How to Stay Active When Your Gym is Closed

Working out at home

If your gym is one of the millions closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then you’ve probably found yourself struggling to stay active these past few months. 

Sure, walks with the dog are better than nothing, but they’re not the same as that daily CrossFit workout you were doing or the circuit training you’d perfected at the gym down the street.

It’s frustrating to say the least.

Need ways to fight that frustration, improve your self-care, and up your at-home workout game until the pandemic clears? Try these ideas on for size.

Gym closed during COVID-19? Here’s how to stay active

1. Hop on YouTube.

There are countless workout channels on YouTube, covering everything from yoga, dance, kickboxing, and even HIIT. And the best part? They’re free. All you need is your computer and a little bit of floor space, and the rest is history. 

Here are some of the top YouTube workout channels you might want to give a whirl:

  • Popsugar Fitness: This one’s good if you want a good variety in your workouts. Opt for low-impact options or do something faster-paced, like a Latin dance workout or Zumba.
  • Yoga with Adriene: If you’re a yoga fan, this channel’s for you. More than 8 million subscribers watch Adriene’s videos, which cover everything from “yoga for runners” to “detox yoga.”
  • Blogilates: Want to lengthen and strengthen those muscles? Blogilates is your answer. You’ll also find videos on clean eating, weight loss, and more.
  • Tone it Up: A quick-growing favorite among quarantiners, this channel offers HIIT videos, muscle-specific workouts, and healthy recipes all in one.

There are countless others, too, so just hop on YouTube and type in your favorite workout, and you’re bound to find one that fits.

2. Check out streaming classes.

There’s a chance your favorite gym offers online classes, too. OrangeTheory, for example, has its “At Home” program, Blink Fitness offers live Facebook sessions and virtual personal training, Golds Gym has on-demand classes, and Lifetime Fitness does the same. Get in touch with your local gym to see what’s available.

3. Invest in some indoor cardio equipment.

If you can afford to, consider buying some cardio equipment that can help you burn those calories no matter what the weather’s like. Treadmills, elliptical machines, and stair steppers are all good options here. Some other popular choices include Peloton bikes, the Mirror, and the Versaclimber (though these are all on the pricier side).

4. Build a home gym.

If you have the space for it, build out your own home gym, complete with weights, a bench, a punching bag, and more. This could be a great option for the garage or in a spare bedroom if you have it. (Just make sure you pad the floors. You don’t want weights damaging your hardwood or tile flooring!)

5. Get outside.

You can also use the great outdoors to get your burn on — at least until the winter weather sets in. Take a family bike ride, go for a jog around the neighborhood, or break out those old roller blades or skateboard. You can also head to a local park and do some hiking.

6. Use your body weight.

You don’t need a ton of fancy equipment to get strong. Use your body weight as resistance, and build strength through push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and more. All you need is a yoga mat and some good tunes, and you’re set. (You can even do these exercises outside while the kids play). 

7. Try a fitness app.

There are tons of mobile apps that can help you stay on top of your workouts, too. There’s Aaptiv, which pairs you with a virtual trainer; Nike’s Training Club, which offers workouts of all lengths and types (there’s even one from Serena Williams); and the Daily Burn, which has a great workout filtering tool that lets you pick just the session you’re in the mood for.

8. Get your steps in.

Finally, you can also just invest in a step counter — like Fitbit or Whoop. These can be great ways to stay on top of your daily activities, as well as motivate yourself to keep moving and being active. They also often double as calorie counters. 

Not hitting your goals? Add in an extra walk with the dog or lap around the block with your kids. You’d be surprised at the difference in steps — and calories — that a few extra minutes can make.

Get the help you need

Want help covering the costs of that home gym, cardio equipment, or virtual training session? A cash-out refinance may be able to help you.

Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans team member today to see what options you may be eligible for.

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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.