Social distancing is the new buzz word for 2020. Measures imposed by governments across the globe have caused the cancellation or postponement of sporting leagues, events and tournaments, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of sports fans everywhere.
Luckily, the internet means there are still plenty of ways for everyone to get a daily dose of exercise and sporting entertainment.
Social Distancing Exercise
Daily exercise is as important now as it has always been. Whilst there are no team sports allowed, there are still plenty of ways to stay fit and active. Being allowed out for daily exercise means running and cycling are still on the cards.
And for those with extra energy to burn, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions are all the rage. YouTube is full of HIIT workouts lasting between 10 minutes and 1 hour. King of HIIT and the nation's favourite PE teacher, Joe Wicks, has plenty of videos online to suit everyone from beginners, kids, and seniors to hard-core fitness fanatics.
Online gaming offers up the thrill of sports, albeit without the physical aspects. And you don't need a PlayStation or Xbox as plenty of computer games and apps are downloadable.
- Dream League Soccer 2020 — Take charge of a footie team, building it from over 3,500 players and rise through the ranks of eight leagues to the top flight of football.
- TGC 2019 — An authentic golf sim that lets players design challenging courses, compete in Skin wager matches, or become a golfing pro in the PGA Tour Career mode.
- NBA 2K20 — Adapted for Android, this basketball app has multiple gaming modes. Build a career, compete in streetball tournaments, or become GM of your own team.
Even Formula One is getting in on the online gaming act by running virtual races with current and past drivers fighting it out via a video game. F1 fans can watch the races on Sky Sports, YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook channels. Not a fan of online gaming? You can always challenge yourself with one of the football quizzes online.
Some cracking sports-related TV shows, films, and documentaries exist, and now is the perfect excuse to relax in front of the box without guilt. Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming platforms boast large catalogues to choose from, including classic movies such as Rocky, Mean Machine, Happy Gilmore, and High Fidelity. Here are some top tips for the best of the rest.
- Eddie The Eagle — Feel-good movie following Michael Edwards as he sets out to compete as a ski jumper in the 1988 Winter Olympics. He may not have set any records or won a medal but he certainly became a true British hero.
- Drive To Survive — Into its second series, this docu-series gives a great insight into F1. Series two follows the 2019 season with the power struggle within the Ferrari team being one of the highlights.
- The Last Dance — Documentary about the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan is brilliantly made and tells the wider story of power, race, egos, and money to keep even non-basketball fans intrigued.
- Sunderland 'Till I Die — Fly-on-the-wall series about Sunderland A.F.C. and its 2017-18 season which saw them relegated from the Championship. Series two is just as good and documents the struggles faced by Charlie Methven when he took over the club.
Some content on streaming platforms is geo-specific, meaning you need to be registered in a specific country to watch it. That's where a VPN comes in by allowing you to choose where you are digitally located. Using a VPN download for your devices will unlock any country-specific content.
Replay Favourite Sporting Moments
National channels are turning to nostalgic sporting highlights to draw in viewers. The BBC is broadcasting classic FA Cup ties while ITV is showing "Euro 96 Relived", all 31 matches from the dramatic tournament held in England in 1996. If you're outside the UK, a VPN will be necessary to access terrestrial TV channels.
Highlights and full matches of every sport imaginable are at your fingertips with video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion. Instantly stream some of the best rugby union games of all time, including Ireland trouncing the All Blacks in 2016. Watch England triumph over Australia for the first time in 19 years in the 2005 Ashes. Or relive the highlights of Super Saturday when Great Britain won six gold medals in 48 minutes at London 2012.
If American sports are your thing, the NBA and NFL are both giving fans free access to their premium streaming services.
A Great Read
Fill some free time by catching up on books. Biographies, novels, and historical insights are available no matter which sport is your passion. Esquire has compiled a list of the 35 best books covering football, boxing, golf, tennis, and cycling, to name just a few. This list should keep every sports enthusiast busy for the duration of lockdown.
Social distancing looks as though it's going to be the norm for the foreseeable future. Major sporting leagues are talking about resuming under new rules and behind closed doors. But in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to get your sporting fix in the comfort of your sofa.