Did you change your exercise habits during quarantine?

When Canadians were urged to stay at home most of the time, it became much more common to see middle-aged Rollerbladers and joggers. With gyms and recreation centres shuttered, how did you change your exercise habit?

Staying at and working from home means easier access to my yard, gardening, housework, and treadmill during the day. This week I attended a multi-day conference while walking 81 km on the treadmill.

The gym in my apartment building (which I’m paying for in my rent) closed for a few months. It’s open again now, but I can not work out wearing a mask. If you can, I’m happy for you, but I can’t.

Thankfully I can walk and jog outside. Let’s see where we are when the weather gets cold again.

My exercise mostly consists of riding bikes. Before New Zealand’s lockdown came into affect I would ride outside maybe two or three times a week and ride the indoor trainer very infrequently. Just before lockdown I did a big mountain bike ride through some stunning parts of the South Island of New Zealand. (Route seen here in winter. It starts at the top of the lake in the lower right, heads up the valley and finishes in a small town around the middle of the photo.)

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During lockdown I rode the indoor training using the Zwift app six or seven days per week, and saw a moderate increase in my functional threshold power.

Post lockdown I’ve been riding outdoors again but still mostly on the trainer. This is largely because we’ve moved into winter and it is cold and miserable a lot of the time.

Before lockdown:

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During lockdown:

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After lockdown:

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I read that and thought “whoa, 81 km in a day, impressive!” Then I read it again. ~12 km a day, still impressive!

Zwift was jam packed with people from all around the world. Normally there might be a few thousand riding on it at any one time but during our lockdown there were times when 30,000 users were actively riding.

I’ve actually started walking (almost) daily. My neighborhood is 3 streets that includes 2 cul de sacs and depending on the route I choose, I can do up to three and a half miles without venturing beyond the development or making multiple laps. Plus the elevation varies up to 60’ with several slopes, which give a little extra effort to my walk. I’ll spend from 30-75 minutes, depending on the route I choose.

In all the times I’ve walked, I’ve seen others walking maybe 4 times? So it’s a good, safe place to get my heart pumping without risk. I set a pace around 3 MPH and let my mind wander. It’s a nice bit of alone time.

Pre-covid - five days a week alternating between 45 minutes on a spin bike one day and 30 minutes on an elliptical followed by about 30 minutes of weight machines the next.

Post covid - outdoor road biking 4-5 day a week at 20 miles per day at 16 mph. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the weather gets too cold/windy to ride.

We intended to go for walks every day but there were lots of other people out walking and we found it difficult to maintain our distance, particularly with a two year old dashing around like an excited puppy. We knocked it on the head eventually and just stayed around our home.

I’ve been able to run for longer distances now that my morning isn’t taken up by a commute. I also take every Wed off to go hiking with my wife since we didn’t take a vacation in April or over the summer, I have lots of vacation time to burn this year.

Pre-covid, my exercise consisted of (1) spinning at the gym 2-3 times a week, and (2) walking about a couple of miles each weekday from the train station to the office in the morning and vice versa in the evening.

Obviously, stay-at-home put a sudden end to both. But I ended up taking longish walks almost every day when that, grocery shopping, and picking up takeout were the only things you could go out for. :upside_down_face:

Alas, my daily walking habit dwindled in July when more options for going out opened – including (to be fair to myself) a few rounds of golf, which is walking with a heavy bag and periodic stops for arm exercises :wink: – and the weather around here got hotter.

Partly Covid and partly just coming out of winter. I started taking walks to the nearby park and in park every day I could. I’ve kept that up and steadily increased my exercise level over the last few months. In under 5 months I’ve dropped over 25 lbs now.

This last few weeks I’ve had a lot of extra work around the house & yard and then the Tropical storm really put a load on me. So the last 5 pounds were in about a 6 day period. That of course I need to watch. But I can directly correlate low caloric intake while working extra hard during 5.5 day power outage. So I believe it is unusual but normal.

All of this has been combined with watching & reducing what I’m eating.

Pre-covid I swam 1-2 days a week and did tai chi 2 days a week, and walked my dogs 5-7 days a week.

My tai chi instructor was nice enough to do Zoom classes with us 2x a week, but instead of 60 mins it was 30. I did a few weeks of some heavy bag stuff alone, but then I hurt my hip so that ended.

I never slowed down taking the dogs on walks. I did really miss swimming.

Now swimming is back, and tai chi is outdoors at the rec center and at my instructor’s gym, so if I put my mind to it I’m exercising more than before.

My pre-COVID exercise involved biking and swimming. In Chicago winters, I swim more, in warm weather, the opposite.

Since COVID my pool shut down, and I’ve since quit my membership

I’ve been biking somewhat more, but not getting the upper body workout. When things turn cold and snowy, it’l be tough. I’ll have to get myself to ride our stationary bike. And I should get back into pushups/crunches/stretching - if not weights.

We got a new pup in March. We’ve been walking him a ton, and that is better than nothing, but not the same as swimming.

Pre-Covid: tough workouts twice a week with a personal trainer. 3rd workout on my own (sporadically). Hiking, some bouldering.


  • Found these “body weight only” full body workouts on YouTube thanks to this board. Tried doing these for a couple months, but got kind of “stale”
  • More recently trying to go down to the park and do different body weight exercises in the evenings twice a week.
  • Started going bouldering/climbing more

All in all, not exercising as hard and as consistently as when I was working with my trainer. Which is kind of the reason I’d been using a trainer for a number of years. And due to the lack of equipment, not able to work muscles in the same way as in the gym - so I know I’ve lost strength.

I’ve seen more of my neighbors in the last 6 months than I had in the 14 years we’ve lived here prior to COVID-19.

For my part, the primary change to my exercise routine is that it’s now a lot more common. I used to work out about 2-3 times/week and told myself I was working out more frequently. Now that I’m overrun with people at home, I actually work out as often as I used to think I did. It’s the only time I get when I’m not being expected to address someone’s need for something. So I plug in an audiobook or podcast and run as long as I can or split time between running/walking intervals and lifting free weights. My butt dimples are drastically reduced, which is nice.

Pre-Covid I didn’t exercise at all. Now, with Covid happening, I don’t exercise at all.

However if I had been exercising, it would have been on the stationary bike I have pointed at my giant television. Had I been using it like I should, Covid wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Yes. I used to walk from the train to the office, around the office complex, and 2-3 times a week I would go out dancing for several hours. Now I mostly sit on my bum. I was trying to take a daily walk, but then it got hot, and I’ve stopped. I guess I should do that again.

Heard joke: “I was hoping to lose fifteen pounds this year, and thanks to Covid now I only have twenty-five to go.”

I’m happy to say I did the opposite for whatever reason. I got motivated to exercise a lot more. Hell, I was out there walking tonight and it was hot and that was after busting my ass earlier in the day cleaning up the storm branches. My wife and I did about 1.75 miles, not a lot but it helps and adds up.

It’s a bit of a mixed bag

My gym closed so I don’t do much strength building. I have a few dumbbells but it’s not as good as having a full suite of equipment.

On the plus side, I have time for walking and also do yoga at home with youtube almost everyday.