Staying Fit During Coronavirus

How to exercise while adhering to new social distancing guidelines

By Jeff Howard
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson
Models: Mark Eliason, Mary Charles Leasure, Charles Walker, Mary Gwen Walker and William Walker

When the pandemic started, none of us had a clue what was going to transpire. We closed Milestone on a Wednesday and started streaming live workouts the following Monday. What a lesson we had to learn about technology and what the future might hold. That Monday, I set up my iPhone in a light ring — yes I know I’m not a millennial on TikTok yet — and filmed a workout with no equipment from my sunroom. We were naive and clueless of the response the live stream workouts would have and received over 6,000 views! We realized that, with all the craziness happening, people wanted to stay active and consistent. The following weeks I live-streamed from my driveway and sunroom, learning that this new technology wasn’t completely impersonal. I heard from numerous people that I had crossed paths with along my journey and they started working out with me on this new frontier.

Unfortunately, due to the sudden stay-at-home lifestyle, combined with entertainment and boredom, people staying at home started putting on unwanted weight. But here are a few tips to help get those extra coronavirus pounds off:

Fast and try to eat from 12-8 p.m. Give yourself an eight-hour window.
Drink water when you feel hungry, or a cup of coffee or tea.
Snack on healthy foods, like fruits, nuts and vegetables. Get rid of processed snacks.
Move, even if it’s just walking or parking your car further away from the store.

The gyms are re-opening and with this is going to come new gym health and safety guidelines. Social distancing will still be at the top of the list. When you head back, you’re going to notice more plexiglass screens in places where you interact with staff, tons of hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility and equipment like treadmills and cardio machines blocked off to help with distancing. You will also find that the gym hours may be adjusted so they can clean and disinfect the space used. For example, Milestone Wellness Center has ordered hundreds of masks for clients and employees as well as devices to take employees’ temperatures. Milestone also purchased a Clorox 360 system that is an innovative electrostatic sprayer that delivers a trusted Clorox solution. All exercise clubs have added emphasis on cleaning their facilities, providing hand sanitizer to members and contactless check-ins. 

But with that being said, I believe we will come through this better, healthier, more fit and grounded. We cannot stop time and summer is fast approaching. I have designed a quick workout you can do at home to get you summer ready! I call it the Quick 30 because you do each of the following exercises 30 times. All you need is a mat and water for hydration.

1. High Knee Jog
Start in a standing position, lift your knee, then alternate.

2. Side to Side Squat
Start in a standing position, lower your body to the ground, do hand touches, lift upwards and hop sideways. Touch the ground with opposite hands, then jump back to starting position.

3. Plank Squat
Start in a plank position, jump forward, then jump back into plank position.


4. Tricep Dips
Start facing in a supine position, hands facing forwards towards your feet. Then lower your body to the floor, bending at the elbows, then lift upwards.

5. Lunge Back Kick
Start in a lunge stance, lift your knee up, then kick forward pushing through the heel. Finish 30 on one side, then repeat on the other.

6. Lunge Oblique Crunch
Start in a lunge position with your knee on the floor. Lift your knee forward and connect with the opposite elbow. Finish 30 on one side, then repeat on the other.

7. Reverse Plank Dip
Start facing in a supine position, hands facing forwards towards your feet with your legs extended. Lower your body to the floor, bending at the elbows, then lift upwards.

8. Side Plank Leg Lift
Start in side plank and lift your leg upwards, then lower. Finish 30 on one side, then repeat on the other.

I’m unsure of what the future holds, but what I do know, is that movement causes endorphins and positive chemical changes in the body. So, that being said, a little movement will go a long way. Until next time, I will hopefully see you as I’m streaming somewhere on social media giving the gift of fitness. V

Jeff Howard is a world-renowned fitness presenter who resides in Louisville. He also serves as promotional director of fitness for Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center.