I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty oversaturated with COVID-19 updates, and I’d really rather focus my energy someplace else right now. And one of the healthiest ways to distract myself is exercise. Unfortunately, with gyms shutting down and group fitness being discouraged, it can be difficult to feel motivated to work out. As a run coach, cycling instructor, and writer who’s publicly acknowledged how exercise helps manage anxiety, the thought of being without my running buddies and fitness communities at this time is pretty devastating. Of course, we all know there is much greater devastation going on in the world, and it’s up to us to keep things from getting even more out of hand than they already are.
Luckily, there are plenty of workouts you can do while practicing social distancing that don’t require other people. And the best part? Most of them are 100% free!
Yes, there are more gallant things you can be doing than practicing social distancing, and if you have the resources, I encourage you to go out and do them (help neighbors, grocery shop for the elderly, etc). But when you need to take a time out to focus on you—a break from news updates and TikTok videos about the world ending—here are my favorite at-home and virtual workouts you can do. (No equipment or workout buddies required!).
The Best On-Demand Workouts:
- Nike+ App: I’m a big fan of the Nike+ app because A) it’s free! And B) you can filter workouts by the amount of time you have, what type of the body you want to focus on, and what kind of workout equipment you have at home. When I was injured and stuck in a walking boot after a fracture in my right foot, I lived and died by Nike+ upper body workouts I could do in the small patch of space available in my New York City apartment. Today, I still use the app for cross training and building strength, and recommend it to the runners I coach regularly.
- Yoga with Adrienne: If you’ve always wanted to do a 30-day yoga challenge, now is the time to start! With flows as short as 10 minutes to longer, specialized sequences (like Runner’s Yoga), Yoga with Adrienne is great for yogi beginners and veterans alike.
- The Peloton App: I’m sure you’ve heard of a Peloton bike (and may we never forget the worst commercial EVER) but Pelton actually has a great app you can use without buying a $2k laundry rack. People can access yoga, HIIT, stretching, strength training, and treadmill classes through the app, and Peloton is actually offering a 90-day free trial for what’s usually a $12.99 monthly subscription. I’m curious to see if their treadmill/running classes can translate to the road: TBD.
The Best Virtual Fitness Meetups
- November Project: If you’ve always wanted to join the November Project but could never muster the courage to get out of bed and meet dozens of new people before the sun rises (which honestly, can be intimidating AF), here’s your chance to join the powerful army from the comfort of your own home. November Project New York is hosting virtual workouts via Zoom, which you can access via links on their Facebook page.
- Laura Cozik: This badass woman has created a 14-day fitness challenge for her (mostly female) triathlon training group, Team Lipstick. You can join in and get her updates daily by following her Facebook page. Workouts will be posted daily and include equipment-free exercises you can easily do at home. This is not a live-streaming opportunity, but a chance to join a community working together in real-time.
The Best ~Fitfluencers~ To Follow
I honestly hate most “fitfluencers” because they speak as if they have authority on certain subjects (like nutrition) when they actually really don’t know anything about it. (Word to the wise: if your favorite “fitness professional” tries to sell you ‘tummy tea,’ unfollow that person immediately!). However, I do think some worthy individuals are worth following and post great workout content. Here are a couple of my favorites!
- Kira Stokes (@kirastokesfit): Creator of the Stoked Method, Kira posts many of her (super tough!) workouts to the ‘gram (with special appearances by Fuller House star Candace Cameron!). You can follow along on Instagram or download her app for full workouts. Warning: You WILL be sore!
- Lauren Seib (@laurcardarelliseib): This personal trainer and FormeBarre instructor lives and breathes fitness, and curates her feed constantly with butt-busting and arm-strengthening moves you can do both in the gym and at home. Her focus is on strength versus looking a certain way, which I love (and endorse!).
- Adam Rosante (@adamrosante): This fitness legend is an amazing coach and all about bodyweight workouts you can do anywhere. Check out his feed for simple no-equiptment exercises that will keep you feeling strong and healthy while you take some time away from the gym. As a bonus, Rosante is making his online training programs 100% free for anyone in the service industry at this time!
Photo by Benny Johnson