Column: How to stay active when it seems impossible


Gretchen Hofmann

Marino’s basketball courts, normally populated by intense pickup basketball, now are the home of socially distanced exercise equipment.

Rachel Erwin, news staff

As the pandemic drags on and the weather gets colder, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay active. The dropping temperatures and dwindling hours of daylight make us want to stay in bed all day. It seems as though getting exercise is becoming nearly impossible, yet that is not the case. 

COVID-19 has forced us to get creative with how we exercise, and the cold weather is simply another hurdle we have to overcome. Here are a few ways to stay active during these unpredictable times. 

  1. Sign up for a slot at the Marino Recreation Center or SquashBusters. 

If you feel comfortable going to the gym, you can sign up for a time slot at one of Northeastern’s fitness centers. By downloading the free Atleto app, you can reserve time in one of the zones, which each feature different machines and equipment. Keep in mind that you will only have a certain amount of time to complete your workout, and you will get a notification when you have 10 minutes left. 

  1. Stream fitness classes on YouTube or Instagram Live. 

Many studios are offering livestreams and pre-recorded classes for people to participate in at home. You can find a wide variety of free options online, but here are two notable channels to explore. 

  • 305 Fitness is a dance-based fitness studio that lets you bust a move while you sweat. The YouTube channel features a series of videos, and 305 Fitness also has a subscription-based at-home program available as well. 
  • Blogilates is a YouTube channel run by Cassey Ho, the creator of POP Pilates. She posts new videos every week, and if you sign up for her newsletter, she sends out a monthly workout calendar that tells you which videos to do on each day. 
  1. Bundle up and go for a walk or run. 

It may be getting colder, but you can still go outside even if the weather is not perfect. Put on your jacket, and head to some of the best Boston running locations, including the Charles River Esplanade or the Back Bay Fens. 

  1. Plan a Zoom workout with friends. 

Missing the social aspect of group fitness? Try doing a workout with friends over Zoom. It is motivating to still see and hear each other, even though you cannot be together in-person. Scheduling a time will also hold you more accountable for when you workout. 

  1. Try following a pre-written workout from your home. 

There are tons of pre-written workouts and fitness plans available online. Many of them require no equipment, but it is a plus if you have a set of dumbbells, resistance bands or a yoga mat. CHAARG, a national fitness and empowerment group, is a great source of quick and easy pre-written workouts. The website has a bunch to choose from, along with a YouTube channel that has video demonstrations of every move used in the workouts. 

  1. Use the stairs more often. 

We all stare at screens and sit in one place for most of the day. Next time you come back to your dorm or apartment, use stairs instead of an elevator if that is an option. Do the same in classroom buildings and MBTA stations, and see your step count go up. 

  1. Have a dance party with your roommates or family. 

No, I am not kidding. My roommate and I danced for an hour straight to Lady Gaga’s new album, “Chromatica,” and we were dripping in sweat by the end. Let go of your stress and dance like nobody’s watching.