How do I stay safe while exercising in COVID-19 times?
Keeping physically active is as important as ever while we are doing our very best to stay safe and healthy during COVID-19. You may be missing the camaraderie of the gym and swimming laps at your local pool and find it hard to start a new routine.
While some gyms and fitness centres have opened, it is safest to select outdoor activities and limit your time in an indoor environment with shared surfaces. If you enjoy group classes, there are many free video workouts on Youtube.
Another popular choice is the Peloton app which includes classes without a bike. If you don’t have weights at home you can still participate by using water bottles and cans. The variety is endless so you won’t get bored with so many options to choose from.
If you live in a climate where you can be outside, walking is one of the best ways to stay active and improve your mental wellbeing. As winter settles in, you can do outdoor activities during the middle of the day when it is warmest and if you live somewhere where it is too cold, you can walk with your jacket and boots. If you have kids, get them involved in fitness, they will likely enjoy games and running in the snow and you will get a workout chasing them. If you have ever climbed a hill in full winter gear you will know that it can break a sweat.
You can also be safe by building movement into your day. Set a timer for each hour and take 5 minutes to go up and down the stairs in your house or building, walk around the block or take your pet outside in the backyard for playtime.
Another option is a socially distanced walk with a friend, this feels great to connect as you wear a mask and catch up. Pick a new route or neighborhood to keep things novel.
Once again, staying active is crucial for your body and mind and the healthy habits you create now could last beyond the pandemic.
Prerana Sangani, MD, November 2, 2020