Months after the initial onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic in March, many public facilities, including gyms, are closed.
These closures are likely because studies show the virus spreads more easily in gyms and fitness classes. Moist air moving around yet confined within the room or facility is the perfect environment for germs to spread.
Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said this about research on the spread of the virus in confined areas: "Based on recent research, aerosolized droplets can remain airborne for up to 3 hours, making the potential for spread in crowded and confined spaces such as fitness studios problematic."
This heightened risk of exposure means gyms and exercise studios will likely keep their doors shut for a while longer. For exercise junkies, this is a real bummer. If hitting the gym or taking your favorite workout class was a part of your routine pre-pandemic, this news is a real bummer.
Luckily, there are pandemic-friendly ways to get your heart rate up and break a sweat in the comfort of your own home. Let's explore a few fun, free, and convenient ways to stay fit at home as long as health safety measures remain in place.
Blast your favorite music and dance in your bedroom.
This one's a no-brainer. Who doesn't love putting your favorite jams on blast and dancing around the house? Not only is this a fun way to work out, but it's also a proven way to relieve stress and boost your mood.
It's also proven that dancing has the following benefits:
- It can improve your memory.
- It could prevent heart disease.
- It's a great way to express your creativity.
- It can teach you about other cultures.
Find a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) video on YouTube.
High-intensity interval training (or HIIT for short) is a form of exercise involving a burst of intense cardiovascular activity. Studies show this kind of exercise is just as effective at maintaining our overall health as the traditional, medium-intensity exercise that is most commonly prescribed by health professionals.
The efficiency of this kind of exercise makes it ideal for those with a busy schedule who can't fit thirty minutes of exercise into their everyday schedule. It's also great for these times when you don't have access to the facilities you used to use for your every day, medium-intensity exercise.
Examples of HIIT include cycling, swimming, uphill walking, or using an elliptical machine. All of these exercises can be done outside of a gym or confined space. If you're a HIIT newbie, check out YouTube for a tutorial for beginners.
Take advantage of what you have at home.
Don't be afraid to get creative to get in the exercise you need. If you feel you can't work out at home because you don't have exercise equipment, think again. If you live in a two- or three-story house, you have one of the best exercise tools out there: stairs!
Stair-walking or running is an excellent form of cardio that will strengthen your muscles and cardiovascular endurance. Best of all: it's free and pandemic-safe.