How to Exercise While Social-Distancing & Not Feel Lonely

There are lots of ways to workout at home. But some of them are just plain, well lonely. Here are 10 ways to sweat out social distancing. And some of them won’t make you feel so alone.

How am I going to tame that anxious twisting in my chest and keep from balling myself up on the floor out of loneliness during the weeks ahead? Social distancing and new crazy schedules are already wearing me down. You too?

Exercise is one of my go-to stress tamers. But what do you do when your gym and yoga studio closed as a precaution against the new coronavirus? I still jog through my neighborhood, but I miss the small talk and friendly nods of my fellow yogis. I miss Om, Namaste and that slightly stale smell of sweat.

I just had a total win! I practiced social distancing and social exercising! At. The. Same. Time.

Yes, I had an exercise partner, and we were more than 6 feet away!

I squatted, lunged and gasped for air in my bedroom while my daughter Emily squatted, lunged and laughed at me in her living room 120 miles away.  I needed that laugh. I felt so connected to her even though I was home alone.

Working out at home using FaceTime and a TV

How I exercised alone but not alone

We connected through technology. FaceTime – though it could have been by Skype or some other method. I put an exercise video on my TV and shouted out the moves to be sure Emily could hear them.

Good workout at home. Great fun at home. Fabulous together time – but not together.

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How to workout at home during a pandemic

There are lots more than these 10 ways to get exercise without going to a gym or other facility. This is just my current list. Let’s share some ideas to support one another. Use the comments to tell me about your favorite ways to workout at home or exercise during a pandemic.

  1. FaceTime and workout together. I love that time with Emily and can’t wait to do it again.
  2. Arrange a call with a friend on your cell phone. I’ve just scheduled a walk and talk with a friend a couple states away.
  3. Walk your neighborhood. Wave to your neighbors and wish them well from 6 feet away. You could even arrange to walk on opposite sides of the street with a neighbor while chatting by cell phone or with the walkie talkie feature on the Apple Watch.
  4. Jog or bike. Check out some nearby trails but only if you can keep your distance from others. Paddle or row too. As soon as the weather is a bit nicer, my husband and I will heave a couple kayaks on the roof of my car and head out for some peaceful paddling.

    Man floating in a kayak

    What a wonderful way to get some exercise, relax and decompress all at the same time.

  5. Do any favorite exercise with the people you live with. Backyard soccer with the kids sounds great right now, doesn’t it?
  6. Get a free workout app like the 7-minute fitness app. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard it’s great.
  7. Purchase a workout app or streaming program. I subscribe to CoffeyFit for dozens of on-demand strength and cardio workouts. I also use the Peloton app. It’s not just for biking. This week, I groaned and kicked through a 10-minute abs workout that required no equipment. Peloton has classes for yoga, meditation, strength, running and more. Right now, you can get a free trial for 90 days. When I first started, my free trial was a measly 2 weeks. But it was enough to hook me.
  8. Dig through your attic or garage for old exercise or play equipment. Can you find roller blades, a hula hoop, pogo stick? Don’t judge me. I have them all. It’s time to play! Get creative with the people you live with or whoever shares quarantine space.
  9. Crank up the music. And dance like no one’s watching.
  10. Live stream workouts from your local gym. If they haven’t started live streaming, request it. My yoga studio has limited live streaming. My heart warmed as soon as I saw my yoga instructor on my TV. The warrior poses and twists didn’t give me quite the same feeling as when I’m in a dimly lit room with the ladies and the few gents I see regularly. But seeing her calm manner and hearing her soothing familiar voice gave me a sense of ease.

I’ll rely on this list a lot over the next weeks.  What about you? How do you plan to stay connected while social distancing?

Cheers to staying healthy, fit and sane during the self-quarantine and social distancing!

Om. Namaste.

For more tips to stay sane and healthy, sign up for my emails. As a bonus, you’ll get Tips for Staying on the Healthy Eating Wagon to form good habits during these stressful times and beyond.

Jill Weisenberger

I'm Jill, and I believe simple changes in your mindset and health habits can bring life-changing rewards. And I don't believe in willpower. It's waaaay overrated. As a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist, certified diabetes care and education specialist and certified health and wellness coach, I've helped thousands of people solve their food and nutrition problems. If you're looking for a better way to master this whole healthy eating/healthy living thing or if you're trying to prevent or manage diabetes or heart problems, you'll find plenty of resources right here.

Leave a Reply


  1. Maggie on March 19, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    It feels like you know exactly how I am feeling right now too! Great idea!

    • Jill Weisenberger on March 20, 2020 at 9:30 am

      I think a lot of us are living with uncertainty and anxiety. Glad to know we can support each other.

  2. javier perez on April 23, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    very good! exercising will keep us in good shape in these difficult times, thanks for the advice.

  3. Wayne Adams on August 21, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Great Post! Thank you for sharing. Keep it light, try to keep moving, and have fun.

    • Jill Weisenberger on August 22, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Yes, keep it light! Thanks for reading.

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Hi there! I'm Jill, a nutrition & diabetes expert and the author of 4 books.

Jill Weisenberger

I believe simple changes in health habits can bring you life-changing rewards.

And I believe willpower is way overrated.

Right here is where you can discover the mindset and habits to stick with healthy lifestyle choices most of the time - and drop the guilt when you don't.

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