The current pandemic has hit most traditional gyms and fitness centers hard; how are people coping with working out at home?
The current pandemic has hit most traditional gyms and fitness centers hard, especially once more has been learned about the likely spread of the virus through respiratory droplets. There are admittedly few places with more collective heavy breathing than you‘ll find in indoor workout venues!
After reading a recent article in Time on non-gym fitness trends in a COVID-19 world, I started asking others how they have been coping with transitioning to home-based workout routines. I asked, “So what’s your new favorite, home-based physical activity?” Most of the people who voluntarily answered my queries were coping quite well. Here are some examples:
- Virtual fitness classes, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, and free weights on my own. I also teach virtual classes in these formats.
- Garage workouts and family bike rides
- My total gym machine and I have made up and are a thing again. Hand weights with my favorite TV shows work well.
- I love riding my bike ❤️
- I have enjoyed TRX, kettlebell, and resistance band workouts.
- Rediscovered exercise bands that I use with my home weights, coupled with daily walks. I’ve enjoyed training differently from going back to the gym. Will I go back to the gym? I think so when the old flexibility of going when I want rather than booking time in around new hours returns.
- LOVE using the @Ergatta program with my indoor WaterRower rowing machine!
- Not at home but, a very socially distant sport is Disc Golf. A nice walk in a park, but also focuses on eye–hand coordination. Throwing skills can also be learned.
- Living in a province with an excellent chief public health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has encouraged people to exercise outside while observing physical distancing precautions.
- I’ve finally started my power walks right here in the neighborhood or on the beach. Fringe benefit: I know my way around the community now!
And my personal favorite:
- Do beach walks count?
Yes, absolutely, they do! (Just remember to social distance and wear a face covering when you can‘t stay at least six feet apart from others on the beach.) Actually, all of the activities listed can work for you, as can many others. (Please feel free to access and download some of them anywhere, anytime exercises I recommend through the Resources page on Diabetes Motion Academy at https://www.dmacademy.com/resources.)
Later in the July 2020 Time article, it states, “Only 20% of Americans said they‘d feel comfortable going to a gym as of July 13, according to a Morning Consult poll. Another survey, conducted by market-research firm OnePoll and commissioned by LIFEAID Beverage Co., found that 25% of Americans never plan to go back.“ I have heard similar comments from family members and friends who were, up until a few months ago, consistent gym-goers, as I was myself.
What does that say about the future of working out at home versus returning to the gym once this pandemic is under control? I think that remains to be seen. However, if we can all figure out ways to be more physically active around our homes and neighborhoods without needing to shoulder the cost of joining a gym or the inconvenience of getting there, that may lead all of us to become and remain more active and improve our collective health far more than we have been able to do with gym memberships and lapsed attendance.
Gyms will still exist after this pandemic ends—at least some of them—and many people will enjoy going back to them and restarting their old workout routines. However, with the pervasive availability of the internet nowadays, the potential for the use of Zoom and other virtual interactions, and additional innovative means of connecting to exercise and active communities remotely, I look forward to seeing what new and creative avenues this pandemic ends up leading us to in the fitness world!
Reference: Time magazine, July 15, 2020: https://time.com/5867166/covid-19-gyms-exercise/?fbclid=IwAR1DVNQEd03PaHdwZXSKlRNhYvlMosxVYg_Gfy5weAyk89Q5NTt82DRY8og
Sheri R. Colberg, Ph.D., is the author of The Athlete’s Guide to Diabetes: Expert Advice for 165 Sports and Activities (the newest edition of the Diabetic Athlete‘s Handbook). She is also the author of Diabetes & Keeping Fit for Dummies, co-published by Wiley and the ADA. A professor emerita of exercise science from Old Dominion University and an internationally recognized diabetes motion expert, she is the author of 12 books, 30 book chapters, and over 420 articles. She was honored with the 2016 American Diabetes Association Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award. Contact her via her websites (SheriColberg.com and DiabetesMotion.com).