Without the usual commute, daily routine, and access to gyms, many of us have been left in a fitness limbo by Covid-19.
Working from home means the commute has been reduced to a casual stroll from the bedroom to the kitchen-office table where we stay sat for the best part of the day with little to no reason to move.
Midriffs worldwide are noticeably looser as millions of us struggle to adjust to the static lifestyle caused by the Covid-19 quarantine.
The benefits of continuing or even starting a fitness routine in quarantine are plentiful. Exercising at home, even a little a day, can relieve anxiety (really important as we try to cope with our ‘new normals’), lift moods, help manage blood pressure, prevent heart disease, strengthen bones and muscles.
All age groups can benefit from gentle home exercise. For the elderly gentle exercise can help prevent falls and keep the mind sharp. For young children and teens exercise can encourage growth and also improve self-esteem.
For fitness at home, there is no end to the options available to you. There are exercises for every fitness level that can be done at home with no special equipment. Here are some of the best.
Be Flexible With Yoga and Pilates
Who is it suitable for? Any Age Group
What You Need: A clutter-free space, a mat or towel, and a bottle of water to stay hydrated
Yoga and pilates are beneficial for all ages and fitness levels.
To get started with either of the exercises at home, consider using an app or joining an online class for guidance. With both pilates and yoga, it can be easier to do when you can see the exercises being demonstrated before trying them for yourself.
Use Your Body Weight To Stay Fit
Who is it suitable for? Any Age Group
What You Need: A clutter-free space and bottle of water to stay hydrated. Plus a sturdy chair or bathtub.
Calisthenics is a form of exercise that relies only on your body weight and movement to exercise nearly every muscle in the body. Calisthenics is so popular and effective that they have been used for hundreds of centuries – the first recorded use is dated from 480 BC!
So, what is it and how do you get started?
After you stretch, start your cycle of calisthenics as suggested below. This cycle is suitable for a beginner but you can increase the intensity if you find it too easy.
10 x Squats
Stand feet hip-width apart, push out your backside slightly as if you were about to sit down. Lower yourself as if into an invisible chair. Alternatively, you can use a chair to lower into if you are nervous starting out. Lower as far as you can go and then carefully push back up again using your leg muscles. Repeat.
10 x Push-ups
Position yourself on all fours on your mat and the stretch out your legs behind you so that you are on your toes and hands with a straight line from your neck to your ankles. Holding this straight line, lower yourself using your arms, and then push back up again. To make it slightly easier for beginners, lower your knees to the ground from the starting position.
10 x Burpees
Guaranteed to get the blood flowing, burpees are great for your core, glutes, legs, and chest, and more! Start with your feet hip-width apart and position yourself ready for a squat. Lower into a squat but stop here and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Move your weight onto your hands and jump your feet back. You should now look like you are doing a press-up. Next, jump them back so you are in a lowered squat position and jump back up to standing as powerfully as you can.
10 x Elevated push-ups
Use a sturdy hard chair or the side of the bathtub for these. Position yourself as you would for a regular push up but with your hands firmly on the raised surface. Keep your back straight and in line with your legs. Lower yourself to the chair/tub and push back up. Repeat.
10 x Dips
As with the elevated push-ups, use a sturdy hard chair or the side of the bathtub. With your arms and back straight hold yourself up with your hands on the chair/tub behind you and your legs straight in front of you. From this position, lower yourself as low as you can and slowly bring yourself up to the starting position. Repeat.
30 Second x Planking
Plant hands directly under shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width) like you’re about to do a push-up. Next, ground toes into the floor and squeeze glutes to stabilize your body. Your legs should be working, too — be careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees. Then, neutralize your neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Your head should be in line with your back. And then hold the position for 30 seconds.
Go For A Walk Indoors
Who is it suitable for? Any age group but use your judgment.
What You Need: A clutter-free space and a bottle of water to stay hydrated
The surroundings won’t be as interesting or varied as they would be outdoors but the fitness payoff is something similar. Download a pedometer on your phone and try to build up your steps each day at home.
If you have a garden, incorporate it into your walk route too. Aim for 500 steps to start with. Walking on the spot counts too so get marching if you live in a small space. Walking indoors can help lift your spirits, improve cardio, and all-over muscle tone. Incorporate stairs for extra glute toning and more of a challenge.
For variation, and only if safe to do so, switch from walking to dancing, hopping, skipping, and walking backward around your house.
Tips For Working Out At Home
To get the most from your home workout routine, keep it regular and consistent. Set yourself a time table that incorporates your workout at least three times per week and commits to it.
Every type of workout requires a clear and clutter-free space. This helps to prevent injury and keep you focussed.
Boredom is one of the biggest killers of fitness. No matter how badly you want to be fit, if the fun of your routine has gone then you are unlikely to keep it up. That’s why it is important to mix up your routine types. Try doing a different workout type or routine each day. Make sure you have a rest day every 2 to 3 days but get right back into it afterward.
And, don’t forget this important message…
Ashley Halsey is an editor at Cardiff Writing Service who is a calisthenics enthusiast. Ashley enjoys traveling to attend fitness competitions.