PART OF OUR HOME EXERCISE SERIES
With gyms, fitness centers, schools, and workplaces shut down amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, many of us are getting stir-crazy. While we at The Maurer Foundation know about the breast cancer risk reduction benefits of exercise—we speak frequently about it in our breast health programs—it can be hard to focus on healthy habits when routines have been upended. Good news? All the stress and uncertainty we’re feeling right now has a perfect antidote: a good sweat session. And exercise, even mild exercise like walking, has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk, as well as fight obesity and reduce estrogen levels, two additional breast cancer risk factors. So what’s the best way to exercise at home and enjoy the health benefits, even if you don’t have access to equipment or a gym?
1. MIRROR & Peloton
In case you missed it, it’s 2020. The amount of online workout options and products is staggering. Technology has progressed at an astounding rate, producing futuristic products like the MIRROR, a full-length touch-screen interactive mirror that (yes) talks to you, leading you through your choice of yoga, boxing, barre, cardio and other home workouts. High-end stationary bikes and treadmills (and soon rowing machines) from Peloton allow participants to stream live online classes through a large touch-screen monitor on a subscription basis. If you don’t already have one of these sophisticated machines, though, never fear. There’s a variety of online fitness programs out there, many for free.
2. Streaming Workouts on Social Media
First, if you’re already part of a fitness center, gym, or workout studio, check in with them. The Bar Method, a barre studio with 120 locations nationwide and some on Long Island, already has an online class option. Many gyms livestream workouts to Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, so check social media accounts. Now that physical classes are shuttered in many communities, expect local fitness centers to ramp up their livestreaming efforts, even if they are posted on private members-only websites, Zoom meetings, or Facebook groups. These are great options for exercisers who miss the camaraderie of working out with others and benefited from having a regular appointment in their calendar.
3. Fitness & Workout Apps
Fitness phone apps are also a great resource and many are free or have free versions. The more well-rounded workout apps are subscription-based, ranging in prices between $10-20/month, with most offering a 7-day free trial so you can test out the workouts. Some of the more popular include: Tone It Up, SWEAT, and Melissa Wood Health. In addition to their high-end equipment, Peloton also offers a phone app with Apple Watch integration that streams a variety of workouts including strength, toning, running, yoga, cycling and more. They are currently offering a 90-day free trial.
4. YouTube Workouts
For those that want a more customized approach, YouTube offers millions of free workout videos for a wide range of goals and sports as diverse as martial arts and rock climbing. You can string together a number of videos into your own custom playlist, grab a water bottle and hit “play.” Individual Youtube channels can have a large fan base which can make exercising feel more communal, especially if there is a workout series currently underway. So join that “14-Day Middle Split” challenge and follow along in the comments as everyone gives it their all.
It might be tempting, but whatever you do, resist the siren song of the couch. Sitting more than 8 hours a day has been associated with negative health effects like cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease among other things. And if you’re already working from home, adding a movie binge to your couch time will not improve matters. Americans are exercising more than ever before. Let’s keep this trend going!