As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, chances are your gym has closed its doors. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising.
Across the nation, gyms, personal trainers and workout companies and brands are posting free or discounted at-home exercise classes online, so that you can keep your blood flowing, your mind right and those extra pounds off, even while quarantined.
“People are giving information, and so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t take advantage of it.” said Shannon Eberly, a personal trainer based in New York City and coach at Orangetheory Fitness.
Eberly, herself, has started posting instructional videos to Instagram and Facebook showing her followers how to work out at home using everyday objects like detergent or Windex as weights. A lot of people don’t have full equipment at their homes, Eberly said. And she’s proving it’s not necessary.
Companies and brands, including Orangetheory, where Eberly works, along with Obé Fitness, Barry’s, AAarmy, Outdoor Voices and more, are also utilizing social media sites like Instagram to make at-home workout videos free and widely accessible.
Others are creating similar at-home workout videos and posting them to their websites and YouTube pages, among other mediums.
And if you want to gain a better understanding of the science behind exercise and which type of exercise is right for you and your body type, check out this online course taught by exercise psychologists at McMaster University.
Don’t let COVID-19 keep you from exercising
No matter which type you prefer, exercise is a key component of a healthy life, and you shouldn’t use the coronavirus quarantine as an excuse to become a couch potato.
“We are going to be very sedentary in the next couple of weeks, so it’s really important to keep active and stay moving during this time,” explained Eberly. “If you are healthy right now, if you’re feeling good, absolutely exercise as much as you can from home, because that’s only going to help your immune system and make you stronger.”
“But if you are feeling symptoms or you’re not feeling well, exercise is not going to be the best thing for you to do right now,” she added.
Notably, even if you’re not physically ill, being quarantined can take a toll on your mental and emotional health, as you’re forced to spend more time inside sitting down without many face-to-face social interactions.
Exercise can help reduce those negative feelings.
“Exercise naturally produces endorphins,” said Eberly. “Endorphins make us happy.”
Exercise is “a great way to keep ourselves active and keep ourselves feeling good while we are kinda cooped up,” she added.
Joshua Spodek, who holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics and an MBA from Columbia University, knows a thing or two about the benefits of exercise. Spodek has swum across the Hudson River and done nearly 150,000 burpees over the past 10 years.
“I’ve found that there are three important parts of life,” said Spodek. “And if these aren’t together, then everything else is secondary. It’s a healthy diet, vigorous exercise and the right amount of sleep every night. If those aren’t there, I just find that nothing else works. You get sick more easily and you don’t concentrate as much.”
Despite being an avid exerciser, Spodek tends to stay away from the gym. Most of his workouts are body-weight centric, freeing him to workout whenever and wherever he wants.
To Spodek, being detached from the gym is a good thing. It has saved him thousands of dollars over the years and has enabled him to work out on six different continents.
“To me, the COVID virus changes nothing about my exercises,” he said.
Although his workout routines vary throughout the week, Spodek’s go-to exercise is undoubtedly the burpee. He does them every single day.
Burpees, endorsed by CrossFit trainers throughout the world, are an amazing all-body workout. And they’re perfect for those who prefer to work out on their own, without any instruction from a trainer or video.
“It costs no money,” said Spodek. “It requires no equipment. You don’t need a spotter. There is very little risk of injury. It doesn’t matter the weather. It doesn’t matter the time of day. There is basically no excuse.”
News & Content Manager
Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.