Tools For Your New Virtual Lifestyle: Staying Active

By Olivia Diercks | May 2020



Since the onset of COVID-19, most of us find ourselves transferring many parts of our lives to a virtual space. For some, this change is easy. For others, it can be harder to adapt. So how do we accomplish our everyday tasks and capture our existence in this new (virtual) reality? In this five-part blog series, we'll explore tools for making various aspects of your new virtual lifestyle a success! Read on for blog number three: 

Staying Active During COVID-19

The fitness industry is one in a long list that has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 41 million Americans hold gym memberships, and while significantly less actually use them, many are having to rethink the way they stay active and maintain some semblance of an exercise routine. So what can we do to stay physically active as we adapt to our virtual lifestyles? 

Travel The World While Working Out!

If you're used to accessing a cardio machine at the gym for your workouts, you may be feeling less motivated these days, being limited to the confines of your own home. Media and tech company Virtual Active has dedicated itself to providing a more enjoyable workout experience for exercising at home. If you're walking or running on the treadmill, using a stair stepper or an elliptical, VA's hiking collection and running videos allow you to explore the waterfalls of Costa Rica, the stunning terrain of New Zealand, or trails in the Swiss Alps. More of a stationary bike user? VA is also home to biking products, transporting you to epic trails, cities, and landscapes around the globe. Select a guided workout to be encouraged and guided by a trainer, who will share tips to make your workout effective, and insights into the terrain as you explore. Or, access the basic workout to navigate and enjoy the workout on your own. 

Livestream/Video Workouts

Many fitness organizations are transitioning to or bolstering pre-existing livestream workouts to continue to serve their members, and all who are working to maintain an active lifestyle amidst shelter-in-place measures.

United We Move is Planet Fitness' Corona campaign, providing free, live streamed, "home work-in" videos. Tune in every day at 7pm EST for a 20 minute workout (sometimes with a special celebrity guest!) to keep moving, relieve stress and stay active. 

The YMCA launched YMCA360, which hosts free workout videos in various categories, including yoga, barre, pilates, cycling, and tailored programs for youth and older adults. 

Blink Fitness offers a Facebook Live workout every weekday beginning at 8am, with guest trainers, Q&A, and tips for staying healthy and motivated through shelter in place.

Sharing mostly bodyweight workouts, The Bar Method has a library of online workouts, anywhere from 15-60 minutes in length. The workouts are designed to be completed in atypical settings (hotel rooms, apartments, etc) and on your own time.

Orangetheory Fitness is hosting free, daily, 30-minute workouts with coaches/trainers from around the world, featuring mainly household-item-friendly exercises.

For more ideas, check out this list!

Stretch, Move, And Get Outside

Stretching is an extremely important (and often underrated) part of good physical health, and a practice that is easy to take care of at home. Harvard Medical School suggests stretching at least 3-4 times a week, if not implementing a daily stretching routine, to keep muscles strong and lean, and to maintain range of motion - particularly in the lower extremities. This is especially important as our lives have become more and more sedentary with stay-at-home guidelines. 

Just move! We often feel pressure to get in an intense, hour and a half workout, and if we can't, just scrap the idea altogether. ANY movement is good for your body and mental health. Take a 20 minute walk over lunch. Build in 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day to do a few jumping jacks, jog in place, or stretch. Calisthenics may sound archaic, but using your body weight to move and weight train is a great, healthy practice.

Spring is here and summer is not far away...YAY! While it is important to maintain social distancing regulations, TIME magazine reports that getting outside for even just 20 minutes a day increases happiness - making for a more positive mood, improvements in mental health, and even lessening the likelihood of psychiatric disorders. On a more physical side, it is said to lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress, and encourage more physical activity. Even though we can't stray far from our homes, getting outdoors whenever/wherever possible helps make staying home more tolerable. 

Check out our blog post, The COVID-19 Survival Guide: 9 Steps to Keeping Calm at Home, for more ideas on how to build staying active into your day!