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Stay active while social distancing

A woman bikes alone on a path.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts recommend that we keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other people to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. And many cities and states have some kind of “stay home” order in effect.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the 150 to 300 minutes a week of exercise recommended for most people. While you should avoid going to the gym or other places where people gather, you still can get the exercise you need.

And there’s good reason to make a point of staying active. For one thing, exercise helps your immune system stay healthy. And that’s very important right now. It’s also a great way to cope with the stress and anxiety you may be feeling.

Exercise is so important, in fact, that even cities and states that have asked residents to stay home still allow people to go outside for exercise as long as you practice social distancing (keeping 6 feet away from other people). So there’s nothing stopping you from tried-and-true activities like taking a walk, a run or a bike ride nearby.

Or you can get creative with close-to-home activities like these:

  • Have a virtual dance party with friends over video chat.
  • If you have stairs, climb up and down for 10 minutes at a time. Or work them into a strength routine with moves like inclined pushups or tricep dips.
  • Make up your own jump rope and shadowboxing routine. No equipment required.
  • Stream a free yoga video. Now’s an ideal time to perfect that warrior pose.
  • Get out into your garden and tackle some yardwork. Nature is a great stress-reliever too.
  • Play active games, like croquet or soccer, with your family (as long as everyone is healthy).
  • If you’re working from home, take some laps around the house on your breaks. Or have a walking phone conference.
  • Do some wall sits while you read a book.
  • Make up a circuit workout with different activities in each room, like jumping jacks, burpees and lunges.

For more ideas on coping with social distancing, visit our Coronavirus topic center.

Reviewed 5/4/2020

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