSM suggestions include aerobic activities (put some music on and walk briskly around the house or up and down the stairs for 10–15 minutes two-three times per day; dance to your favorite music; jump rope (if your joints can handle it); and use a home cardio machine) or get in some strength training (by doing squats or sit-to-stands from a sturdy chair, push-ups against a wall, the kitchen counter or the floor; and lunges or single leg step-ups on stairs).
* The World Health Organization offers these ideas: “Try to reduce long periods of time spent sitting by taking short 3-5 minute breaks every 20-30 minutes. Simply stand up and stretch or even better, take a walk around the house, up and down the stairs, or into the garden… Set up a regular routine to be active every day, as doing so helps you stick with that plan.”
The ACSM, WHO and other health organizations also suggest participating in video workouts or those posted on social media. Among the influencers in the latter camp working to keep their followers active during the lockdown is Yanet Garcia, a 29-year-old in Mexico City who has gone viral posting clips to Instagram of herself working out.
One such video shows Garcia dancing to the song “La Curiosidad” by Jay Wheeler featuring Myke Towers. When Garcia shared the clip to her 13.4 million followers on Instagram, she quickly racked up 750,000 views.
In another video, the former TV weather girl is seen performing a series of exercises in a stairwell. She accompanied the clip with the message, “If you want it, you can do it. 84 floors, there are no excuses!”
But perhaps her most popular video shows Garcia performing “the Beyonce strut” to “Crazy in Love.” That clip went viral, with 2.7 million views.
(Edited by Matthew Hall and Stephen Gugliociello)