The Commonwealth at York

Reducing the spread of Covid 19 through social distancing measures is important and vital to our current public health. It also means making enormous changes to our daily routines that can be challenging to adapt to. If your typical exercise schedule included daily visits to a local spin or yoga class, the fitness studio or on jogs with a local run club, it’s likely that you’ve had to find entirely new ways to stay active.

Changing your fitness or exercise routine can seem daunting, especially if yours is a routine you’ve stuck to for years and years on end. The good news is that it is very possible to stay active and move your body every day, even while social distancing. Since physical exercise is an important way to maintain health and boost immunity, it’s more important now than ever.

If you’re wondering how to stay active and reach your daily exercise goals during social distancing, you’re in good luck. Virtual fitness and yoga classes are available for free streaming, and you might even be able to support your local yoga studio by paying a small fee to have access to their online classes. Getting outdoors to move is also a great way to exercise. Biking, jogging, walking and running while maintaining a distance of 6 feet away from those around you are all great ways to get fresh air, sunshine and your heart rate up.

Here are 5 simple ways to get and stay active during Covid 19.

Home Exercise
In response to social distancing measures across the country, yoga studios, fitness gurus and exercise trainers have all taken their classes online. You’ve never had more ways to exercise, stretch and move from home than you do now. Stream yoga or pilates classes from your favorite local studios, or purchase a monthly subscription to Yoga Glo. If you like getting in high energy, high impact workouts, choose from a long list of free options streaming on popular sites like SELF and SHAPE.

Active Outdoors
Getting in your cardio workout is as simple as lacing up your running shoes or hopping on your bike and heading out for 30 minutes to an hour of movement in the fresh air. Run, walk or bike the neighborhood or surrounding areas, maintaining a distance of 6 feet between you and others. If you’ve been jogging or walking with a friend for years, it’s still possible to head out together, but you’ll need to make sure you can maintain that distance of 6 feet between both yourselves and others. Getting active outdoors comes with the added bonus of fresh air and bright, spring sunshine, and it’s good for your physical and mental health.

Household Chores
We know it might not sound like a whole lot of fun, but cleaning and scrubbing down your apartment is an easy way to disinfect, tidy up your space and burn calories. Take this time as an opportunity to catch up on the spring cleaning you typically put off, and give the rooms in your apartment a daily deep clean. Even thirty minutes of vigorous house cleaning can provide you with a good strength workout and some light cardio.

Get Up & Move
If you find yourself sitting for longer stretches during the day as you work from home, make sure to get up every 20-25 minutes to walk around your apartment, do some light stretches and take several deep breaths. Try to take conference calls while walking or standing, and if you do need to sit for long projects, make sure to move around as frequently as possible to keep your blood flowing and your muscles active.

Stretch & Breathe
Social distancing measures are important, but they can also wreak havoc on your mental and emotional health. Being cut off from our loved ones, spending long periods of time in isolation and not having access to our daily routines can feel jarring and cause stress and anxiety. If you’ve suffered job loss or the threat of financial hardship, that stress will only be magnified. Take steps to balance your anxiety through gentle physical movement designed to help regulate your central nervous system, balance your mood and give your body much needed calm. While it won’t get your heart rate up or help you get your steps in, taking 10 minutes a day to stretch, breathe deeply and practice mindfulness will go a long way to support your overall physical and mental health.