If you’re staying at home during this period, there’s no reason to neglect your fitness routine. Here’s what you need to do to get in some exercise and keep yourself fit and healthy, even if you can’t leave the house.
Get your space set up properly.
You’ll need a space large enough for you to do stationary exercises without bumping into anything or anyone. If you can afford to, clear out a space with at least a 3m radius in a well-ventilated area. Make sure there are no sharp corners nearby that you can injure yourself on, and that the ceiling in this part of the house is high enough such that you can do exercises like jumping jacks safely.
Don’t have the space? Even the area between your sofa and TV will do nicely. “You can do simple toning exercises during commercial breaks,” says Billy Lim, a fitness and first aid instructor. “For example, you can do squats, push-ups, or abdominal crunches.”
Upcycle household items as fitness equipment.
You don’t need a fully kitted-out home gym to keep to your workout routine. All you need is a stable surface with enough friction and perhaps some light weights (filled water bottles will do fine) to do bodyweight exercises. For more ways on how to upcycle household items as fitness equipment, check out our post below.
Use an app as a personal trainer.
Nothing beats the “let’s do it together” mentality of a group exercise class or the watchful eye of a personal trainer, but when push comes to shove, an app works just as well. Fitness apps like Seven (which espouses the seven-minute workout) and Aaptiv give clear instructions that take you through a timed series of exercises. Some even let you pick the voice — whether it’s military-style barking or a gentle coaxing — so you can tailor your home workout experience. Most of these apps offer subscriptions on a weekly or monthly basis, often with a free trial, so you can sign up for a short-term fix.
While following the app’s instructions, however, you should be aware of your form. “If your posture is wrong or you don’t know how to execute certain exercises, it can cause injuries,” says Billy. “Unlike group classes, there’s no instructor to correct your mistakes.” Our advice? Avoid overly strenuous moves that you’re unfamiliar with, or get a family member or friend with experience to help correct your form.
Consider gentler forms of stationary exercise.
Exercise doesn’t have to leave you dripping with sweat and your heart pumping. Gentler forms of exercise like yoga and pilates give your body some much-needed stretching while being cooped up at home, and don’t require much space, either — just enough floor space for you to lie flat on and perhaps a yoga mat if you have one.
You won’t have to pay for an app, either — there are several videos on YouTube that demonstrate simple yoga exercises. Alternatively, you can join one of the many live streams that fitness influencers are posting on social media and follow along.
Hold yourself accountable.
One of the hardest parts of working out solo is the fact that there’s no one watching, or “spotting” you as they say. As such, it’s easy to miss a few days when you’re feeling lazy.
The good news is, there’s a myriad of ways you can avoid this pitfall. One method is to establish a routine that gets yourself into the exercise mindset, much like putting on our trainers and getting out the door signals to our brain that we’re going to get a workout at the gym. Donning your workout clothes (no exercising in your pjs!), putting on a playlist of upbeat music, and setting up your space — even for five minutes — can help you get mentally ready for a workout.
Another way is to get yourself an accountability buddy. Find someone else who’s working from home, and keep each other updated daily on the workout you’ve done for the day (and your meals, if you want to take it up a notch). Having someone that you need to explain yourself to will help motivate you. Better yet, get a group of like-minded friends together on Whatsapp and spur each other on with workout selfies and updates!