If ever there was a time to exercise, it’s now. Not only does it improve our immunity, but it releases endorphins which make you feel good, which we could all use some of. Added to that the extra lockdown eating we’ve been doing, and exercise has a further role to play in getting us healthier and in shape.
If you’re looking for workout ideas that don’t involve the gym or heading outside, there are great at-home ideas to keep you motivated and up your fitness. Here’s how:
Use what you have
If you’re used to heavy lifting and all the amazing equipment found at gym, you’re probably stuck on what you can substitute that with while at home. The main purpose of exercise is to help condition your body to do everyday things without injury.
Look around your house for items that can substitute equipment for resistance training – 5-litre water bottles, 2kg bags of rice, books and canned foods work just as well as regular dumbbells. One of the best pieces of equipment you can use to train your body is your own body! Believe it or not, our own body weight is sufficient to provide a very effective workout.
Fitness is fun
Perfect your push-ups, take part in a squat or plank challenge, train your body to gradually do a split or even push your limits with a 30-day burpee challenge. Because you might have some time on your hands, focus on perfecting your form for all the workouts you’ll be doing. Most challenges happen gradually over a number of days and are a good way to beat the lockdown blues.
Get your heart racing
Cardio is an important component of fitness. If you’re used to running on a treadmill or using a bike, you may be stuck on how to replace these at home. Anything that increases your heart rate over a set amount of time between 30 and 45 minutes is an effective form on cardio. Dancing, skipping, safely running up and down the stairs or running in the garden are great options to break out a good sweat.
Invest in some equipment
Follow the national guidelines and invest in some inexpensive equipment to keep in the home for some variety. Workout DVDs, dumbbells, a trampoline or some resistance bands are a few examples of affordable items you can have in your home to set up a mini gym. If your budget allows, you can purchase a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical trainer.
If you have stable bandwidth and a reliable device to connect you, invite some friends into a video call for a fun group session at a time convenient for everyone.
Find some online and DVD classes
Grind with Somizi, Khabonina J.U.L.U.K.M.E.N.T, The Tracy Anderson Project, Zumba, Taebo and Jillian Michaels are a few awesome DVDs you can order online. If you’re looking for something more instant and virtual, paying for access to an app that offers a variety of trainers and workouts could work for you. SWEAT: Kayla Itsines Fitness, Sudor and the Nike Training Club offer fun workouts you can access from any mobile device.
Facebook Live has thousands of exercise options – from high intensity, to Pilates, ballet and yoga. Nike has made its premium content free for the next few months.
Locally, JEFF Johno’s eFitness Faculty is helping families stay fit with daily classes. Vitality has also introduced a free online fitness programme with a daily schedule of high-intensity workouts, yoga, surprise fitness challenges and more. With all their gyms closed, Virgin Active has also launched online workouts for its members.
Fitness for the whole family
Children are home, too, and also need to keep their bodies healthy and fit. Get creative with ways to keep the whole family moving. Playing catches in the garden, hop scotch, hide-and-seek, frog jumps and even dodge ball or a good game of soccer are exhilarating games that children play which could give the whole family some fun fitness moments.
Apps like TikTok and Hip Hop Battle offer cool dance challenges that kids and parents can do to get an awesome workout in while having fun.
The human touch
Humans need one another more than we think. A lot of us find motivation in exercising in groups but this is not easy while everyone is practising social distancing. If you have stable bandwidth and a reliable device to connect you, invite some friends into a video call for a fun group session at a time convenient for everyone.
This will not only help to keep you motivated but can also overcome boredom that can set in during isolation at home. Video workouts can be structured in such a way that each friend can host the workout to challenge and push one another.
Although this is a difficult time for the whole world, it could be a great opportunity to work on your fitness, build your confidence and get healthier in the privacy of your own home. All you need is a positive attitude and some creativity.
Here are a few workouts you can try to break out a sweat and build some muscle – repeat this HIIT for three rounds.
- Mountain climbers (15 reps each leg)
- Jumping jacks (20 reps)
- Laying down leg lifts (20 reps each leg)
- Fire hydrants (20 each leg)
- Leg lifts (20 each leg)
- Glute bridges (20 reps)
- Lunges (20 reps each leg)
- Skipping (100 skips)
Luyanda Sibisi is a 30-year-old mother of two with a solid background in the publishing industry. Luyanda turned her passion for health and fitness into a business where she helps women who want to achieve balance in their lives but also identify with the struggles of being a single mom. Luyanda offers fitness services to corporate clients, events and functions and hosts a weekly self-help podcast with her mom (In my Opinion with Jean and Luyanda) and is also the host of an online TV show called the Health and Fitness Show.