Keeping Fit While Social Distancing

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Given the current state of our community and country, it’s important you’re still keeping fit while social distancing.   Fitness Specialist and Personal Trainer at Naperville’s Edward Health & Fitness Center Sindhu Pazhampally offers a few suggestions for how to stay active even as we fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Cardiovascular Fitness

A good goal is to do heart-healthy cardiovascular exercises at least two to three times a week, at 30 to 60 minutes per time, depending on your fitness level.  The intensity is up to you, with a brisk walk being a more moderate intensity and a full-on run as an example of more high intense workout.  Experts say you can still walk or run outside but if you still want to keep yourself isolated at home, you can do both on a treadmill or stationary bike.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is another good option that combines both cardiovascular plus some muscle toning and uses only your own body weight.  It’s a routine that includes fast, high-intensity exercises for 30 to 60 seconds, followed by a slower, more moderate level exercise with a short rest break in between.  An example might be 30 seconds of jumping jacks (high intensity) followed by 30 seconds rest and then 60 seconds of slow squats (low intensity), then repeating this routine with several other exercises such as mountain climbers, push-ups, high-knees, and planks.


Pazhampally says when it comes to weight-lifting you can use dumbbells if you already have them but if you do not, it’s okay to get creative.  You can use everyday household items like a water bottle or even cans of soup in lieu of a small dumbbell, or heavier milk jugs instead of kettlebells (since they both have handles).  Using these items, you can do simple weight-baring exercises such as bicep or tricep curls or shoulder presses.

You can do dips while gripping the arms of a chair and your feet stretched out on the floor in front of you.  Towels or paper plates can go underneath your feet instead of sliders that allow you to slide your feet in and out along the floor for certain exercises.

Relieving Stress

Keeping fit while social distancing is a great way to not only pass the time but also to relieve stress.  Being isolated from friends and family can produce a lot of stress, which in turn can make your muscles stiff.  In addition to workouts, it’s also important to take time to stretch and to do some breathing exercises, both of which can help tension off your muscles.   This is especially true for senior citizens, the population most at risk for serious COVID-19 infections.  Here’s a great list of the 10 best exercises for seniors.