STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many of us are very restricted in our movements, it is even more important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible. Even a short break from sitting, by doing 3-5 minutes of physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help ease muscle strain, relieve mental tension and improve blood circulation and muscle activity. Regular physical activity can also help to give the day a routine and be a way of staying in contact with family and friends.
Physical activity includes all forms of active recreation, sports participation, cycling and walking, as well as activities you do at work and around the home and garden. It doesn’t have to be exercise or sport – play, dance, gardening, and even house cleaning and carrying heavy shopping is all part of being physically active.
Here are the minimum levels of activity recommended by the World Health Organization:
- All children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes a day of physical activity.
- Adults, 18 years of age or older should do at least 150 minutes of physical activity throughout the week
- Older adults with poor mobility should do physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
But any physical activity is better than none. Start with small amounts and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time. Put simply, it is a critical time to ensure we all move more and sit less. Here are some resources to get your body moving.
24 Hour Fitness: The app provides access to more than 1,500 workouts and content tailored to your needs. Other streaming workout options are focused on body weight movements, but 24 Hour Fitness asks what equipment you have at home and will share workouts to make use of what you have.
Camp Gladiator: Camp Gladiator is a four-week outdoor group fitness program for all levels led by certified personal trainers with more than 4,000 locations nationwide. CG has launched free live at-home workouts on its Facebook page, three times a day on weekdays and once on Saturdays. Previous workouts are available on the Facebook page as well. You can also download printable 30-minute workouts from the website.
Les Mills On Demand: This temporary site allows free access to 100+ workouts during the COVID-19 disruptions. Offering classes in HITT, Cardio, Yoga, Body Pump, Body Combat and even classes in Spanish.
Life Time Fitness: Life Time launched free online classes and at-home workouts. New classes are added daily and include kickboxing, strength training, barre, guided meditations and more. The classes are free and accessible to members and nonmembers.
Orange Theory: Orangetheory is sharing daily 30-minute workouts featuring top coaches from around the world. You won’t need special equipment, but you might be asked to scrounge up some household objects to use in your workout.
Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness is offering free home “work-ins” on Facebook Live daily at 5 p.m. MDT. Previously streamed workouts are available on the Facebook page. Workouts are open to anyone, including those who aren’t Planet Fitness members, and typically last around half an hour.
YMCA: YMCA now offers on-demand exercise and sports classes on a new website called YMCA 360. Videos include instruction in Tai Chi, barre, youth soccer, weightlifting, yoga and more. YMCA 360 is open and accessible to all, regardless of membership.
Black Swan Yoga-Houston: Black Swan Yoga Houston is live streaming yoga classes on Instagram and on its website, offering six free sessions daily to clients and non-clients. The studio posts its class schedule on Instagram and Facebook. While the classes are free, the studio urges users to contribute donations if possible. Most of the donations made while a class is in session will benefit the instructor currently teaching.
Citizen Pilates: The Houston fitness studio streams free 30-minute full body classes on Instagram and Facebook. The classes are open to anyone and free for all. The studio lists its upcoming classes on Instagram, Facebook and website.
Corepower Yoga: The yoga franchise is offering free access to a “special weekly collection” of online classes. "Please share this with friends, family and anyone who could use a little yoga in their life right now,” Corepower Yoga said on its website.
DEFINE Body and Mind: Define Body and Mind is offering members and nonmembers access to an assortment of workout videos, including barre, dance cardio, yoga, and prenatal workouts. The videos are accessible and free for all.
Adapt-to-Perfom - Adapt To Perform is a dedicated to adapting fitness for everyone. Ben Clark has great videos of wheelchair or seated workouts you can do at home!
Dom Thorpe Online Fitness - Dom Thorpe is a personal trainer who specializes in adapting or modify workouts for those that are disabled or can't execute a standard exercise. He shares videos of these modifications on YouTube.
STAY CULTURALLY ACTIVE
The Alamo: Take a virtual tour of one of Texas’ most historic landmarks - The Alamo. This UNESCO world heritage site became a rallying cry for Texas independence in 1836. Explore the many different areas of this iconic Texas landmark in panoramic 360°.
The Louvre: You don't have to book a ticket to Paris to check out some of the famous pieces in the world's largest art museum. The Louvre has free online tours of three famous exhibits, including Egyptian Antiquities.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: The works of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Jeff Koons, and Franz Marc are just some of the 625 artists whose work are a part of the Guggenheim's Collection Online.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Move at your own pace through the 360-degree room-by-room tour of every exhibit in the museum.
Van Gogh Museum: You can get up close and personal with the impressionist painter's most famous work thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
Getty Museum: Los Angeles's premiere gallery has two virtual tours, including "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry," which is a closer look at food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Vatican Museum: The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Raphael's Room, are just some of the sites you can see on the Vatican's virtual tour.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Madrid's must-see art museum has the works of some of the continent's most celebrated artists like Rembrandt and Dali available online.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Six virtual exhibits are available online from this museum named for the "Mother of American modernism."
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City: Dive into the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico with 23 exhibit rooms full of Mayan artifacts.
