The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone. There’s no doubt about that. Social isolation has become part of everyone’s lives. Everyone except essential workers is either out of work or working from home.

For people like Rhode Island Dolls dancers, that presents certain challenges. Your work is part of what keeps you in great shape. But you likely also go to the gym where you take part in various aerobic activities and strength training.  Neither of those things are possible now. 

So, what can you do to keep your body in shape now that you are practicing social distancing?

#1 Get outside (but still practice social distancing).

Going outside is not forbidden in the majority of states and there are many activities that you can do outside while still maintaining good social distancing practices. You can go for a long walk or a run. If you have a bike this is a great time of the year to get it out and take a long ride. Hiking and outdoor yoga are other options.

Stairs are an easy way to do step-up. This is arguably the best exercise for your entire leg, hips, and butt. Ideally, the step you use should be between 9 and 12 inches tall and stable enough to handle your weight. You can also climb sets of stairs and stretch your glutes. To do this, just take the stairs two at a time.

#2 Body resistance exercises.

These can be done both indoors and outdoors. If you’re outside for a run or a walk and come across a park bench, stop and do some tricep presses or pushups. If you come across a curb you can do calf-raises. 

#3 Home workouts without weights.

There are many kinds you can do and they can be very effective. Try these:

Beginner Squat

This is an exercise that has staked its claim as the best exercise for legs. It works your hams, quads, calves, and glutes. You don’t need any special equipment for this exercise, though if you’re looking to make it more advanced you can let go of the chairs and hold some dumbbells or kettlebells.

  • Step 1: Stand between 2 chairs, with the backs of the chairs closest to the sides of your body. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Step 2: Keep your back straight, chest up, and abs tight as you bend your knees and slowly lower your bum towards the floor over a 10-second count. Pretend that you are going to sit in a chair. Make sure your knees are over your ankles, but don’t extend past them.
  • Step 3: Hold this position for 2 seconds.
  • Step 4: Over a count of 10 seconds, return to your starting position. 
  • Step 5: Repeat this 3 times without resting.

The Bridge

This is an easy one to do at home and it is not hard to get the form right.  Add a few of these to your daily routine and you’ll soon start to see a difference.

  • Step 1: Lay on the floor on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Step 2: Press your hips towards the ceiling and squeeze your glutes (your bum cheeks) together. Hold it for a few seconds and then lower your hips back to the group.

You can repeat this as many times as you want. If this is pretty easy for you, a simple modification will give you more of a challenge. When you raise your hips to the roof, raise one leg and hold it vertically as you lift and squeeze.  Alternate legs to make sure each side gets the same amount of attention!

Engage the Core Muscle Groups

There are lots of things you do each day that may require you to stand in one position. Brushing your teeth, doing dishes, dusting, walking from place to place – all these are thing you’re doing anyway. But if you tighten your abdominal muscles as you do them, you’ll strengthen your core. A strong core results in better balance and we all know that means a better performance on stage!

Even when you can’t hit the gym, there are many ways you can ensure that your body stays in good shape. 

But remember that mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s going to be hard to return to work when the time comes if you haven’t been paying attention to your emotional well-being. Be kind to yourself. During these stressful times we could all use some self-love.