Coronavirus requires fresh approach to staying in shape

March 30, 2020

Recently, Gov. John Carney decided to close all gyms and fitness facilities throughout Delaware until further notice to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Other nearby states had already taken these extreme measures for fear that gyms could be a breeding ground for the virus. For many, this will be an extremely difficult situation, as working out is not only a great way to stay in shape, but also a much-needed mental break that helps relieve the stress of life’s daily grind. However, difficult times require fresh solutions, so instead of using this crisis as a reason to stop working out, let’s all use it as a way to shift gears and incorporate some healthy habits into our life that we wouldn’t normally have time to do. See below for some fresh ideas to help you stay in shape during this difficult time.

Take your cardio outdoors 

If you don’t have the convenience of owning a cardio machine at home, no worries, just take your workout outside. Since the main defense against spreading the coronavirus is not being in close contact with people – within 6 feet – getting a workout in the open air should be no problem at all. Try walking your neighborhood, a nearby trail, the state park or anywhere that provides a long, flat surface that will allow you to get a great sweat. In addition, choose the exercise that suits your level, such as running, speed walking or just walking in general until you get in better shape and are capable of more difficult workouts.

Make a home workout

If you don’t have a home gym or set of weights that you can use until you can get back to the gym, no worries, just make a home workout. To do this, complete eight to 10 body-weight exercises with three to four sets per exercise and you’ll get a great workout without the use of expensive gym equipment. Exercises such as bird dogs, burpees, walking body weight lunges, push-ups, bench dips and bicycle crunches require absolutely no equipment and will make a great routine that’s sure to get the sweat flowing without exposing you to any outside germs or risk of getting sick.

Start eating healthy 

One of the biggest challenges with healthy eating is lacking the time that it takes to prepare healthy meals, but since many of us are now working from home, it could be a great time to take control of your diet and get in shape. In addition, weekends will now be quiet and with the new restrictions on social gatherings in full effect, there will be fewer parties, happy hours and dining out at restaurants. So for now, sticking to a healthy diet could be a lot easier than normal.

Increase activity at home

If you’re like most Americans and have a long list of things you would like to get done around the house but never seem to find time to get started, now may be the time to catch up on chores you’ve been putting off. Tasks such as raking the leaves, cutting the grass, cleaning the garage and, yes, cleaning the house are just a few of the things that top my list, and all of them will burn calories as well as provide something to do to help avoid cabin fever. So make a list and begin chipping away while burning calories at the same time.

In the end, we will all get through this difficult situation; however, it may be a great chance to reflect on what’s important in life. That includes taking time for ourselves and adding some new healthy habits to our routines that will help us stay in shape both physically and mentally. Try incorporating the above ideas as well as remembering to wash your hands and practice other necessary precautions, and soon we will all be back to the gym and normal life in general.


  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter