The world of sports and fitness is one of many areas that has seen significant changes and interruptions to routine. Sports seasons are postponed. Gyms, dance studios and parks are closed. Athletes are finding themselves wondering what to do now that their schedules are not full of practices, games or meets. Many athletes are asking, how do I keep myself in shape in preparation for when we are back in season?
Experts from CHOP’s Sports Medicine and Performance Center put together some tips for staying in shape and how to keep yourself motivated both physically and mentally during this unprecedented time. Whether you are a competitive athlete or someone just trying to stay fit without your usual training and workout resources, this advice can ring true for individuals of all ages and skill levels.
Staying physically fit to improve health and reduce risk of injury
The benefits of exercise are enormous. They include, but are not limited to, improved mood, reduction of stress, and improvement in quality of sleep.
For athletes in particular, it is important to establish and/or maintain your baseline fitness in a safe manner. Try to avoid sitting around for long periods of time, as this causes the body to become deconditioned and more prone to injury once you are back to your sport. This is particularly important if there is the possibility of a shortened preseason.
How can I exercise safely during the COVID-19 pandemic?
There are many ways to exercise safely during quarantine:
You can run, bike or play outside if you take proper precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Make sure you maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from others, and wear appropriate protective gear like a face mask.
Work on your skills independently: Shoot hoops, kick a soccer ball, practice your stick handling, or have a catch with someone in your household.
Try to utilize open space to prevent over-crowding.
In your home, utilize equipment you already have or get creative. Water bottles can double as weights, and when you are done with your workout you already have water on hand!
YouTube has great workout videos available for free. Many gyms and other fitness providers are also offering virtual workouts and free promotions during the quarantine.