Exercise While At Home With Us

Finding the time and different ways to get exercise is never easy.

Finding time and different ways to exercise during COVID-19 is another challenge all together.

While time may or may not be as much of an issue as it had been for some people, finding different ways to get exercise has become much tougher. The gyms are closed, the pools are closed, and most parks are closed. In addition, we’re all practicing social distancing, so getting together for a game of basketball in the driveway or at the local playground is out of the question.

The top forms of exercise I’ve partaken in and noticed others around the neighborhood doing during these past few weeks of being sheltered in place have been walking and running. Depending on where you live and what access you have available to walking and running routes, these two forms of exercise can get old pretty fast.

One positive note is that, in all this walking, we’ve seen so many families outside together - walking, bike riding and playing in their yards. I’ve probably seen more people in my neighborhood outside and being active in the last month than in the entire previous year.

I have a friend who officiates college and high school lacrosse in the spring. During a typical week during the season, he would officiate about six games a week and average about five or six miles of running in each game. That’s in addition to his regular workout routine to make sure he’s in shape to work the games.

With the college lacrosse season being wiped out by COVID-19 and the high school season thus far suffering the same fate, he’s had to find new ways to keep in shape. He’s taken to running and gone to the extreme of running rather long distances. In fact, in a 12-day span he ran the equivalent of five half-marathons and in three weeks he has run over 150 miles.

Another plus has been running into people that we haven’t seen in years. When you are busy all the time and everyone is heading off to work, you don’t see people as often as you used to. We have been able to catch up with old friends when we run into them on walks. We have also gotten to see which people have added pets to the family – including the people down the street with a Bernedoodle puppy (see look of extreme jealousy on my face).

But running and walking aren’t for everybody. And even for those of us who enjoy running and walking, after a while we need something different. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative ideas available through the Mercer County Library System’s online databases.

One great place to start is hoopla, where there are dozens of online videos available in the yoga category, as well as hundreds of online ebooks available on the topic of yoga. The database also includes nearly 500 eBooks under the health and fitness category, as well as dozens of videos to help burn calories.

This might just be the perfect time to try to familiarize yourself with other healthy activities like t’ai chi, pilates or body sculpting. Those topics and more are available through the MCLS online databases.

Another great source for anyone looking for ways to get some exercise is eLibraryNJ, which offers many publications and audiobooks on topics related to health and fitness.

Flipster, another online source, offers magazines that can also help give you ideas for fitness and staying healthy.

The latest addition to what is available from MCLS is our YouTube channel. In addition to great resources for keeping children entertained, the videos available include easy stretching and yoga.

In case you are new to any of these resources, there are videos available on how to use hoopla, Flipster, eLibraryNJ and the other online databases on the MCLS YouTube channel.

If you are looking for resources to try to stay active, the Mercer County Library System has plenty to offer. And if you are at home and think, “But I don’t have a library card” there is nothing to worry about. You can sign up for a temporary card on the mcl.org website.

A.M./P.M. Tai Chi For Beginners by David-Dorian Ross

Calorie Killer Yoga by Colleen Saidman

- Robert N., Hopewell Branch