Gym closed? Here’s how to cope and stay active.

By Jessica Leigh Mattern
Updated March 16, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
FitBit Versa Tout

Experts agree that working out is an incredibly effective (and instant!) way to alleviate stress and anxiety, but with mounting restrictions and precautions being implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus, how are we supposed to sweat and stay safe?

I recently began using the Fitbit Versa 2 to train for my first-ever 10k, which is slated for April (though I’m sure it will be postponed). But now, the tiny wrist gadget has taken on a whole new purpose as I find myself cooped up at home with my favorite exercise classes canceled. Amid this stressful time, it’s helping me find outlets for my anxiety while encouraging me to take care of myself. With on-screen guided workouts I can do from home and a slew of neat features that help me stay on top of fitness goals, it’s like having a personal trainer and gym at my service at all times.

FitBit Versa

To buy: $199;

When it comes to staying active, Fitbit’s latest health and fitness smartwatch makes it easy to track your daily activity, including steps, calories burned, active minutes, floors climbed, distance, and heart rate. You can also use its Coach app to find video and audio workouts that stream directly from your watch, and its Relax app to practice guided meditations and breathing exercises.

Since my gym temporarily closed its doors, I’m using the tracker to stay on top of my 10k training, to log at least 10,000 steps a day by walking around my neighborhood, and to squeeze in stretching and yoga to unwind at the end of each workday.

And though I’ll be missing out on my favorite OrangeTheory classes for a while, I can still get in some interval training and core exercises by firing up its Coach app a few times a week. I’m also planning to use the device while streaming some of my favorite YouTube workout videos on my computer, ensuring I get my heart rate up and make the most of the video classes.

Beyond its helpful fitness features, the Versa 2 monitors your sleeping habits, notifies you to get up and move throughout the day, and serves up wellness tips, which—let’s be honest—we’re all going to need more of over the next few weeks. You can even set and log wellness goals (like drinking more water, for example), and set alerts to keep you on track.

Outside the realm of health, it comes with a slew of other neat features, like access to Amazon’s Alexa, Fitbit pay, and phone-free music streaming. Plus, you can easily sync the smartwatch to your phone to receive call and text notifications on-the-go.

If $199 is out of your budget right now, there are tons of other Fitbits to choose from, including several that are currently on sale and Prime-eligible (hello, free, two-day shipping!). Though they all come with different capabilities, each version makes it simple to track your daily activity. You can even swap out your watch band to create a more custom-looking piece (I wear this gold style and get tons of compliments!).

Shop Fitbit Fitness and Activity Trackers on Amazon:

While the next few weeks are bound to bring even more adjustments and unpredictability, I feel more at ease knowing that no matter what happens, I can maintain some sense of normalcy by keeping up with my exercise routine at home. Even if it’s just 30 minutes of yoga in the morning to start my day, I feel empowered knowing that some things—like a workout—are still in my control.