Most fitness centers are closed or operating on greatly reduced hours, and this can make it hard to stay active.

Keeping active while your gym is shut down is a challenge but worth it, said Rachel Woodson, director of Employee Wellness for Mercer University.

“Exercise is one of the best stress management techniques that people can actually use,” she said. 

While stress is at an all-time high, exercise can help with anxiety, sleep, fatigue and depression, she said.

“Even after one workout you’ll have a boost in terms of your overall mood,” she said. 

Exercising more than once is an even bigger benefit.

“Those benefits are cumulative. So the more often you exercise regularly, then the better you’ll be in terms of your stress management,” Woodson said. 

So how can Mercer students and staff work out while at home? Woodson has some great resources to stay in your “beary” best shape.

1. The Den

Woodson’s department along with Recreational Sports and Wellness have put together workout videos that are published daily here on The Den. In addition, the student group fitness leaders have put together workouts in place of the weekly classes offered on campus.

2. YouTube

YouTube has a huge library of free videos. If you want a specific type of workout, you can find the perfect video. You can even kick it old school with videos from your parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Try the original Jazzercise videos, or Richard Simmons’ workouts. At the very least, your abs will be sore from the laughter. 

3. Fitness Blender

For free workouts for the gym rat or the isolator who’s looking to begin, fitnessblender.com has the perfect video, Woodson said. The website can accommodate anyone looking to workout. There are hundreds of workouts to choose from based on how much time you have, the kind of exercise you want to do and the area of the body you want to work. Many of the workouts don’t require any equipment, making them perfect for exercising at home.

4. The outdoors

While we’re supposed to avoid other people and isolate primarily in our homes, we can still enjoy the space around us. Going for a walk, run or hike outside is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and be healthy, Woodson said. Just make sure to stay at least 6 feet away from others.

If you have returned to your parents’ house, you can always dig out your bike, jump rope or hula hoop. Who knows what childhood toys you can find in your garage. Whatever you find, embrace your inner child.

 

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