For however long the current social distancing recommendations last, there’s still a definite need to remain strong and fit.

However, the problem is, how can you do that if your fitness regimen involves others?

People are inherently social, and our need to be social often extends to our workouts. We have running or biking partners, weightlifting buddies, tennis pals, and more. We take fitness classes so the discomfort of working out can be balanced by socialization.

It’s not quite the same when your partners are separated from you, either by a recommended distance or self-imposed isolation.

How can you get around that, and get the interaction you crave and the fitness you need while still following the current (and very sensible) guidelines for maintaining your distance from others?

Here are a few suggestions.

Online classes/apps

You have many options when you’re looking online for your fitness fix. Many fitness providers have moved to online classes, and there are videos and apps galore to browse through.

Our favorite app, D1toU, was just launched by our partners at D1 Training-Stevens Point. The D1toU training app allows you to experience their 5-star training from home. It provides access to D1’s full-body workouts, just like you would experience in the gym, from the comfort and safety of your own home. For more information or for a free two-week trial, call or text Kevin, the general manager, at 715-570-2248.

Other great apps to try include the Johnson & Johnson 7-Minute Workout and the Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer. Top paid apps include Nike’s Training Club and Fitbit Coach.

Using an app adds a new rigor to your workouts – and another voice reminding you to stay active. It’s not what everyone needs, but for those who do, that voice is as close by as your phone.

FaceTime and/or meeting apps

As many of you know, FaceTime is Apple’s video-calling feature, and it can be a great way to maintain connection with others during activities.

Whether you’re playing a board game or working out, you can make FaceTime part of it. Just call your workout partners using FaceTime and start your workout together. You can even add multiple buddies and turn it into a real group session.

The key is finding a place to put your phone. One solution, if you have an Apple laptop, is to use your laptop and its built-in camera. It’s much more stable than your phone, and this is one case where its lack of portability is an asset. Just set it down somewhere and fire it up.

FaceTime is not quite the same as having your workout buddy in the same room with you, but these days it’s a lot safer.


Walking is a great exercise for many reasons. It’s low-impact, it gets you fresh air, and it reduces stress. It’s a nice combination – and it’s possible to do it with a friend while still maintaining an appropriate distance.

For people used to more active pursuits, walking may seem like – pardon the pun – a step down. But it’s activity, it’s fitness, and it allows for social interaction without the closeness required by running, where conversation can be hard in-between breaths.


On the other hand, if you’re in good enough shape where talking and running are something you can do together, while maintaining a safe distance, it’s okay to go running.

Just be cognizant that your running and walking doesn’t turn into running and shouting – and disturbing others. If you can’t run and talk at a reasonable level while maintaining an appropriate distance, it’s probably best to find another activity.

Other Activities

Can you play tennis as long as you sanitize your hands before and after playing, and don’t shake hands with your hitting partner, and change sides of the court without coming in close contact with your partner? Probably.

Can you kick a soccer ball back and forth with a couple of buddies? More than likely, if you go your separate ways afterwards.

Fitness in a time of social distances requires you to make some changes and some compromises – and creatures of habit that we are, that may be hard to do. However, the changes are for good reason … and if the end result is physical fitness, is it really so bad?