Decisions have been made, lines are drawn and your front door has literally closed…..COVID-19 brings us a new reality of social distancing.
With it comes questions, worries, angst and stress.
One way that many of us learn to deal with our daily life is exercise - sometimes independently, at other times with our friends and buddies. The good news is we can still do that.
Here are six (6) ways we can continue experiencing our daily release of physical exercise while keeping our bodies, minds and souls in shape.
Dust off the treadmill - or buy a new one
It’s time for the rubber to hit the well….rubber. There are many options available in treadmills from your basic to the most advanced models that have every bell and whistle you can imagine and more.
The great thing about treadmills is it requires very little thought - you can simply just get on and go.
Ways to make it more interesting:
- If you are training for an event or just getting your weekly miles or steps in, a treadmill can help you easily accomplish your tempo run, speed work, and easy long run.
- Depending on your treadmill, most models have built in monitors with higher end models having programs that guide you along a scenic trail with automated intensity and height adjustments to mimic the terrain. Built in virtual coaching is also available and some will even sync with your current running watches.
- This is a great time to get caught up with your movies or shows you’ve been meaning to binge watch, listen to those podcasts or zone out with your music.
- Create a virtual running group - run with 1 or 20 people in the comfort of your own home.
- You can even utilize your social media, webcams, zoom platforms, Facetime and google hangouts to create a virtual running group.
If you are looking to pick up a treadmill, here are links to the top recommended with detailed reviews based on budget ranges & where you live.
2. Exercise Bikes - Upright vs Recumbent vs Spin
There are many choices available here. First you need to decide which type of bike best suits your needs - unless you really want to purchase 3 different bikes.
- Upright bikes - most like your traditional road or mountain bikes. There is no backrest, your body is vertically aligned above the pedals and there is more impact on your knees and hips. However, it allows you to work on your core/trunk muscles. Most of us are already familiar with this vertical bike riding position and there are multiple adjustable options available to improve your comfort.
- Recumbent bikes - allow you to recline in a more horizontal position, easing lower back and hip pains, providing greater support with a backrest and larger seat than either the upright or spin bikes. A great option for those with physical aches and pains. However, given the amount of support provided by the backrest and seat, the trunk of your body will not be as engaged and will thus not attain as intense workout as available with either the upright or spin bike. You will still get a great workout though as you will increase your heart rate while viewing your workout states available on the provided wide screens.
- Spin bikes - great for high intensity interval workouts. They come with both clip ins pedals for cycling shoes or clipless pedals. They have a smaller footprint than a recumbent bike and are generally lighter in weight so easier to maneuver around your home.
- Typical spin bikes have no monitor/console for workout programming or scenic trails so the workout is mostly up to you. If you are used to this self programming and motivation, this is a great fit for you. Most will incorporate standing into their workout and the fat and calorie burning is higher with a spin bike. So if your main goal is fat and calorie burning this may be your best option.
If you are looking to pick up a spin or recumbent bikes, here are links to the top recommended with detailed reviews based on budget ranges & where you live.
*Schwinn 230 vs 270 (two of the highest recommended recumbent bikes)
*Schwinn AD2 vs AD6 (two inexpensive exercise bikes)
*Schwinn 130 vs. Schwinn 170 (two moderate priced upright bikes)
*EXERPEUTIC 900XL is highly reviewed recumbent bike and is budget friendly!
- Recumbent stationary bike offers challenging cardiovascular workout while minimizing stress on your joints and back. Adjustable height
- Eight-level Magnetic Tension Control System allows you to customize your ride and challenge yourself over time
- Large, easy-to-read LCD display indicates distance, calories burned, time, speed, and heart rate information
- Dimensions-52 x 23 x 37.5 inches. 63-pound weight and 300-pound maximum user weight
- Includes limited one-year manufacturer's warranty
Of course you can use the upright bikes as a spin bike but the weight of the bike will likely be greater. There are many new models out there (who doesn’t remember the Peloton commercials and it’s resulting social media outcry) among others that you can use for both spin and your traditional exercise bike.
Each has its own benefits and downfalls.
Read the reviews and decide what is most important for you. If you experience conditions which cause joint and/or body aches and pains consider the recumbent bike options. You still get a great workout without the heavy impact.
3. Rowing - a great overall body workout for all of us.
Rowing engages our arms, core and legs and helps build endurance. With rowing machines we can now perform this workout on home rather than it being an exclusive water sport.
There are now models that separate into 2 parts for easy storage making this a great addition to any home exercise routine.
* Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 is budget friendly & highly rated!
- DIGITAL MONITOR - The large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, scan. The convenient scan mode displays your progress to assist you in tracking all your fitness goals
- EXTRA LONG SLIDE RAIL - At 48 inches in slide rail length and 44 inches in inseam length, the SF-RW5515 can accommodate rowers of nearly any size.
- ADJUSTABLE MAGNETIC RESISTANCE - With a simple twist, you can increase or decrease the 8 levels of magnetic resistance, so your workout can remain challenging and effective throughout your fitness journey.
- TRANSPORTATION WHEELS - Built in transportation wheels for easy portability. Simply tilt and roll out for use or away for storage, no need for heavy lifting or muscle strain. Folded Dimensions: 37L X 19W X 53. 5H inches
- NON-SLIP FOOT PEDALS - Textured non-slip foot pedals will ensure safe footing during the most demanding and vigorous workouts! Foot straps keep your feet saddled in so you can focus on the workout without feeling unbalanced
4. Suspension Training - a compact, whole body workout using your own bodyweight as the resistance.
A great option for the beginner through the advanced person suspension training allows for you to utilize your own body weight to increase your flexibility, activate your core muscles and work on those arm muscles all the while improving your balance.
The system generally consists of nylon ropes with handles at the end - usually covered with a foam or rubber type material.
Attached to an anchor from a bar, ceiling, doorway or even used outside using a fence there are a multitude of workouts available online to follow.
A few of the most popular brands include TRX all in one, Lifeline Jungle Gym XT Suspension Trainer System and INTENT SPORTS Bodyweight Max Trainer.
5. Strength Training -
Even if you are doing all of the above let’s not forget the importance of strength training. Incorporating this into your daily workout routine allows for not only great tone and muscles but helps with physically with bone strengthening.
And who wouldn’t feel better with toned muscles and increased strength?
What equipment do you need?
- PROVEN: BOSU Balance Trainer provides cardio, muscular strength, flexibility and endurance training in unique, challenging and highly effective workouts. Downloadable workouts are developed by industry professionals to improve overall fitness and health.
- IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH: Challenging and fun, the BOSU Balance Trainer gives a whole new meaning to "moving with control" as you work out on an unstable, dynamic surface
- HIGHEST QUALITY: This is "The Original" Balance Trainer. Proudly Made in the USA. If you have any issues with your product please contact us directly at email@example.com
- BUILT TO LAST: The BOSU Balance Trainer has been tested to last 10x the leading generic balance trainer. Maximum User Weight: 300 lbs.
- INCLUDED: BOSU Balance Trainer, Owner's manual, and hand pump
Or go for an all in one home gym - there are a multitude of options available.
6. Yoga -
Let’s not forget the exercise that works out your physical body but improves your mental state of mind as well - an important consideration as we navigate these new social challenges we face during this pandemic.
There are books, videos, PBS has it’s own gentle morning yoga session.
Yoga allows you to bring just you - allow your mind to clear, remain focused only “on your mat” and let those proverbial thoughts, worries and fears to come then allow them to go - releasing yourself from their grasp. Breathe into the far reaches of your body and mind, bringing them together, if just for the next 10 minutes or the next hour…..or 2. An exercise mat with some grip is best here but if all you have is a towel, go for it.
Let’s not forget our basic needs as well.
A good pair of socks and shoes are a necessity. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day and ensure you get a quality amount of sleep and rest. Sleep allows our bodies and minds the opportunity to relax, rejuvenate and refocus to take on these new challenges we are facing, physically and mentally.
If you find that you are experiencing difficulties getting to sleep or sleeping through the night (and it’s not related to your kids, pets, partner….) consider obtaining a sleep machine, noise machine, fan, sleep masks and/or ear plugs.
Of course, talk with your doctor or other qualified medical professional to rule out any medical concerns.
With the incredible advances in technology the wonderful thing is we can now purchase our exercise equipment, videos, mats, apps, etc online from the comfort of our own homes while we follow the advice of our health and medical professionals and CDC. Most of these products can be easily purchased and quickly delivered in 1-3 days.
So, if you have been considering enhancing your at home exercise routine or want to begin something new, what better time to start than now as we all hunker down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Consider this an opportune time to reflect, be present and reach for our own unique levels of authenticity. It’s now time to engage with ourselves and each other.
Bring your community together while practicing self care - our world, our bodies and our souls are crying out for it.
Last update on 2020-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API