How to Avoid Quarantine Bod: At-Home Exercise at Your Fingertips

By Jessica Kafer, MD

As the nation battles the spread of coronavirus, North Carolina’s stay-at-home order allows social distancing to prevent overburdened healthcare resources. With many businesses like gyms and yoga studios shutting their doors, wellness and exercise routines are taking on different forms.

Just like continuing to see your doctor to manage your health is important, so is continuing to find ways to exercise. At a time where we want to stay well to avoid not just coronavirus but urgent care and the emergency room, exercise is a great component of your overall plan. 

Beyond the positive impacts on our physical health, exercise also contributes to our mental and emotional well-being. Feeling stress and anxiety is natural in this time of uncertainty so taking any opportunities we can to improve our mental wellness is important.

Here are a few exercise tips and resources to keep your heart pumping and mind active:


Try A New Training Program

Gyms and fitness classes keep us in a routine. Without those typical outlets, we can fall out of our rhythm. Finding a new training program can help provide the schedule and consistency your exercise plan needs. 

  • Train for a race. Whether it’s your first 5k or you’re ready for a longer distance, following a running program takes the guesswork out of your schedule. I trained for my first 10k using running coach Hal Higdon’s online plans. From 5k to marathon, there are training options for each that start at novice/walker and go through advanced. 
  • I’ve used Kayla Itsines’ SWEAT app, which features 28-minute bodyweight circuits, meaning there’s no equipment required. These are intense workouts, but they can be scaled for any level and will definitely get you in shape! 

Take it Virtual

Technology gives us the opportunity to make the gym anywhere we are. Just as Gaston Medical Partners has debuted virtual visits for patients that allow them to maintain their health from home, fitness companies are making the same shifts. 

  • Many local studios are now offering online classes like Orangetheory and my own go-to yoga studio, Be Yoga. Want to see if your favorite workout spot is offering something similar? Scoop Charlotte has a list of local options so you can feel good about working out and supporting a small business.
  • If you’re a group exercise fanatic, Daily Burn offers a library of classes you can stream at home. High-intensity workouts, yoga and pilates, barre – you name it and they have a solution. Their 30-day free trial also means you can give it a whirl to see if it’s right for you.

Keep It Simple

Staying well and getting in your exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. 

  • Walk right out your front door. Getting out in your own neighborhood for a 30-60 minute walk gives you the chance to wave at neighbors from a distance, look at all the gorgeous flowers that are blooming and maybe even get inspiration for your next landscaping project. 
  • Don’t forget about your workout buddies. When we have accountability partners we’re more likely to stay consistent with our exercise. You may not be able to see your regular gym friends, but FaceTime or hop on a call to trade tips and tricks for keeping up your routine at home. 

No matter what your “normal” routine is, find a way to create one for now. Developing your “new normal” and finding exercise options that work for you will help keep you well both mentally and physically. Don’t forget that staying healthy also means continuing to attend your well visits and managing your ongoing health needs.