5 Ways to Enjoy Group Fitness While Practicing Social Distancing

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: April 10, 2020

A recent survey by LifeTime Fitness reported that 66% of their member base prefers, and finds it extra motivating, to work out with a friend or in a group setting. Unfortunately, in our current state of contending with COVID-19, getting out of bed for an early morning workout, meeting up with a friend for an after-work jog, or going to see your favorite group fitness instructor on a Saturday afternoon are activities of the past. So, how can we set ourselves up for success when fitness camaraderie has fallen subject to social distancing? We’ve come up with five ways to keep the fitness fire burning, however long social distancing may last.

  1. Find a Workout Accountability Buddy
    Changing out of your ‘work’ leggings and into your ‘workout’ leggings is probably the last thing you want to do a few weeks into quarantining. But the good news is, you’re not alone. Try asking a friend or family member if they’re interested in becoming your workout accountability buddy. Agree on a schedule that works for both of you, and come up with a sharing approach to planning each workout. This will keep your respective routines ever-evolving and removes the temptation to skip the workout due to a lack of new ideas. You can also try using the time-lapse setting on your smartphone to record your exercise and send it along, initiating an IOU from your buddy.
  2. Engage or Begin a Social Media Movement
    If you haven’t yet been tagged to do 10 pushups, 100 sit-ups, or to put a shirt on while doing a wall-balanced handstand (thanks Jake Gyllenhaal!), fear not, it’s only a matter of time. Every few days, a new and creative movement challenge arises on social media, and people are quickly jumping onboard. Haven’t been nominated yet? Start one of your own! Don’t hesitate to make it a multi-day challenge (i.e. 50 squats/day for 5 days) or to tag a local charity to encourage giving back while you move your body.
  3. Join an Instagram Live Workout
    With the majority of fitness studios and gyms closed during this time, professional trainers are taking to Instagram to motivate and educate. And the best news? Many of the sessions are free! If you’ve wanted to try those classes that are impossible to join or cost as much as your weekly groceries, now is your chance. Besides professional training, being supported by the number of attendees and the positive content are sure to motivate. Don’t hesitate to utilize a video conferencing app, like Zoom or Houseparty, to get a little competitive with friends.
  4. Dance Party!
    If you typically resist structured workouts, dance is a great way to move your body, particularly in a time when creative outlets are so limited. Try gathering All the Single Ladies, a friend who Want[s] to Dance with Somebody, or connecting with those who are just Stayin’ Alive through this pandemic (both in your home and through FaceTime) and sweat it out to the beat. For all of us who plan to come out of quarantine as a Beyonce backup dancer, TikTok is home to a whole host of dance tutorials that will boost your skill level and your heart rate.
  5. Fitness For (and with) the Whole Family
    With so many parents assuming the roles of classroom teachers, sports team coaches, and in-home chefs, finding alone time to exercise might be more complicated than assisting with your sixth grader’s science homework. There are plenty of tools available that can help get kids involved, from the Obé Fitness app (workout classes for kids, set to a Kidz Bop soundtrack), to a sweat-breaking, competitive game of Simon Says (props as “weights” included!), to GoNoodle (a free online platform and app that offers a wide range of activities). Kids are wired to move, especially when cooped up inside, so with a little planning and competitive spark, you can help everyone work off some steam.

While your group fitness routine may feel more and more like a distant memory, this new season of in-home activity can still keep you motivated, inspired, and having fun with friends from a distance.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.