COVID-19: Staying in Shape While Staying Home

Gyms are closed, workout studios are shuttered and spinning classes have come to a screeching halt while we shelter in place during the coronavirus pandemic. So, now what to stay fit?

“Now is an ideal time to develop or refine your home workouts,” says Carmen Yu, a UCLA Health physical therapist. “You have more options at your fingertips than you may realize.”

Training apps

Yu recommends a couple of apps to help guide your home workouts. One of her favorites is the Nike training app because of its extensive library of videos. “You can filter the videos by whether your workout will occur with or without equipment or if you want to focus on a certain body area,” she explains.

She also likes 8fit, a workout and meal-planning app that offers personalized workout routines and customized meal plans for your specific fitness and nutritional needs.

Exercise equipment

Yu says you do not need fancy exercise equipment for your home workouts. However, if you are thinking about purchasing equipment -- a rower, treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical trainer, as examples -- you should consider:

  • Available space to accommodate the equipment.
  • Type of flooring it will sit on.
  • Potential noise levels, especially if you live in an apartment or duplex.

You also can purchase devices to turn your bike into a stationary trainer, Yu says, adding that some gyms and studios are now leasing exercise equipment to members while their facilities remain closed.

Low-tech, high return

Don’t have the space, budget or time to purchase exercise equipment now? Don’t worry. Yu says you can get ample exercise just by going on walks, runs, hikes or bike rides around your neighborhood. “Maintain proper social distancing by choosing routes and paths unlikely to attract crowds,” she advises.

Yu also offers a helpful hack for those who want to do squats or lunges at home, but lack access to a barbell or weights. “Wear a backpack filled with hardbound books, paperweights or other heavy objects to create the equivalent weight you would use at the gym,” she advises. “But remember to maintain proper body mechanics while doing these or other home exercises.”

For more at-home workout tips, visit UCLA Health Sports Performance