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By Miriam Raftery

Images: Public domain via Bing

April 4, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On the Next Door discussion forum, a resident asked others staying home due to COVID-19.  “Anyone else getting fat?”  He opined that watching movies while eating Doritos and guzzling root beer was taking a toll on his waistline.

Others chimed in, voicing solidarity. “I feel like I gained 10 pounds over the last two weeks!” said one. Another neighbor praised his wife’s cooking but said he’s not getting exercise as he normally would, so he’s gaining weight in quarantine. Yet another neighbor posted, “It's called COVID-20...the 20 lbs. you'll gain while self-isolating...”

Fortunately, help is available free for those looking for some fun fitness options at home. Here are a few ideas to trim down and tone up in the comfort of your home.


World Health Organization (WHO) guide to stay physically active during self-quarantine 

WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both, for healthy people. These recommendations can be achieved even at home, with no special equipment and with limited space.  In addition to basic suggestions such as taking short active breaks and walking,  the WHO link above also has a detailed description with photos of exercises you can do at home. These range from actions such as squats, planks and back extensions to chair dips, knee lifts and to relieve stress, seated meditation. There’s also a guide to healthy eating.


Los Angeles Dodgers director of strength and conditioning Brandon McDaniel is live-streaming workouts for fans to join in at home. They will be available each Monday and Friday at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time streaming on the Dodgers’ TwitterYouTube or Facebook pages.

"Psychologically, fitness is huge right now," McDaniel told the Los Angeles Times. "To be locked in a house, or wherever you might be, being fit and having the ability to exercise and release some endorphins and get some hormones going is really good for your mental health." 


The city of El Cajon has set up a virtual recreation center. Here are a few of the current choices.  Check back at the link above for updates being added, too.

Click Here For Online Rec Squad Videos


Indoor Activities

Here are a few ideas for staying active indoors.


Dance Magazine has published a list of where you can find online dance classes.  Some are free, others are low-cost and a few are pricier.

Styles range from hip-hop to ballet and Broadway. Teachers range from lesser-know professionals to ballerina stars and even the Radio City Rockettes! 


If you have space in a garage or spare bedroom, you can pickup a stationary bike, treadmill or other gym equipment.  One creative mom put training wheels on her kids bicycles into adult shoes, turning them into stationary bikes the kids could pedal in front of the TV.  https://thestir.cafemom.com/parenting_news/224537/mom-creates-hack-keeping-kids-active-bike-indoors


Simple exercises such jump roping, hopscotch, or jumping jacks can also help kids burn off energy and keep fit.

Got grass?  Put up a badminton net for outdoor exercising with a family member.  A punching bag, beanbag toss, plastic horseshoe toss, lawn bowling or basketball hoop can also help kids have some active playtime. 

Kids in your family can play catch with a ball outside (washing hands afterwards).  

No yard?  Knocking a balloon around, floor exercises, dancing or playing games like follow the leader down a hallway – hopping and jumping-- help kids get some exercise even in an apartment or condo. 

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Indoor Activities

Hi! This is a good list! I have another website for workouts from home https://motify.com/list/categories. A couple of years ago, it helped me a lot to lose 22 lbs, and help me now don't get new weight at quarantine.

re: ". . exercise and some endorphins . .

and get some hormones going is really good for your mental health." . . .It goes beyond mental health, when one is happy (say, doing something physical) the agents released by the brain are actually good for our physical health, aiding our immune systems to fight off the bad agents that invade our bodies.. .Conversely fear and depression retard those good agents and increase the chance of sickness. . .Norman Cousins, the long-time editor of Saturday Review Magazine, did ground-breaking effort in this area years ago. He introduced a 'happy room' in an LA hospital that improved surgery recovery times in patients who enjoyed some good belly laughs from comical movies, beyond those patients who merely laid in bed staring at the ceiling. . .I recommend reading any book published by Norman Cousins, especially "Anatomy of an Illness." . .Cousins' findings have since been proven by scientific analysis. . .So yes, find an exercise and do it, something that will also make you happier and 'in charge.' . .Thanks to ECM for introducing this very important health element. . .Hiking the hills tomorrow for us here, for sure.