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Exercise at home during social distancing

by Paula Anderson

As Americans face social distancing guidelines, citizens have disconnected with routine activities like running, jogging, and walking. The Executive orders in many states have forced residents to stay at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Remote working has become the 'new office cubicle' and technology has taken over our daily lives. Youtube ®, Facebook ®, Twitter ® and Instagram ® have replaced our face-to-face conversations. Zoom is the primary communication channel for meetings, workshops and webinars. However, as humans, we have to stay balanced mentally, socially, financially and emotionally although we are faced with social distancing.

According to Psychology Today, exercising is one of the ways to reduce depression. Depression has been defined as a feeling of hopelessness or having the “blues.” Our daily routines have been affected and what was normal has become the 'new normal' in many ways.


Since technology has been one of our forms for connecting, I started a virtual exercise activity on April 3. I invited friends on my Facebook ® Page to join me at 6:00 p.m. to watch an online exercise video on YouTube ®.

Mikka Atkins, educator, accepted the invitation and worked out with me on April 6.

“The pandemic has had such a dramatic effect on life as we know it. It is easy to get bogged down with depression, anxiety, and fear because of all of the devastation and despair that is going on around us. There are so many things that I took for granted that I can no longer do because of the pandemic. There are new norms being established because of the coronavirus and it has caused people to be creative. This virtual exercise activity was just what I needed and it gave me so much joy! I was able to see my friends, and talk and exercise with them. I was attending to my physical as well as my social and emotional needs. This group has given my friends and I hope that we can get through this. It has also given us a sense of community,” said Atkins.

Her experience led her to share the activity with her friends, relatives, and colleagues through a Zoom interaction. On April 9, they shared these comments about the experience.

“I enjoyed the workout. It was a great pace and I got a good sweat in. I would love to participate again,” said Sharron Millbrook.

The Zoom interaction encouraged the participants to continue the process. One of the major benefits to exercising is the release of endorphins, a chemical that is released in the brain.

“I felt great. It was refreshing to have all of my body moving. It wasn’t too difficult but it did push me and it was just long enough to have my whole body sweating, but short enough to keep my attention. It gave me hope that I can get fit while quarantined. I loved it. I can’t wait to do it again,” said Kim Speight.

Sometimes exercising can be intimidating especially if you are in a fitness gym or in front of others.

“Ok, I have not worked out in years so this was tiring but I feel really good and strangely energized. This one workout has motivated me. I enjoyed the others being involved and though I didn’t show my video today I think I will in the future lol! I can’t wait til the next one, “ said Faith Washington,” said Faith Washington.

Although we are faced with social distancing, we don’t have to stop doing various things. Our location may have changed, but our mindset to complete various things does not have to change.

Paula Anderson is a freelance journalist, certified professional coder and approved medical coding instructor. She can be reached at

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