Travel + Leisure | How to Exercise During the Coronavirus Outbreak — and Why You Should (Video)

April 22, 2020 View the Original Article

How to Exercise During the Coronavirus Outbreak — and Why You Should (Video)

Working out is more important now than ever. Just not at the gym, please.

The coronavirus has changed daily life around the world in so many ways: the way we shop, the way we work, the way we socialize, and yes, the way we exercise. If you usually work out, or if you’re craving more activity now that the globe is on lockdown, you might be wondering, should I hit the gym during the coronavirus outbreak?

Well, no.

“People may spread this infection even if they have no symptoms whatsoever,” says Paul Pottinger, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We need you to take the situation seriously to protect older people and people with reduced immune systems from severe illness or death.”

That means following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines and putting six feet of distance between you and other people.

Even if your gym is giant and empty (lucky), you should still consider freezing your membership for the time being.

“In many parts of the country, including where I live in Seattle, public health authorities already closed these businesses,” Dr. Pottinger said. He strongly suggests that you stay home if yours is open because there’s still the risk of touching equipment that hasn’t been properly disinfected after every use. “Any room you enter should be minimally populated, and you should have full control over the cleanliness of everything you touch.”

Still, your workout cravings are legit, and exercise is more important during this pandemic than ever, especially when it comes to reducing that funk so many of us are in right now.

“Physical activity improves mood and well-being and reduces stress and anxiety,” says Dori Rosenberg, PhD, affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

And yep, that includes the stress and anxiety associated with canceled flights, remote work, and the regular sight of masks that look like something out of Chernobyl circa 1986.

“You can also use exercise as a way to organize your day,” Rosenberg says. “Our daily lives can be more stressful when we don’t have a schedule, and exercise can be an anchor.”

The obvious follow-up question is, how do you exercise safely during a viral pandemic? Here's what the experts had to say:

Exercise online.

There are tons of free and affordable workouts you can follow along with from your living room — even more now that gyms are offering online workouts during the shutdown. A few favorites:

  1. Yoga: 

    Over 6 million people strike a pose with Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube.

  2. Strength-training: 

    Our sister site Shape.com has a ton of bodyweight workouts you can do anywhere in the world, without any equipment.

  3. HIIT and boxing:

     Boxing gym EverybodyFights is now hosting workouts on Instagram daily (check out 

    the schedule here), and Planet Fitness is doing the same on their Youtube Channel

    .