Working Out in a (Necessary) Virtual World

Working Out in a (Necessary) Virtual World

Chances are if you’re someone whose commitment to fitness exceeds any limitations created by a shelter-in-place order, you’ve probably already encountered the barrage of free training and workouts made available across all apps and social media platforms. When offerings are advertised for at home, no weights, just weights, body-weight, small space, garage space…just looking for the right workout can make you work up a sweat. Here are a few guidelines for navigating the content and maintaining your fitness goals from your home.

Determine your parameters 

Searches can be overwhelming, so take a minute to establish any restrictions your current situation has created. What kind of space are you working with? Do you have any equipment? Are your neighbors sensitive to jumping? Do you mind intervals that repeat? Pinpointing search terms will help you focus on the next important piece--what do you like?

Stick with what you like

The venue and atmosphere may have changed, but chances are you can still get your preferred form of exercise--or a close affiliate. Most fitspo allstars are adding more content and catering it to limitations of time and space. Some gyms are offering free online classes. There are even alternative exercise videos for bikers who can’t go outside. Search for what’s most important to you--cardio, yoga, Pilates, weights, under 30 minutes--and discover how people are making all things possible. And if you’re one of the lucky ones still able to get outside to run, hike, or bike, be assertive about social distancing; others may not respect the guidelines, so you’ll need to think and act proactively...even if it means you don’t clock your best time.


What a great time to try something new! So much is available right now, and most of it’s free! Even some membership apps are extending the duration of free trials. Especially if you’re a runner or a biker, this is the perfect time to try some serious cross-training. It may not seem as satisfying as your go-to workout, but you’ll still be putting your body to the test. Or, if you’re super-motivated, go ahead and keep working towards those 2020 fitness goals. It will take even more discipline and creative planning (half marathon on a treadmill, anyone?), but it’s possible with a little help from some friends--engage virtually with like-minded athletes or create a virtual running group to problem-solve challenges that exist.

Roll with it

This may be the most important guideline. Creating a workout regimen during these unprecedented times means working with what you’ve got--and you’ve got more than you think! Get creative. Workouts may get interrupted; so have three short workouts instead of one long one! You don’t have weights or sliders at home; but you have laundry detergent and towels! Your kids are in your space; involve them! (Jump rope competitions! Obstacle courses! Dance parties! Pretend boot camp!) Anything you do is something more than nothing. 

And if you find that you’re just working out less, let it be. Fill your time with something else enjoyable and fulfilling. This lockdown may have us all kinds of crazy, so the most important thing is to be easy on yourself.  Flexible metrics are critical right now, and it’s probably not the best time to create extreme fitness expectations let alone stand by our regular ones. Chances are your body’s going to look a little different at the end of this in some way or another--and be just as beautiful. If your “healthy” these days is simply staying safe and staying sane, then you’re doing enough.

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