Keeping fit is hard for a lot of people, especially if you’re still avoiding health clubs (or were never a fan to begin with). A year after many of us started staying home, we’re still looking for ways to stay in shape and stay healthy.
We asked the staff of The Verge what they were using to keep fit and healthy during the pandemic and got the following answers.
Fitness videos and websites
Yoga With Adriene
If you’re looking to try yoga, I really recommend the 30-day challenges offered by Adriene Mishler’s YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene. She’s very welcoming and makes my wife and I, who are absolute yoga beginners, feel like we are doing a great job whenever we show up to the mat. Plus, in later videos, her incredible dog, Benji, shows up and flops around. — Jay Peters, news writer
I’ve never been so sedentary in my life than this past winter. If I had a tracker monitoring my fitness / movement, the past several months would be a sad, low pit on the graph… thank you, New York winter! Sometimes, when I’d muster up some energy, I’d do a 305 dance cardio video with the instructor, Sadie. Her energy made me smile and dancing alone in my apartment made me laugh, which is a plus during this time. The music is great and the 40 minutes goes by fast because you’re basically just dancing. — Alix Diaconis, director
I’ve always been partial to hiking and other outdoor activities, but the pandemic has made them even more attractive — it’s easy to social distance when there’s less than 20 people around and you’ve got the entire side of a mountain to explore. Hiking Project (and its counterparts and alternatives like MTB Project, AllTrails, and Trailforks) has been instrumental in helping me find new and longer hikes to do — and in keeping me from getting lost while doing them. I’ve also been playing with the Guthook Guides app as an exercise in daydreaming. — Mitchell Clark, news writer
Saris Fluid Indoor Bike Trainer
I wanted to do indoor bike exercising, but I don’t have the space for an indoor bike, so I wanted to use a bike I already have. My setup is Apple Fitness Plus and a Saris Fluid trainer — I have the original model, but there’s a slightly updated model that comes with a smart sensor that can speak to some smartphone apps. Apple Fitness Plus can’t read it, but other indoor bike apps like Zwift or Garmin can.
The Saris is great because I don’t have to remove my wheel to use it, it’s not hideously loud, and it’s made in Wisconsin. If you’re looking at getting something like this, my very strong advice is to buy it from a local bike shop. I did, and they gave me great advice on compatibility with my bike, including directing me away from a fancier, incompatible trainer and hooking me up with a new axle from the Robert Axle project so my bike would work with the Saris. — Dieter Bohn, executive editor
Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike
While walking is a good way to do at least some daily movement, it’s all too easy to shrug and put the thought aside if the weather is wet, cold, or just generally unpleasant. I decided that an exercise bike might help, but we don’t have much room in our small and very crowded home. Finally, I decided on the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike. It’s nowhere near as flashy as the Peloton — it’s not “smart” at all — but I can now pedal in my living room while watching streaming content on my TV, fold it up, and put it away until tomorrow. — Barbara Krasnoff, reviews editor
The Stick Original muscle massager
An embarrassingly big part of my life pre-pandemic was massages. Biking and running around NYC makes you sore! And apparently sitting in my apartment also makes me sore, somehow. This hard foam roller is not a massage, but it’s a darn good replacement and much cheaper, too. It’s hard, but flexible, which is very effective for working out knots. Plus, it’s easy to use because of the grips, unlike traditional foam rollers that are just cylinders of styrofoam. — Alix Diaconis
PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbell
While I missed all the machines at the gym, I knew that I was never going to be able to fit any of them into my apartment. However, the PowerBlock Sport adjustable dumbbells let me keep doing at least some amount of strength training, without taking the massive amounts of space a regular set of weights would. Having access to weights is a lifesaver for me — I’ve found that the only reliable way for me to stave off a repetitive strain injury is doing dumbbell rows. The one downside is that I went with the non-expandable version and, not to literally flex, after using them for a year I’ll probably need to upgrade them — I’m starting to use the heaviest setting available. — Mitchell Clark
Saucony Peregrine 11 trail runners
I invite you to click through and look at these Trapper-Keeper-ass shoes. Really, just get their vibe. I’ve spent a lot of the pandemic hiking — hell, I even took up running — and these trail runners from Saucony are really, really good. They’re grippy on uncertain terrain without being too heavy or stiff, so whether I want to jog on some dirt or knock out a long hike, these are my go-tos. Obviously, the shoe that works best for you will vary based on your foot and gait and so on, but if you’re thinking of taking up hiking, trail runners are lighter than hiking boots and often more comfortable. Plus, you can wear some genuinely shocking neon. — Liz Lopatto, deputy editor
Cairn Pro II Adventure Sandals
If you want to go hiking and, like me, find hiking boots unbearably uncomfortable (especially in the summertime), I can give Bedrock Sandals two thumbs up for being ultra-comfortable and durable hiking shoes that will keep being comfortable even after a river crossing or five (and for being versatile enough to bike in and wear to the beach or grocery store). — Mitchell Clark