How To Keep Healthy and Fit While Social Distancing
May 28, 2020

How To Keep Healthy and Fit While Social Distancing

Lisa Woo and her husband, Howard, got married in January. At the time, they couldn’t have imagined a virus separating them by April. The U.S. and Canadian governments closed the border to non-essential travel. When the lockdown occurred, Howard, who is American, was in Bellingham, Washington. Lisa, a Canadian citizen, was in Whistler, British Columbia.

If COVID-19’s social distancing is stressing you out, you’re definitely not alone. Plenty of people, like Lisa and Howard, are separated from those they love. Plenty of parents are pulling their hair out, trying to home-school their kids while keeping their households together. Many worry about money because they can’t go to work. Whether you live in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa or the Middle East, you’re swaying to this same crazy song.

It’s stressing people out. That’s why it’s more important than ever to exercise or meditate. Unfortunately, gym and yoga centers are closed. And when they re-open, you might not be rushing for their doors right away. Even most of the outdoor exercise areas that I like to use (such as playgrounds and public pull-up bars) are closed to the public. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative.

Ursula Pong spends her career motivating people to exercise. But these days, the sixty-year old PE teacher is stuck in her home in Singapore. “It’s important that people keep moving,” she says. “Even if people don’t have exercise equipment at home, they should focus on what they can do and not what they can’t do.” For example, that might include walking or lifting a bag of rice for those who don’t have weights at home.

Ursula Pong, photo courtesy of Ursula Pong

Free Yoga For Adults Online

But not everyone has the discipline to heave bags of rice in their garage. For many, it’s easier to follow someone else. Sofia Pelletier, a 57-year old music teacher, follows Yoga with Adriene online. “Her voice is soothing, and her descriptions are clear. I especially like her 30-day yoga series. When I first started to follow her, she had one million followers. Today she has more than 7 million.”

Adriene Mishler is the wildly popular yoga teacher who records regular routines from her home in Austin, Texas. Her low-key approach, and the fact that her dog, Benji, sometimes walks onto her yoga mat, lightens the mood and draws new fans.

Free Yoga For Children

Like many young mothers, twenty-nine year old Nicolette Bader juggles several duties. She’s raising two toddlers in Edmonton, Alberta. She’s also trying to complete her Master’s degree in counseling. To keep her children healthy, happy (and as focused as toddlers can be) she’s using Cosmic Kids Yoga. It entertains her kids while also keeping them active and healthy. It’s something, she says, the family can do together. “I feel energized and relaxed after completing one of her videos with my kids.”

Nicolette Bader and her family, photo courtesy of Nicolette Bader

Free Meditation Guides

Several studies link daily meditation to overall health. Just a few minutes a day can reduce stress, help us sleep better and strengthen our immune systems. While recovering from cancer surgery, ten years ago, I discovered Elisabeth Blaike’s Fragrant Heart meditations. Whether you’re new to meditation or a master, Blaike’s soothing voice will put your mind at ease. Some of the meditations are just two minutes long. Others are as long as 25 minutes. Scroll through her options. There’s something for everyone.

Free Online Guides For A Dynamite Core

As a nomadic traveler for the past 6 years, I don’t have a regular gym. My wife and I spend much of our time roaming Mexico and Central America in our van, touring on our tandem bicycle through Europe or backpacking around Southeast Asia. I don’t usually bring weights or exercise equipment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t exercise every day. Some of my favorite guides to follow include Christine Curry’s Fitness workouts, Brandon Carter’s Abdominal Assault workouts and (for the really hard-core) Jeff Cavaliere’s routines at ATHLEAN-X.

Spend a bit of time watching or listening to these yoga, meditation and exercise routines. As happens with YouTube, others will pop up. Hundreds of free guides are available online. Find what’s right for you. Then exercise or meditate with your favorite at least three times a week. This will help your mind and body combat the craziness of COVID-19.

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