Gyms have been closed since March and even though they are supposed to reopen in Phase 2, Governor Murphy has yet to release a date when we can get back to our favorite fitness centers. In the meantime, gyms are allowed to hold outdoor classes and you can get a workout at your gym if you hire a trainer for a private socially distanced session.
Whether you’re missing those indoor group workout classes or just a good sweat sesh on your preferred cardio machine, it can be difficult to figure out how to fit exercise in when you’re working from home and parenting under these unprecedented restrictions.
But just because gyms are closed that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your workouts. From running outdoors to trying a fitness app, there are so many ways to keep moving. Besides feeling good in your body, working out can help boost your energy levels when you’re constantly dealing with kids and work. Plus, getting some exercise can be a great stress reliever (something all of us need right now!).
Coincidentally, I decided to quit the gym right before the coronavirus pandemic, which put me in a unique position of already having figured out some enjoyable ways to keep moving without the gym. Since there will likely be many rules and restrictions at gyms when they finally do open, it might be worth it to find an activity you love that you can do without going to a fitness center. Here are a few of my favorites:
Jillian Michaels My Fitness App
I’ve been a fan of Jillian since her days as a trainer on “The Biggest Loser” and her My Fitness app makes it feel like you’re getting a personal training session with her. I love that I can sneak up to my kids’ playroom and get a workout in to start the day without anyone noticing that I’m gone since they are all around 25-26 minutes including warm-up and cool down. The workouts, which are tough, but oh-so effective, focus mostly on strength which is so important especially for women to focus on as we get older.
Myx Fitness Exercise Bike
At about half the price of a Peloton, the Myx Fitness bike is sturdy, sleek and helps me get a great cardio workout in right in the comfort of my own home – and this is a huge plus – on my own schedule. Myx has a membership that gives you a huge variety of on-demand workout classes for both on and off the bike. The bike sessions make you feel like you’re working out with a personal trainer who instructs you on proper form and intensity level (while a great soundtrack plays). The bike easily adjusts for me (at 5 feet even) and my exceedingly tall husband, which means we can both get a good workout in without worrying about gym germs.
Yoga with Adriene
Hosted by the very personable and easy-going Adriene Mishler, Yoga with Adriene offers free, high-quality yoga workouts designed for all levels of fitness. The YouTube videos vary in length and focus – there are 10-minute practices when you just need a quickie and longer ones when you really want to get a bigger workout in. Doing yoga helps me balance out the high-intensity workouts that I do the rest of the week and just as importantly, they give me time for myself to be in my body, stretch, release tension and just “be”!
Running and Biking Outside
From a leisurely jog around my neighborhood to a family bike ride to a nearby park, I’ve definitely taken advantage of the great outdoors during the quarantine. There’s something about getting outside to exercise that just really clears your head, not to mention that it’s a break from being in the house so much! Our family rides are a great way to get everyone moving and show our kids that exercise is something anyone can do, anytime.
Hitting 10,000 Steps
Even though workouts are an important part of my life, I know that it also matters how much you move during the day. During coronavirus, it’s easy for me to look up and realize I’ve been seated almost all day long, so we’ve made it our family mission to try for 10,000 steps a day. The kids enjoy trying to hit that goal and love checking the steps on my phone or on their vívofit jr 2 watches.
With all of these options, I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll rejoin the gym once they’re allowed to reopen (though I am really looking forward to getting back to some of the fun classes I enjoy, like Orangetheory!). Even though these are the activities that work for me, the bottom line is that there is no one right way to exercise–it’s all about finding an activity that you actually want to do and then doing it–while under quarantine and when the world opens up again.