Peter Schmuck

With no sports to watch or play, here are a few light-hearted suggestions for staying in shape | COMMENTARY

With almost all spectator sports on hold for the foreseeable future and the gyms and some parks off limits here in Maryland, it’s important to find productive ways to entertain ourselves and stay fit, said the guy who just ate a full bag of Pirates Booty while watching a “King of Queens” rerun.

Staying home and practicing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic is absolutely the right thing to do, but it’s also important to find ways to fill the exercise gap during a period of relative inactivity that could last for months.


Again, this is coming from a guy whose whole life used to be a period of relative inactivity, but now that I’ve gotten religion — and Type-2 Diabetes — when it comes to keeping in shape, I spend a lot of that time lecturing other people on how they should live.

The stay-at-home order obviously makes it difficult to get into any kind of fitness routine, unless you spent thousands on a Peloton before all the markets crashed. Sure, lots of you have fancy gym equipment at home and dust it regularly, but it’s hard to get motivated when there’s so much quality programming on Hulu.


So, here are a few ways to fill some of that unstructured time with constructive physical activity while you’re supposed to be teleworking:

Make a game out of it: Since most of us watch the daily White House briefings to get the latest updates and recommendations from the Coronavirus Task Force, here’s a fun way to use that 75 minutes every day more productively.

Every time President Trump utters the word “incredible,” hit the floor and do five push-ups or five sit-ups. I guarantee you will be too sore to do much of anything else the rest of the day.

If you’re rolling your eyes at that, consider this: Just saw a news report about an online gambling outfit that is actually accepting wagers on which hyperbolic adjective — “tremendous” “incredible” “fantastic” — Trump uses the most times during each briefing.

Take up yoga: Of course I’m joking. If you aren’t already a yoga nut, you’re just going to pull a hammy and then how are you going to get to the refrigerator during commercials.

OK, to be completely honest, there’s a lot of yoga going on in my house, and though I’m sure I would look great in all that stretchy stuff, it’s just not for me.

Word of warning to you Neanderthals out there: If anyone tries to convince you to try “hot” yoga, it’s not what you think.

Plank while streaming: I only recently got into the whole planking thing and I’ve got to tell you, it changed my life. My goal is to plank for an entire episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I figure that the show is going to make me feel awkward and uncomfortable anyway, so I might as well firm up my core.


Try CrossFit: CrossFit is all the rage, but it’s not for the faint of heart or anyone with low ceilings. I tried to do a Burpee Box Jump at home and ended up having to replace a light fixture. But many of my friends — including Ravens broadcaster Gerry Sandusky, former Colt Stan White and Washington Nationals reporter Britt Ghiroli — swear by it and are in terrific shape.

Walk your dog: Just no more than 10 times a day. The little fellas aren’t ready for that level of physical activity and are just humoring you.

Kick it old-school: Nostalgic for the ’80s? Dig your old VCR out of the basement, pull on some leggings and pop in a Jane Fonda workout cassette. I just have an old copy of “Barbarella,” but Jane’s workout videos sold hundreds of thousands of copies at the height of the aerobics craze and shouldn’t be hard to find. Scoff if you want, but Jane is actually in her 80s now and she still looks pretty good.

Hit one of the bike trails: This is one of the few socially acceptable ways to go out in public. Riding a bicycle builds cardiovascular stamina and, if you keep your eyes on the road, will not result in any unwise physical contact with other humans.

There is a great network of converted railroad right-of-ways throughout Maryland that allow riders to enjoy the great outdoors without violating social-distancing requirements. During these difficult times, you might even see some light at the end of a tunnel.