Gyms were one of the first businesses to close and are currently one of the last businesses to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Going to the gym is one of my favorite hobbies (Yes, I’m one of those people). It’s a simple hour of my day when I get to dedicate my time to my mental and physical health; it’s therapeutic. When my gym first closed back in March, I had no clue what to do and I was unmotivated. So, I searched for the next best alternatives. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with creative ways to get in a good sweat. Now that I’ve been in an at-home routine for six months, I think I know a thing (or six) about staying fit without a gym.
- YouTube videos
Whether you prefer strength training, HIIT or a dance workout, YouTube has a workout video for you. There’s countless fitness videos, so you’ll never have to do the same one twice. Following along with a workout video is like having a best friend workout by your side, encouraging you along the way. Plus, following someone else's workout helps me to not stop to lay on my dorm rug in a sweat pile. Sydney Cummings, Whitney Simmons, Chloe Ting and Mad Fit are some of my favorite fitness influencers to follow along with on YouTube.
Various blogs have monthly/weekly fitness challenges. Online challenges can range from simple daily ab workout and pilates videos to intense running mileage. You can pick and choose what suits you with just a few minutes of research. Most blogs have other people tracking their progress to keep both themselves and you accountable. Blogilates posts pilates challenges every month.
- Virtual group classes
The thing about isolation is it’s, well, isolating. Be Fit Pitt is helping to fix that by providing free virtual, group fitness classes through Zoom on Pittwire Live. Featured classes include Yoga and Zumba. Hop on their zoom call and join in on the fun with your roommate by your side. You can check out the calendar to attend live classes that fit your schedule.
- Running or walking outside
Taking advantage of the outdoors is one of the perks that came from quarantine. I used to run on the treadmill every day. It was a monotonous routine of staring at a blank wall at my local gym, sacrificing my form with short strides just to speedily sprint. Fast forward to now, I can’t imagine running on a treadmill again. There’s something beautiful about running with the wind early in the morning. Grab a buddy, or your pepper spray, to take on the Oakland streets or Schenley Park trails.
If running isn’t your forte, walking is just as great. I love to beat my midday slump by going for a walk with a friend or while listening to a podcast. The views are so humbling that I can practice gratitude, as well. Going for long walks helps me clear my head and keeps me attentive for the rest of the day.
- Outdoor turf at the Pitt Sports Dome
If you’re the athletic, sporty type, the Pitt Sports Dome is for you. Pitt is renting out their field at the Pitt Dome with online reservations to ensure proper social distancing. You have the field for the allotted time to play various sports like field hockey, lacrosse, soccer or whatever you want! Click here to reserve a time for the outdoor turf at the Pitt Sports Dome.
Bike riding is an underrated form of cardio. Biking Oakland’s hills will surely tone your legs. If you don’t have a bike here on campus, you can rent one for $2 every 30 minutes at stations scattered around campus and Pittsburgh with Healthy Ride.
Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. I hate to say this, but the semester is only going to become more difficult from here on out. The work will pile on and exams will come and go. With so many unknowns, you can take control of your health through these six forms of exercise. Do what feels good for your body and your timing. Maintaining your health is a marathon, not a sprint.