• While we all begin to transition to lives defined by social distancing we might just be playing jump rope alone. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
In the midst of a pandemic it’s hard to know what the correct course of action is when it comes to personal fitness.
Zoe Victoria

17 Mar 2020 - 12:40 PM  UPDATED 20 Mar 2020 - 10:00 AM

I have a yoga class booked for this afternoon.

I still don’t know if I’ll be attending. In the midst of a pandemic it’s hard to know what the correct course of action is when it comes to personal fitness. The current medical advice for NSW is that we need to be practicing social distancing.

The NSW Health advice for non-essential activities outside the workplace includes “avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces”. My yoga class is exactly that. Your regular gym is probably exactly that. And yet Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy said over the weekend, “I think the gym is fine, but everybody needs to practice good hygiene”. Understandably, we’re all confused. 

While some people are vehemently encouraging us to stay home from the gym, others are posting photos of their near-empty gyms as attendance dwindles. 

The confusion has caused many of us to err on the side of caution. Across the country people are making changes to their regular fitness regimes in order to minimise the risk of catching or transmitting the coronavirus. Many people have switched regular gym sessions for walks or jogs that allow them to maintain a safe distance from other people. Others are simply choosing to stay home while they work out. 

Last week, Guardian journalist, Brigid Delaney asked her Twitter followers, “can anyone recommend good fitness/workout apps or yoga apps for those of us practicing social distancing - who can’t go to gyms or yoga studios?”

And the people delivered - from apps to YouTube channels to Instagram fitness bloggers - users shared their favourite ways to workout from home. YouTube channels that were recommended included blogilates and Yoga with Adriene. Yoga with Adriene offers free yoga videos, catering for beginners right through to practiced yogis. Blogilates provides viewers with at home guidance for pilates or body sculpting workouts. 

Many people also recommended their favourite yoga and fitness apps. Writer, Benjamin Law, said that his go to is PocketYoga. He added that the bonus is that “it’s available on every platform: iOS, Apple TV and even MacOS.” A number of people also recommended Down Dog, a yoga app available on both Android and iOS. One commentator also added that Down Dog “are offering free access to their 5 apps until April 1 to help people social distancing due to #covid19”. Others also recommended YogaGlo, FitOn and the Nike training app.

Despite the variety of at home workouts available online and in the digital world, some people have chosen to think outside the box.

One social media commentator recommended picking up our childhood skipping ropes again to get in a cardio workout.

Others suggested getting your dance on with Tik Tok. Another recommended simply taking a trip down memory lane to high school PE class and getting in “lots of star jumps”. 

So while we all begin to transition to lives defined by social distancing we might just be playing jump rope alone.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, only people who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and experienced symptoms within 14 days are advised to be tested. 

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor, don’t visit, or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.


Zoe Victoria is a freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter @Zoe__V

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