These days of social distancing, self-isolation, and staying at home when you really want to get out and have fun can be a real downer. Sure, this new “normal” won’t last forever, but until all restrictions are lifted and our safety is assured, we’ve got to make the most of this time. Perhaps the best way to overcome anxiety and stave off depression is to keep active, stay busy and find new ways to take care of ourselves. While most gyms and health clubs are temporarily closed, there are plenty of ways to stay fit and have fun as well. Here are 5 routines that will boost your energy, burn loads of calories, and lift your mood. Most of these activities can be done out in the great Florida sunshine we’re experiencing this spring.

Low to Moderate Power Walking: Put the lap-top away and tear yourself away from the daily news for a while and get out and walk! 15-20 minutes of moving can increase your over-all energy level and clear your mind dramatically. Outdoor walks are even better because the fresh air and sunshine can help you kick daily stress and drudgery to the curb. Take a small pair of hand- held weights with you. Vary your pace. Stop and do a few push-ups. Take different routes, or better yet forge a new nature trail to see things you haven’t seen before.

Stretching: 10 to 15 minutes of stretching per day can help increase flexibility (a vital component of over-all fitness), alleviate tension, and refresh your energy levels. Start with large muscle groups first, stretch back, chest, legs, core, arms and legs. You don’t have to master any sophisticated form of stretching, just find some movements that don’t create discomfort, hold for 20 seconds, and move on to the next body part.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Don’t get scared with this one. HIIT is a simple concept of combining several movements or exercises at high intensity interspersed with brief recovery periods. You can get creative here. Example: do 2 minutes of stretches and crunches on a mat; follow this with 2 minutes of jumping jacks and running in place; proceed with 2 minutes of push-ups and planks; hop on the exercise bike (if you have one) and pedal at a moderate pace for 5 minutes; do some push-ups on the floor or against a countertop and dips off a chair or bench for 3 minutes; skip rope and hit a speed bag for 3 minutes; stretch and breathe on the mat to unwind.

Strength Training: You don’t need a fully equipped gym. All you need is a couple of dumbbells or a few inexpensive, home-made rubber resistance bands. Go online to find a routine or make up your own to get a mighty overall pump! 

Swimming: This is a wonderful low impact form of cardio that is therapeutic for the joints and soothes tired, sore muscles. Swimming is a surefire way to cool off, relieve stress and recharge energy levels.

Tom Bonanti is a certified trainer and massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own one on one facility in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact with questions or to schedule an appointment today!