My local YMCA is shut down for the foreseeable future, which means I’ve been on the hunt for handy gym alternatives I can try at home. While a simple walk (or run) outside works perfectly fine, if you’re missing the extra zing you got at your gym or fitness center, we’ve got you covered.
This post updated April 7, with new guidance on social distancing
Thankfully, home fitness content has come a long way since I hopped and jabbed around my living room to Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo DVD experience (no offense, Billy). Here are my recent fave ways to keep moving if your gym, fitness center, or workout studio are closed.
Top image: The Form Fitness via Unsplash
Related: Yoga pants that support an amazing cause
Download one of these workout apps
If you’re home with your kids all day like I am right now, you probably don’t have a ton of uninterrupted workout time. So this round-up of quick, accessible workout apps that get right down to it is for you. And for me. And anyone who could use an endorphin boost in between diaper changes and snack duty.
If you’re looking to really commit to a fitness routine while you’re at home, maybe try out the Gixo app which offers live workouts and lets you asks your instructor questions or request feedback on your form. The Obé app is similar and offers more content and variety than some of the cheaper options. We also covered the YogaGlo app, which offers meditation and yoga lessons, in our round-up of meditation apps.
And then, there are the companies like Peloton and Gold’s Gym all offering extended time free memberships right now — up to 90 days of free at-home workouts, community support and more. Worth it!
This option has become a lot more limited since I originally wrote this post, due to shelter-at-home orders in almost every state. Playgrounds and parks are not a possibility for many of us, but if you live in a more suburban or rural area with ample sidewalk or empty trails — make sure there are no crowds! — take advantage.
I hadn’t gone running in ages before the quarantine, but it turns out being stuck inside with my kids all day was the perfect motivation to hit the pavement.
Image: Grant Ritchie via Unsplash
Try Amazon Echo Fitness Skills
Our editor Kate wrote about all the fitness skills you probably didn’t know Alexa was capable of. Put one of these on for a quick, screen-free workout right in your living room (or wherever your Echo lives).
Look for local studios streaming fitness classes
Some exercise studios are live-streaming classes, often in exchange for much-needed donations to make up for lost revenue. So if you have a yoga studio or kickboxing studio you love, or one you’ve always wanted to try, check to see if they’re offering any virtual workouts.
If you’re aren’t streaming, look at all the tons of workouts offered regularly on Instagram and through social channels. Liz can’t stop talking about Debbie Allen’s Instagram Dance Classes!
Related: Fitness tips for cold weather to help you keep your routine.
Subscribe to a favoriteYouTube workout channel
YouTube teaches me how to do pretty much everything in life, from tying a tie to swaddling my daughter, and of course YouTube is also a fantastic source for at-home workout videos. I love Yoga with Adriene and Short Circuits, but I’ve even tried out several Mommy and me yoga classes, like the ones from Cosmic yoga, which feature fun kid-friendly themes like Frozen or Moana.
Liz is a big fan lately of the popular Fitness Blender channel on YouTube for lots of stretching videos, short weight sessions, cardio workouts and toning workouts, whether you have 10 minutes or an hour.
Related: Tonal is a home fitness system unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
If you’re self-directed, download and create your own fitness schedule
Some online fitness gurus are offering free downloadable fitness schedules like this one from Blogilates. Just reading through it feels like a gift for my routine-starved soul.
Whether or not you find time to do all the reps, I think having one of these taped to the fridge or whoever you workout, could be a great reminder to do at least something active each day. Even if yours says “jog around the backyard for 10 minutes.”
Join the Cool Mom Fit Facebook group for even more ideas and support
Community is crucial to helping me stay consistently active. Since I can’t attend my group classes in person, I’m finding online groups like this one so helpful. It’s a great place to crowdsource ideas and seek inspiration. Because we’re all in this together! Even if we’re in separate houses. The Cool Mom Fit Facebook group is a body positive group for women (and a few men) at all stages in our workout lives — from completely avoidant to marathon runners, and pretty much everyone in between.
I’ve discovered yoga in the last two weeks. I used to misunderstand this activity, but I bought a mat and a few scented oils on Amazon, and now I’m almost a fan, although I’m not flexible enough for many poses. I never thought it was so hard to do some exercises, but I like it.