Mackenzie Dunn
Updated March 19, 2020
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Tom Dunkley, Getty Images

Whether you’re working from home because you have to thanks to coronavirus (COVID-19), or are being kept from the gym because of social distancing and shutdowns, one thing is certain: Staying active is key to maintaining a healthy mind and body, especially during uncertain or anxiety-provoking times.

We’re here to answer your questions about going to the gym and working out during the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re also providing you with some tips and tools, plus the best workout apps to try while you’re home. Stay healthy, everyone!

Can I go to the gym during the coronavirus outbreak?

The short answer is no. Coronavirus is believed to spread through inhaling respiratory droplets that are released when an infected person sneezes or coughs, or from touching an infected surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Initially, gyms and workout centers were allowing people to work out but performing more intensive cleaning. Yet as of March 16th, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have all taken action to officially close down gyms for health safety reasons in order to cut down on the spread, with more cities and states likely to follow suit.

But fitness lovers need not worry, because working out at home can be just as effective as going to the gym and there are still plenty of ways you can keep active while inside. Healther Wilson-Phillips, a certified personal trainer and wellness expert who has her own at-home fitness program called the 21 Day Fierce Wellness Guide, encourages everyone to get moving in their houses—especially right now.

“Don’t ever think that you can’t achieve the fitness/wellness goals that you are after because you don’t have a gym membership (or don’t have access to it right now),” she tells HelloGiggles. Instead, look at the benefits of working out at home:

  • You can work out at the time that best suits you.
  • There’s no need to wait to use equipment, as you can set up everything that you need and just get moving.
  • Your home is a judgement-free zone, where you’re also able to wear and listen to whatever you want.
  • You get to be creative by using furniture or objects around the house to change up your workout.
  • You’re able to get through your workout a lot faster, because there is no travel time involved.

What do I need to complete an at-home workout?

For starters, you need don’t necessarily need anything except for a willingness to get moving. But if you’re looking to amp up your at-home workout, you can invest in things like a yoga mat, some resistance bands, and a few free weights (all of which can be bought on Amazon and shipped right to your door).

Best at-home workouts, classes and apps:

Tons of workout programs and apps are offering the next month free because of coronavirus. But if you’re not willing to get hooked to a routine that you’ll have pay for later, there are plenty of free at-home workout videos available online, through platforms like Youtube or the App Store on your phone. Many fitness influencers have been posting their at-home routines on Instagram, too.

These at-home workouts don’t require any additional equipment either, so you can follow along on your phone, tablet, or computer with ease. Being inside doesn’t have to mean staying sedentary! Try adding some movement to your day with these online workouts and see how you feel.

1Fitness Blender

Fitness Blender offers hundreds of free, full-length workout videos that you can complete right from home. They’re available on the company’s website or through Youtube, and range from 10-85 minutes long. Plus, you can select your desired level (beginner to elite), so you can focus on what works for you.

2Pvolve

Pvolve’s entire mission is to bring the gym to you, and its method is perfect for doing during that work-from-home lunch break. It’s all about conserving energy while activating those hard-to-reach muscles and doing it in little time. Each movement is precise and low-impact, and customized to your plan and goals. You can also level-up the exercises with ankle weights and more. The app has a free 14-day trial, so you can try before you buy. Without the trial, the program costs $20/month.

3Obé

If live workouts are your thing, you can try Obé, a digital platform that offers more than 14 live classes per day and a library of 2,500+ workouts (including strength, HIIT, yoga, barre and dance) taught by qualified trainers. From fitness fanatic to absolutely beginner, there’s something for everyone, and the outlet has decided to offer all new members a free month of the program due to coronavirus.

It will also be holding a live, on-air talk with an infectious disease doctor next week as the virus continues to be a daily topic of conversation in its member groups.

4Openfit

Live, interactive classes are also available on Openfit, which streams tons of at-home workouts to your favorite devices and provides programs on-demand to fit your fitness needs. You can start with a free 14-day trial and choose from real-life trainers who will get to know you and your goals, without ever having to set foot in a gym.

5Down Dog Yoga

Yogis will love this highly-rated yoga app that allows you to experience your very own yoga studio experience at home. And due to the coronavirus outbreak, the company behind it is making all of its apps —Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout—completely free until April 1st.

6Tone it Up

Made by women, for women, the Tone it Up ladies have created a community of inspired women who want to live and lead healthy lives. You can either download the app for a free 7-day trial of step-by-step workouts, sign up for the free newsletter for workout ideas, or take a look at the company’s website and Youtube for videos and gif instructions on exercises you can do at home.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, HelloGiggles is committed to providing accurate and helpful coverage to our readers. As such, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, we encourage you to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.