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“YouTube-ing” Your Workout in Quarantine

College of DuPage Nursing Student Lindsey Woodward shred with Healthy Lombard that with the rise of COVID-19 in March, many gyms and physical fitness centers closed. These closures left those individuals who enjoy physical fitness classes on their own to seek out alternative ways to get their ‘sweat on’. Since that time, fitness centers have reopened, however with various restrictions such as, social distancing and capacity limitations. With COVID-19 still a threat, many do not feel comfortable working out in a facility. These individuals may now be forced to alter their workout routine. Some have taken to working out on their own while in quarantine to combat the effects of isolation, while others make up for the loss of daily steps by working out at home. Due to the various transitions that have occurred, gym equipment is now in short supply, adding new challenges to get the ‘sweat on’.

The US Department of Health & Human Services (2020) recently launched the Move Your Way initiative which recommends all adults exercise for at least 150 minutes each week at a moderate intensity, with two days of muscle strengthening activity. Experts have recently considered recommending an increase in minimum recommendation to 200 minutes to account for the decreased routine physical activity during quarantine (Jiménez-Pavón, 2020). In addition to physical activity needs, quarantine and social distancing have also resulted in several negative psychological effects, as depression, anxiety, and anger. Finding ways to practice self-care to counteract these feelings is also especially important for overall health.

YouTube is a great source for workout routine videos to allow continued physical activity while at home. There are many videos for body weight workouts, or workouts that do not require equipment, allowing those who cannot find barbells or dumbbells to still be able to work up a sweat. The format also allows the viewer to simply press play and follow instructions, taking the planning of an exercise routine away, for a simple way to stay active. Viewers can start and stop as needed, for hydration needs.

A former competitive dancer, Maddie Lymburner, initiated MadFit in which she posts two to three workout videos a week on a YouTube channel. These workouts are short, ranging from three minutes to 30 minutes, and allow the viewer to fit in a workout during a Zoom break or watch a couple of videos to complete one longer workout in 60 minutes. Many of the videos are low impact requiring with no equipment; only the individual’s own body weight. The combined short duration of the workout with the addition to the flexible schedule makes these workouts a perfect solution to stay fit while enduring quarantine.

Sydney Cummings, a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) (2020) certified personal trainer, previously competed in track and field while a student at West Virginia University. On her YouTube channel (entitled, Sydney Cummings), she posts a free daily workout at 6 am CST, ranging in length from 30-60 minutes. Her workouts vary every month-three months with an emphasis on a different “challenge”. Past workouts are organized according to a playlist based on time, impact level, equipment needs, challenges, and body areas targeted. Sydney does the workouts “with” you and provides encouragement, support, and coaching/posture tips throughout to both motivate and ensure safety.

These are just two examples of free workout options available on YouTube as a resource for how to “get your sweat on” while quarantining. Regardless of your preferred workout method, what is most important is to provide daily self-care by allocating 30-60 minutes for physical movement.


Jiménez-Pavón, D., Carbonell-Baeza, A., & Lavie, C. J. (2020). Physical exercise as therapy to fight against the mental and physical consequences of COVID-19 quarantine: Special focus in older people. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases63(3), 386–388.


United States Department of Health & Human Services. (2020). Move your way fact sheet [Fact sheet].


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