As the days and weeks pass, and residents of your condominium or HOA are asked to stay home, it’s more important than ever to offer them opportunities to exercise both their physical and mental muscles. Don't let social distancing get in the way of your community's need to stay fit and active!

Here are 10 activities (for the body and mind) that will help your residents maintain their active lifestyles during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Build an At-Home Boot Camp

There are numerous circuit training exercises that use just bodyweight and/or a pair of dumbbells, so many residents will have everything they need to exercise in their own homes.

To make it a community activity, send out a weekly bootcamp routine to all residents and change it up each week. Some of the exercises that are perfect for bootcamps are:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Push-ups
  • Squat thrusts
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Tricep extensions

Each exercise should have between 10-15 reps and the circuit duration lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 times depending on the desired intensity of the session.

Learn a New Language

Studies have shown that learning a new language offers people quite a few benefits in addition to the ability to communicate in new ways. Benefits include improving and sharpening memory, enhancing the ability to multitask and make decisions and improving use of the native language.

There are several language learning tools available, each with different methods for learning a new language. Duolingo and the BBC website both offer free programs, while Rosetta Stone and Babbel charge monthly or annual fees for their service.

During a time when residents may not have the ability to be as sociable as they normally might be, investing time learning a new language will help keep their minds sharp and give them something to, quite literally, talk about once they are able to mingle with other residents again.

Find out what languages your residents speak and encourage other residents to learn one of those languages so they can practice with other native-speaking residents once social distancing guidelines are lifted.

Limber up with Yoga

Yoga is the perfect blend of mind and body wellness and there are several varieties out there. From Bikram and Vinyasa to Iyengar and Restorative yoga, there’s a style for just about anybody and any wellness goal.

Since there are so many styles of yoga, there are likely quite a few locally owned yoga studios in your city that could teach your residents how to go with the flow and get connected with their body. Have your property or program manager reach out to a couple of yoga studios and see if they would be willing to host some virtual yoga classes for residents in your lifestyle community.

FirstService Residential has done just that by partnering with local instructors to provide their residents with access to classes just for them.

Residents learn from a local, instructors possibly gain new clients, and your community practices fitness and wellness together, while still being responsible and maintaining social distancing.

Get Crafty

The crafting category is so large, there could be an entire article dedicated to this one topic, but generally speaking, crafts are projects that are made by hand and include everything from cross stitching and knitting to woodworking and fly tying.

Crafting helps ease anxiety and depression and it allows the crafter to focus their mind and body on one task. In fact, the effects of becoming engrossed in a craft is very similar to meditation.

To get your residents crafting, take a poll to see what types of crafts they would be interested in trying and then put together “crafting kits” for the residents and drop them off on their doorstep following COVID-19 package handling guidelines.

Go for Bike Rides… Indoors

Residents don’t need a Peloton to get a great workout on a bike while they’re at home! They simply need a bike trainer stand to modify their everyday bike into a stationary bike. Bike trainers attach to the rear wheel of the bike and are relatively inexpensive, making indoor cycling an affordable at-home fitness option when residents are avoiding exposure to the coronavirus by staying safe at home.

There are a number of great instructional spin/cycling videos on YouTube available for free to work up a sweat. Additionally, searching for virtual bike rides on YouTube provides residents with a “ride” through a variety of scenic trails.

Solve a Puzzle

Much like learning a new language or crafting, putting together puzzles offers more than just the satisfaction of seeing an image take shape as pieces are added to it. Puzzles help improve memory, enhance problem-solving skills, reduce stress and increase productivity at work (for those residents that are working from home).

For families in your lifestyle community, puzzles present an activity that the entire family enjoys together and celebrates when it’s completed.

Offering a selection of puzzles to residents will give them the opportunity to try new puzzles without filling up valuable storage space once the puzzle has been completed. Of course, be sure, when puzzles are returned that they are not available for use for at least 48 hours to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Raise the Bar with Barre

Another simple workout routine for residents that are staying home is Barre. Normally held in a group setting, Barre is a workout routine that consists of movements and positions used in ballet. While it’s normally a group class, it’s easily done at home as well, participants simply need to find or make their own ballet barre, which is typically about 40” to 42” from the ground. This can be a high stool, the back of a chair or an actual bar if one is available.

Once again, there are many classes available on YouTube or fitness apps, many of which are offering extended free trials during the coronavirus pandemic. Have your program or property manager reach out to a local barre studio to see if they would be willing to offer live virtual classes to residents.

Dance Up a Sweat

Speaking of dance, from old school Jazzercize to relative newcomer Zumba, aerobic dance is a great way for residents to get their heart rates up and put smiles on their faces while they shimmy their stress away.

Much like the other exercise programs listed earlier, there are a bunch of routines available on YouTube and they range from beginner to expert.

Embark on an Educational Endeavor

With residents staying at home most of the time, many have found a lot of extra free time that used to be filled with other activities from errands to commuting. Encourage residents to take this extra time to practice lifelong learning.

There are a variety of ways to learn something new every day.

Of course, nonfiction books, both paper and digital, are classic ways to enhance knowledge and, thanks to Amazon, residents are able to get their reading fix without ever having to leave the house.

For those who prefer an audio approach to reading, there are a wide variety of apps and websites where residents go to download digital audiobooks. Websites like LibriVox and Lit2Go offer public domain audiobooks and apps such as Overdrive and Libby allow readers to borrow and listen to audiobooks from their public library, without having to set foot in the library. Perfect for social distancing!

Paid platforms such as Audible and Spotify offer a lengthy list of audiobooks for a monthly subscription.

On top of books, a host of podcasts is now available for just about any topic under the sun. Subscribe to a weekly podcast and listen in small doses or binge on a full season of a new favorite. There are several podcast apps to choose from including Spotify (again), iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and many more.

Find a Sense of Calm

During these unprecedented times, it’s important that residents are able to maintain their mental as well as physical health. Meditation is the perfect way for members of your condominium or HOA to let go of the stress and anxiety that COVID-19 has caused and find inner peace.

To those new to the practice, guided meditation will teach students how to focus and let go. They also offer different types of meditation and mantras (a word, short phrase or sound repeated to help concentration during meditation) for newcomers to try. There are quite a few apps for residents to try out including Calm, Aura, Headspace and Insight Timer.

Encourage residents to try meditation first thing in the morning to start their day off right. Offer weekly or daily mantras for them to focus on through email or posts on the community bulletin board.

Continuing to uphold the values of your community while also maintaining social distancing may have initially seemed difficult, but, as you can see, there are a wide variety of activities your board and program/property managers are able to provide to residents to keep them happy and healthy even during a pandemic.

Read more about how FirstService Residential is helping its communities stay fit through its Lifestyle@Home programs.

Wednesday May 13, 2020