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  • Writer's pictureSheri Colberg, PhD

Working Out at Home: Is This the Wave of the Future?

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

The current pandemic has hit most traditional gyms and fitness centers hard, especially once more has been learned about the likely spread of the virus through respiratory droplets. There are admittedly few places with more collective heavy breathing than you’ll find in indoor workout venues!

After reading a recent article in Time on non-gym fitness trends in a COVID-19 world, I started asking others how they have been coping with transitioning to home-based workout routines. I asked, “So what's your new favorite, home-based physical activity?” Most of the people who voluntarily answered my queries were coping quite well actually. Here are some examples:

  • Virtual fitness classes, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and free weights on my own. I also teach virtual classes these formats.

  • Garage workouts and family bike rides

  • My total gym machine and I have made up and are a thing again. Hand weights with my favorite TV shows work well.

  • I love riding my bike ❤️

  • I have enjoyed TRX, kettlebell, and resistance band workouts.

  • Rediscovered exercise bands which I use with my home weights, coupled with daily walks. I’ve enjoyed training differently to going back to the gym. Will I go back to the gym? I think so when the old flexibility of going when I want rather than booking time in around new hours.

  • LOVE using the @Ergatta program with my indoor WaterRower rowing machine!

  • Not at home but, a very socially distant sport is Disc Golf. A nice walk in a park, but also focuses on eye hand coordination. Throwing skills can also be learned.

  • Living in a province with an awesome chief public health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has encouraged people to exercise outside, while observing physical distancing precautions.

  • Dance warm ups and indoor rowing, oh and chasing baby rabbits round the garden.

  • I've finally started my power walks right here in the neighborhood or on the beach. Fringe benefit: I know my way around the community now!

And my personal favorite:

  • Do beach walks count?

Yes, absolutely they do! (Just remember to social distance and wear a face covering when you can’t stay at least six feet apart from others on the beach.) Actually, all of the activities listed can work for you, as can many others. (Please feel free to access and download some of the anywhere, anytime exercises I recommend through the Resources page on Diabetes Motion Academy at

Later in the July 2020 Time article, it states, “Only 20% of Americans said they’d feel comfortable going to a gym as of July 13, according to a Morning Consult poll. Another survey, conducted by market-research firm OnePoll and commissioned by LIFEAID Beverage Co., found that 25% of Americans never plan to go back.” I have heard similar comments from family members and friends who were, up until a few months ago, consistent gym-goers, as I was myself.

What does that say about the future of working out at home versus returning to the gym once this pandemic is under control? I think that remains to be seen. However, if we can all figure out ways to be more physically active around our homes and neighborhoods without needing to shoulder the cost of joining a gym or the inconvenience of getting there, that may lead to all of us become and remain more active and improve our collective health far more than we have been able to do with gym memberships and lapsed attendance.

Gyms will still exist after this pandemic ends—at least some of them—and many people will enjoy going back to them and restarting their old workout routines. However, with the pervasive availability of the internet nowadays, the potential for use of Zoom and other virtual interactions, and additional innovative means of connecting to exercise and active communities remotely, I personally look forward to seeing what new and creative avenues this pandemic ends up leading us to in the fitness world!

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