British Museum, London: The Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies are just a couple of things that you're able to see on a virtual tour of the museum.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Though the Met Gala was cancelled this year, you can still have a peak at the The Costume Institute Conversation Lab, which is one of the institution's 26 online exhibits.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta: This museum's popular online exhibits include "Civil Rights Photography" — photos that capture moments of social protest like the Freedom Rides and Rosa Park's arrest.
Detroit Institute of Arts: Mexican art icon Frida Kahlo is the focal point of two of the four available online exhibits.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: The Golden Age of Dutch art is highlighted in this museum which includes the work of Vermeer and Rembrandt.
National Museum of the United States Air Force: You can't take a ride in Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential airplane, but you can check it out, in addition to other military weapons and aircraft, online in the Air Force's official museum.
MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art): New York's extensive collection is available for view online.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: The 16 virtual exhibits include a special section on 21st Century Designer Fashion.
Sydney Opera House, Australia: This 360-degree experience, created in partnership with Google Cultural Institute, provides a virtual day in the life of the Opera House, starting with a beautiful time lapse of the sun rising over Sydney Harbour followed by a graceful cello performance by musician Ben Schwartz in The Utzon Room.
The Cincinnati Zoo: Check in around 3 p.m., because that's the time the Zoo holds a daily Home Safari on its Facebook Live Feed.
Atlanta Zoo: The Georgia zoo keeps a "Panda Cam" livestream on its website.
Georgia Aquarium: Sea-dwellers like African penguins and Beluga Whales are the stars of this aquarium's live cam.
Houston Zoo: There are plenty of different animals you can check in on with this zoo's live cam, but we highly recommend watching the playful elephants.
The Shedd Aquarium: This Chicago aquarium shares some pretty adorable behind-the-scenes footage of their residents on Facebook.
San Diego Zoo: With what may be the most live cam options, this zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: It can be Shark Week every week thanks to live online footage of Monterey Bay's Habitat exhibit.
National Aquarium: Walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.
Texas State Aquarium: Discover the underwater wonders and sea life of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean at the Texas State Aquarium. Currently offering free distance learning programs that are streamed live (as well as recorded), the aquarium lets viewers explore a variety of daily lessons as well as various at-home activities.
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks: Experience some of the United States best national parks — from Florida to Alaska — right from your couch. Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with five national parks in the U.S. so people can enjoy the beauty of the natural world while sitting safely on their couch. These parks feature different climates and environments from across the country, including famous desert vistas and snowy terrains. Below is a list of the national parks that are currently offering virtual tours through Google Arts & Culture.
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California: Yosemite's most impressive sight, El Capitan is a towering granite rockface and a favorite with daredevil climbers from around the world. Thanks to Google’s treks, you can join pro climbers Alex Hannold, Lynn Hill and Tommy Caldwell as they make their hair-raising, stomach-churning ascent to the top. Google also provides profiles on the prolific climbers and a few notes about gear and processes to help you appreciate the experience fully.
Namib Desert, Nambia: Traveling to a desert can be physically taxing. The intense heat, the freezing nights, the constant pelting by sand-filled gusts of wind. None of these problems, however, can affect you when you are viewing it through your computer screen. A stunning video tour can put you at the heart of the Namib desert where you can gawp at the vast expanses of golden sand, the rolling mist that envelops the area, or the Big Daddy dune and Dune 45 which stand at 325 and 170 metres, respectively.
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, China: The glass-bottom skywalk spanning the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon was the world’s highest and longest glass-bottom bridge when it was finished in 2016. With a few clicks of your mouse, maneuver over and around this vertigo-inducing, man-made wonder as well as the canyon river it traverses.
The Northern Lights: The Lights Over Lapland project seeks to capture the northern lights and bring them into our homes, Their website features a 5-minute video tour across Abisko, a village in Sweden where we are taken from an ice hotel, through the village, and even on a reindeer sleigh before setting up camp as night falls to observe the dazzling waves of light pass overhead.
Machu Picchu, Peru: Have a look around “The Citadel” via this 360-degree tour. Assisted by an audio guide, you can see Machu Picchu’s steep slopes and the remnants of royal residences, the sacred district that includes the famous Temple of the Sun, and courtyards with grazing alpacas and llamas on the lawns.
Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia: Meditate on the nooks and crannies of Angkor Wat — plus some of the other famous temples in the complex — and the nearby town of Siem Reap in this guided tour brought to you by Amsterdam-based VR Gorilla.
The Great Wall of China: "As China's most famous attraction, the Great Wall of China is an essential stop on all tours in China," The China Guide writes on their virtual tour guide. "Commonly considered a wonder of the world, the Great Wall boasts a history of over 2,000 years and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China, making it one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet."
Petra, Jordan: It's an information-packed audio-visual adventure into one of the world's most awe-inspiring landmarks—Jordan's 2,000-year-old city of stone. Journey behind Jordan's iconic facade and discover one of the great wonders of the world here.
Taj Mahal, India: Go behind the scenes of India’s Crown Jewel with this virtual tour from Google. Take a closer look at the Taj Mahal here.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro: Get front-row views Brazil's landmark Art Deco statue created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. Take a virtual tour of Rio's Christ the Redeemer here.
The Colosseum, Rome: Take an immersive virtual tour of Rome's famous amphitheater on YouTube. This hour-long walking tour of the Colosseum is filmed in pin-sharp 4K. Walk virtually around the Colosseum here.