8 Ways To Cope With Your Gym Being Closed

Photo: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash
8 Ways To Cope With Your Gym Being Closed

By Denaya Alston

If you have "the gym blues" during social distancing from others in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, you are not alone. As a group fitness instructor, I’m frustrated beyond belief.

The first few days of self-quarantine were the worst. I’m supposed to be in the studio motivating members to crush their goals, and instead, I’m home. As a fellow gym-goer, I can’t go to the gym to release this stress and it is killing me. 

Social distancing is challenging the need for routine and the need to escape. I spoke to people in my community and they are frustrated, too. For us, gym is life and we go there every day.

Part of me feels that we should take this time to rest and rejuvenate, but another part worries about the what-ifs. 

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I know it may sound obsessive but, the more I workout, the more I feel like everything will be okay. So, the solution to the gym blues is to keep active. It will keep you sane.

Even though many gyms are providing free home-based and virtual workouts, sometimes, home workouts may not feel the same. People may not have the same equipment, such as dumbbells and barbells. And, not to mention, distractions at home are everywhere and the lack of motivation can deter you from being committed to a workout routine. 

Many online group fitness communities are offering discounted and free classes to help curb the boredom and gym separation anxiety caused by social distancing. Normally, when you think of gym-goers, you think of weightlifting or burning fat.

However, the gym is more about community, which is what most of us are lacking these days.

If you don’t know how to keep active during social distancing, I have composed a list that can help you cope with the gym blues.

1. Try home workouts.

Home workouts are hot right now! I do at least two home workouts a day to supplement my cardio and weight training. The cool thing about home workouts is that you can choose what type of workout you want to do.

Websites like Youtube offer free home workouts. Yoga with Adriene is one of my favorite Youtubers. Also, many online communities are offering free trials, such as BeachBody and Pilates on Demand. 

2. Walk around the neighborhood.

If your country (or state) allows you to spend time outside during this time, walking/running outside or on a trail is a good way to stay active. Also, see if local studios are selling audio tracks to get your run on.

Since the mandated shut-down, my mom and I have walked around a few neighborhoods and at our local trail. 

3. Participate in social media fitness challenges.

This is a great way to have fun with your friends! Record a video of yourself doing sit-ups or squats for a specified amount of time and challenge your friends to do it by tagging them.

Connect with all of your friends on IG or Facebook. I have taken part in two challenges so far! Burpees, anyone? 

4. Try Tik Tok.

I don’t have a Tik Tok account, but it seems like all my friends have one. I have watched so many Tik Tok videos since practicing social distancing.

Many of the videos I have seen incorporate hip-hop music with choreographed dance moves. In your video, you can have as many people as you want to perform the choreography with you. 

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5. Meditate.

Meditation is powerful. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression during quarantine, try meditating. I’m not a professional, but I have a meditation practice; it keeps me positive and calm. I usually pair my meditation with yoga or sage and ceremonial burning with Palo santo and candles.

There are also guided meditation on YouTube and online communities that practice meditation 24/7. Guided meditations are great for beginners and even those who have a daily practice.  

6. Go hiking.

Hiking is a great way to get away from the chaotic world. If you are allowed to hike, take advantage and remember to practice social distancing while doing so. Hike with the people who live with you if you can. 

7. Do home workouts and dance workouts outside.

When I do home workouts outside as opposed to inside, it is a different experience. Sometimes, it is hotter or colder (depending on where you live) and the fresh air is amazing.

If you have distractions when you workout inside from your pets, partner, or children, then go outside. 

8. Rent out gym equipment.

If your gym allows you to rent out gym equipment, take advantage. My suggestion would be to rent out an exercise bike or a row machine, it is easy to transport and there are many online communities that cater to cycling and rowing.

If you can’t rent out any equipment, you can use household items as well. Try books in place of dumbbells. 

Are you still feeling those gym blues?

Call a friend, follow a fitness instructor, join an online community and get moving! The more you work out and release your stress, the better you will feel. 

RELATED: Running During Coronavirus: How I’m Keeping My First Half-Marathon Goal

Denaya Alston is a writer who focuses on health and welness, self-care, and mental health. For more of her health and wellness content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.