So here we are. Sidelined by a pandemic in more ways than one and trying to find some semblance of normal life in a situation that is anything but normal. I realize that thinking about your workout right now might seem silly or inappropriate. It certainly does to me. It’s easier to think about all of my friends working in hospitals, all of my colleagues on the front lines, all of the people who have lost jobs and businesses and money, and all of the people dying from this virus all over the world. But that’s the thing about a global crisis: What you can do often feels so small and insignificant, but if we all just did what we could do, we’d be a lot better off. And right now, for most of us, that’s staying home.
While doing your part by social distancing, you can still exercise at home if that’s something you need in your life in order to feel normal (I do).
1. First and foremost, support your personal trainer if you have one.
If you were previously paying a certain amount in personal training each month and you’re able to continue doing that, consider continuing to pay your trainer during this time. They may even be able to train you remotely over FaceTime or Google Hangouts, or even write programming for you to follow at home.
2. Stream workouts from some amazing gyms and trainers.
I was pumped to see my boxing gym, Gloveworx, immediately pivot to virtual workouts—both on YouTube and on Instagram Live every single day. Of course it’s not the same as being in the gym with them, but there’s something special about still being able to work out “together” while apart. So many gyms and trainers are taking a similar approach right now, which means you can try out a "class" that you may never would have been able to otherwise.
3. Invest in at-home fitness equipment.
If you’re still craving the tactile feeling of lifting weight, Widerstrom suggests investing in one 25- to 35-pound weight—yep, you don’t even need to buy a set. “You can hold it with one hand for legs, two hands for upper body,” she says “You can do shoulder presses or bench presses on the floor. You can do a single-arm row.”
If you’re still not sure which weight is right for you, she breaks it down even further: Beginner strength trainers should go for 20 pounds, intermediates, 25 to 30 pounds, and advanced lifters can buy 35 to 40 pounds.
4. Work within the space (and living situation) that you have.
Sure, it would be great to have an Olympic-level training facility in your basement with all the high-tech equipment a girl could dream of, but that’s not the reality for many people. If you’re working within the confines of your tiny bedroom in an apartment you share with a roommate, don’t be discouraged, says Widerstrom. You don’t need much space at all to get in a solid workout—as evidence by this small space, no-equipment cardio workout. And if you’re worried about the noise factor (downstairs neighbors and squat jumps don’t exactly mix), she suggests modifying plyometrics exercises for low-impact bodyweight exercises, which are actually really kind to your joints as well.
If you’re nervous about grunting through a strength training routine with your roommate trying to work in the living room, Widerstrom says she gets it, and sure there are things you can do to accommodate each other’s schedules, but at the end of the day, “I wouldn't worry about it too much just because I actually think it's a great conversation to broach with yourself,” she says. “You can continue to work around somebody else for your life or you can just live your life and not really worry about them.”